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Busting food myths

It’s hard to know what to believe these days, when we are bombarded with so many mixed messages! So we had a chat to Sophy Foreman, High Performance Dietician, to uncover the truth about three common food myths.

Does eating carbohydrates make you fat?

Carbohydrates have received a lot of bad press over the years.  They are often seen as the evil foods that, if eaten, will see you pile on the kilograms. 

Believe it or not eating carbs will not make you gain weight.  Many low carb diets merely promote reducing the amount of carbs eaten in order to reduce your overall energy, or kilojoule intake. 

In fact it’s what we do to carbohydrates that make them fattening. For example, tucking into pasta carbonara (full of cream, cheese and bacon!), drowning our baked potato in cheese and reaching for the hot chips. 

When you eliminate an entire food group from your diet, you not only miss out on a huge range of nutrients but also variety and choice. Goodbye breads and wholegrain cereals, fruit, milk and starchy vegetables that mean, goodbye all the fibre, vitamins and minerals that go with them. 

If you’re looking to lose weight it’s best to focus on getting a balanced diet and watching your portion sizes instead.  Also, remember that if you’re active then you’ll be relying on carbs for energy to get you through your training, cutting them out will see you running on empty.



Does meat take weeks to digest?

So you’ve just munched your way through that huge T-bone and are loosening your belt, feeling stuffed. 

Is it true, does your body take longer to digest meat? The answer is no. 

Meat moves through our digestive system in the same way as other food does, it doesn't hang around. 

Our digestive system is very efficient at breaking down meat into amino acids, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 so that our body can absorb it. 

Meat will usually leave the stomach in 2-3 hours and is fully digested in 4-6 hours.

Making sure you drink plenty of water and have a diet rich in fibre will also see food moving through your body nicely.



Does chicken contain hormones?

Adding growth hormones to chickens was banned in the early 1960s, thank goodness, seeing as it's the second most popular meat eaten in Australia. 

Any shops that claim their chicken is hormone free are just selling the same chicken as everyone else, so be aware if they are charging more per kilo.

I would recommend buying chicken that has been reared free range and in an animal friendly environment. It will no doubt taste much better and worth the extra dollars.

Sophy Foreman (Porter) has established a reputation in Western Australia as a leading High Performance Sports Dietitian. She currently pursues her passion in this area by working with a number of elite sports teams including; The Emirates Western Force, WA Rugby Academy, and The Perth Glory. She also worked for The Fremantle Dockers for six seasons (2005-2011).

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