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In honor of April Fools Day, my goal was to “unfool” you by debunking common nutrition myths. Lots of light was shed on topics that many people are confused about. Your feedback was fantastic! Instead of taking the suggestion of writing a book on all this stuff (it’s in the queue), I decided to compile the info right here.

Here’s the recap of my 2013 “Don’t be FOOLED” series:

Don’t be FOOLED: Juice is not healthy, regardless of the healthy claims on packaging— even if it’s 100%fruit juice, it’s still 100%carbohydrate, and carbohydrates are pure sugar. Swap juice for a piece of fruit & glass of water, or make a Balanced Smoothie containing not just carbs, but protein and healthy fat too.

Don’t be FOOLED: Egg Beaters are NOT a better choice than whole eggs. They’re full of preservatives, artificial flavor and color. Yuck. Eat REAL, whole eggs (yolk included!).

Don’t be FOOLED: Artificial sweeteners are NOT beneficial for weight loss and diet soda is NOT better than regular (and it’s also not effective for weight loss!). Artificial sweeteners confuse your body and slow down your metabolism. Honor your body by steering clear of these chemicals.

Don’t be FOOLED: Stevia is a good, pure plant-based sweetener (the only sweetener I recommend,) but Truvia is NOT the same thing as Stevia. Educate yourself.

Don’t be FOOLED: Both Coca Cola’s new “Fruit Water,” and Sparkling ICE beverages are bottled water sweetened with Splenda (*red flag*) — sounds a lot like pop to me…

Don’t be FOOLED: Low-fat products are NOT beneficial for weight loss. Lower in fat means higher in sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, which makes us fat. The true bad guys? Sugar and Trans Fats. The simple solution is to avoid packaged, processed foods and eat whole, REAL food.

Don’t be FOOLED: High cholesterol does NOT lead to heart disease. It’s all about inflammation and trans fats.

Don’t be FOOLED: Cravings are NOT random—Balancing your blood sugar is KEY to controlling (and eliminating!) your cravings. Eat a balance of protein, carbohydrate & fat at EVERY meal & snack for stable blood sugars and consistent energy levels all day and night long. Follow these basic tips.

Don’t be FOOLED: Whole grains are NOT healthy for you (they turn to sugar in the bloodstream and contain gluten, lectin and phytates which are ANTI-nutrients). Choose vegetables and fruits, full of fiber and nutrients.

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Don’t be FOOLED: All these yogurts claim to be “natural” and/or “healthy.” Compare the sugar contents. Which one will you choose? (I choose Greek God’s plain, full fat yogurt; nutrition facts for this one are on the bottom left.)

Don’t be FOOLED: Coffee isn’t bad for you. What’s bad for you is the junk you put in your coffee (sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fats in coffee creamers…). It’s also unhealthy to depend on it to get you through the day. Never underestimate a good night’s sleep and coffee with heavy cream.

Don’t be FOOLED: Caffeine cannot undo the damage done from lack of sleep! Sleep is responsible for hormones that play into your weight and metabolism too.

Don’t be FOOLED: You do not need to take OTC drugs to manage pain. Magnesium works by aiding in muscle relaxation and nerve transmission. My clients swear by it and I do too. Next time, try 200-600 mg of this instead of an over the counter pain killer.peanut butter dietitian cassie minneapolis dietitian

Don’t be FOOLED: All peanut butters are NOT created equal. Look for the shortest ingredient list you can find. (i.e. Ingredients: Peanuts.)

Dont’ be FOOLED: “100 calorie” snack packs are NOT healthy or balanced. (They lack protein and healthy fat.) Because they are mainly carbohydrate, they leave you craving more sugar. Make your snacks balanced by checking points #1 and 2 in this article. We also discussed “The Travesty of 100 Calorie Packs” here.

Don’t be FOOLED: Gut Health isn’t just for those with digestive issues — it’s tied to metabolism and weight loss too!

Don’t be FOOLED: Decreasing dietary cholesterol will NOT put you on the right track for weight loss.

Don’t be FOOLED: Skipping meals to “save calories,” and following diets for quick weight loss are not effective long-term weight loss and health strategies. Read my 5 Common Dieting Mistakes.

Don’t be FOOLED: You can’t “work off” the junk you put into your body. I’m an athlete, yet I know that nutrition is of far greater importance than exercise. Refuel with real food.

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Don’t be FOOLED: It’s not all about calories! Calorie counting is a flawed theory. There’s SO much more to metabolism than just calories. (See point #1.)

Dont’ be FOOLED: Despite its claims to help with digestion, sugar is ingredients #1 and #4 in Activia yogurt, negating any positive effects. Buy full fat and sweeten on your own. I sweeten with stevia-based Dynamic Greens.

Don’t be FOOLED: We don’t get fat because we overeat. We get fat because we overeat sugary, processed foods. Eat REAL food and never go hungry again.

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