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7 myths of a healthy diet

Sept./Oct. 2011 California Country magazine



In our quest to build and maintain a healthy and balanced diet, we can also follow some nutritional myths. Here are seven common misconceptions to avoid while trying to stick to a healthy diet:

1. Skipping breakfast
This can make it more difficult to control both your diet and your weight.

2. Replacing meals with energy bars or replacement drinks
Yes, they are convenient, but too often energy bars offer little more nutrition than your average candy bar, and replacement drinks may lack adequate fiber. When it comes to eating nutritiously, there is no real substitute for a healthy, well-balanced meal.

3. Consuming more calories than your activity level warrants
Calorie intake should be sufficient to support your active lifestyle, but not so abundant as to cause you to gain weight.

4. Eating too much protein, not enough carbohydrates
The popularity of low-carbohydrate diets has many people trying to fuel their workouts with poultry instead of pasta. But whether you're an endurance athlete or a bodybuilder—or something in between—carbohydrates are essential for effective workouts.

5. Believing that exercise means you can eat whatever you want
Most of us have to learn this lesson the hard way. Whether you exercise a little or a lot, you still need to follow a healthy, balanced diet and watch your portion sizes.

6. Not drinking the right amount of fluids
Dehydration can be a serious problem, especially if you exercise in a hot, humid environment. Drinking adequate fluids before, during and after exercise is important.

7. Jumping on the latest diet craze in search of that elusive "edge"
It's tempting to believe there is some magic formula out there that will dramatically improve our performance or help us effortlessly lose weight. But the best path is to stick to the basics and follow a healthy, balanced diet.

For more information about the California Farm Bureau Members' Health Insurance Plan through Health Net Life Insurance Co., call 800-213-6716 or visit www.healthnet.com.

Sam Cole is a regional vice president for Health Net of California Inc. Health Net of California Inc. and Health Net Life Insurance Co. are subsidiaries of Health Net Inc.


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