Monday, March 12, 2012


Happy Nutrition Month!  Each year, a new theme is selected by Dietitians of Canada.  This year, the theme is myth-busting, or “Get the real deal on your meal.” 

There are so many misconceptions regarding nutrition so I thought I’d provide you with a few nutrition myth-busting tidbits.  Here we go…

MYTH #1: Organic foods are the safest and healthiest choice. 

TRUTH: Both organic and non-organic foods are nutritious, safe to consume, and strictly regulated.  Sticking to an organic diet is an individual choice.  Keep in mind that nutritional value is impacted by a variety of factors, such as growing location and techniques, storage, shipping, and preparation (ie. cooking methods).  

MYTH #2: Avoid carbs if you want to lose weight.

TRUTH: Cutting carbs means cutting out beneficial whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, and legumes! Initial weight loss from omitting these items is usually a result of overall decreased intake.  Your best bet to lose weight and keep it off long-term is to exercise routinely and follow Canada’s Food Guide to help you appropriately balance your diet. 

MYTH #3: Everyone should eat a gluten-free diet.

TRUTH: Unless you have a gluten allergy, sensitivity, or celiac disease, you don’t need to avoid gluten.  Incorporate gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley and rye into your diet and remember to include whole grains.  

MYTH #4: There is no difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist.

TRUTH: Dietitians have specific training and are educated to advise you on food, nutrition and healthy eating.  “Registered Dietitian” is a protected term and Dietitians in Ontario are required to be a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario.  The term “nutritionist” isn’t a protected term in many provinces.  For nutrition advice, you’re in the right place… dietitians are the best choice!

MYTH #5: Eating a lot of protein helps build muscle.

TRUTH: There are many elements needed to build muscle mass: strength training, protein, sufficient calories, recovery, and sleep (an hour of which we lost this weekend!).  Excessive protein intake will add extra calories but won’t necessarily transform you into the Hulk.  Most of us actually meet and even exceed protein requirements from our typical daily diet.  A tip for strength training athletes:  include a post-workout snack that incorporates protein.  Remember, sources of protein include lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, lower fat milk and alternatives, and legumes. 

Check back for some more myth-busting this month!

In the mean time, if you’re around the hospital, make sure to check out activities organized by our dietetic interns that will be taking place throughout the month.  Details can be found on the Sunnybrook website. 


March 13-15

Get Caught Eating
Your Fruits  & Veggies
March 15
Fibrelicious Food Fiesta
March 20
Fibrelicious Taste Test
March 30
Nutrition Myths Busted: A Talk by
Dr. Joe Schwarcz


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