Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Archive for the category “Fact or Fiction”

Sunny Side Up

Eggs have been the center of a heated debate for quite some time.  Are they healthy or not?  And how many is too many?

Let’s get some stats.

A single large egg provides about 70 calories, 5 grams total fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 185 mg cholesterol, 0 carbs, and about 6 grams protein.  Eggs also provide a smattering of other essential nutrients, such as a small amount of various B vitamins, vitamin A, and a decent dose of vitamin D (about 10% of your daily value).  Egg yolks are also the richest source of choline, a B vitamin vital for normal cell function and a healthy central nervous system. So in a nutshell, we’ve got a nice little nutrient-rich source of highly bioavailable protein that is rather high in cholesterol.

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Detox much?

Lose 20 pounds in 20 days!  Cleanse your colon and flatten your tummy! Eliminate toxins and regain your health!

Detox diets promise big results in a matter of days, but how do they really measure up?

Detox (short for detoxification) diets are touted as having all sorts of health benefits, ranging from rapid weight loss to cancer prevention (or cure!).  Just visit any detox website and you’ll read all sorts of personal testimonials that seem too good to be true.  Celebrities have used them to drop pounds for movie roles and even Dr. Oz has gotten on the bandwagon.

The premise is that our typical diets and environments are laden with ‘toxins’ that our bodies cannot process or eliminate on their own.  To kick these nasties, we must purge them with (insert detox regimen).  Once ‘detoxified,’ our bodies will purportedly function at a higher level, sending our metabolism into high gear.

Detox diets can vary widely in their recommendations.  Most involve literal fasting (if not starvation), while some allow for a small, select menu of foods.  The majority of these plans are very low in calories (sometimes as little as a few hundred calories per day) and are extremely restrictive.  Many include special formulations or drinks that are meant to expedite or enhance the body’s natural flushing and filtering processes and may include use of laxatives and/or enemas. Plans typically last a couple days up to a couple weeks.

But is there evidence to support these claims?  Will drinking a maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper concoction truly cleanse your system and promote health?  And, most importantly, are they safe?

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What’ll ya have?

So a guy is trying to lose weight and is looking for ways to cut calories.  While he doesn’t want to give up alcohol completely, he knows his weekend six-pack isn’t doing his gut any favors.  The solution?  He switches to liquor because beer, as everyone knows, is sky-high in calories because of all the carbs.  Problem solved! 

Sound familiar?  Over the years, I have heard this one over and over again.  In an effort to lose weight, dieters switch from ‘fattening’ beer to wine or hard alcohol, believing the latter options are more diet-friendly.  But are they?

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Caffeine Confusion

When it comes to staying hydrated, many people wonder if their morning cup of Joe will contribute to their fluid needs, or if they’ll have to drink extra water to make up for it.  Fortunately, studies have shown that caffeinated beverages can indeed be counted toward our daily fluid intake.

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Fact or Fiction Friday!

So welcome to the first installment of Fact or Fiction Friday!  Have a question or topic you’d like to see addressed?  Send ’em my way and I’ll do my best to demystify, debunk, and otherwise shed light on your nutrition and fitness queries.

Today’s question is, “I heard that by doing a bunch of crunches I could whittle away the fat in my midsection.  Is it true that I can pick and choose where I shed body fat from?”

Sadly, this is fiction!  It is not possible to target and trim fat from specific body parts (also referred to as spot reducing).

It is a common myth that weight training or exercising a specific body part will result in isolated fat loss from that particular area.  While you will most certainly strengthen and develop the muscles you train, you’ve got to create an overall calorie deficit to lose body fat.  (As the saying goes, you might have a six-pack, but you’ve got to take it out of the cooler!)  Once a calorie deficit is created, the body simply taps into fat stores wherever they may be and this varies from person to person. While some may quickly lose weight around their face and arms, others may lose weight more quickly around their midsection or thighs.  Be patient and eventually the excess weight will come off!

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