As a dietitian nutritionist, I have received a lot of questions from family, friends, and coworkers about the best diet to follow in order to lose weight. Because of social media and the world wide web there are a lot of unbalanced diets circulating which not only confuse the general public, but cause more harm than good.
As shocking as this may sound, let's agree on one thing: food is not the bad guy in the equation and it should not be classified as a villain. But, the issue still remains: what diet is the best diet to follow?
Maintaining a healthy weight for your body frame depends on many factors. These factors include, but are not limited to exercise, sleep patterns, social circles, and eating habits. Eating habits refers to the why, what, when, and how people eat. One of the most popular eating habits people display when adhering to a diet is to exclude specific food groups. For example, ever heard of the “fruit has too much sugar so avoid it" diet? Fruit is one of the food groups that gets a bad reputation and is excluded from many diets. Fruit is laden with different vitamins and minerals which are essential for the growth, repair, and nourishment of the body. Fruit is not the villain by a long shot.
Bananas are one of the fruits that seems to get the most bad press. On the contrary, bananas are known to contain high levels of potassium, are approximately under 100 calories depending on the size, and are an excellent source of soluble fiber which is good for colon health. Though bananas are a superb grab-and-go food, they are also one of the most feared fruits. This fear comes from the stipulation that bananas promote weight gain. There is no evidenced based research stating bananas will make you gain weight.
Another food myth I hear often is the “no white diet”. This means no potato, no cauliflower, and simply no white foods. I always wondered what the negative correlation was between the fruit’s color and its nutritional value. Generally speaking, fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. For instance, fruits and vegetables that are red in color contains lycopene or anthocyanins which, respectively, may reduce the risk of several types of cancers and protect the cells of the body from damage. Carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables that are orange/yellow in color and helps promote a healthy vision and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Green fruits and vegetables, contain B vitamins which reduces the risk of birth defects. Fruits and vegetables that are blue/purple in color contain anthocyanins that protect the cells of the body from damage and is linked to improved memory function. As for our white colored produce, they are known to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. I think it is safe to say that potatoes and bananas are not as bad as some fad diets want you to believe they are.
It is important to eat foods which are a different color because they contain different nutrients which the body can use. As I always tell my clients: eat the produce rainbow. That’s it. Fruit Bars contain a variety of carotenoids, anthocyanins, lycopene, and other nutritive benefits which is needed for the growth, repair, and nourishment of the body. With no added sugar and two ingredients, you can’t go wrong with this treat!
Kim is a hands on clinical dietitian at an acute care hospital in South Central Florida. She has close to 10 years of experience as a general practice dietitian, long term care dietitian, and outpatient renal dietitian. Her areas of expertise include: diabetes management, weight management, hypertension, high cholesterol, and kidney disease. Kim has taught the importance of adhering to a healthy lifestyle and diet through cooking demonstrations and health presentations. Kim is passionate about instructing people in all areas of food and nutrition and remains zealous about disease prevention and instructing people through her virtual practice kimrosedietitian.com.
“North Dakota State University.” What Color Is Your Food? - Publications, https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/what-color-is-your-food.