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Fact or Fiction. General Food. Dairy. Vegetarian. Dieting. Miscellaneous. Cindy’s Favorites. General Food. Dairy. Vegetarian. Dieting. Misc. Cindy’s Favorites. $100. $100. $100. $100. $100. $100. $200. $200. $200. $200. $200. $200. $300. $300. $300. $300. $300.

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Fact

or

Fiction

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General Food

Dairy

Vegetarian

Dieting

Misc.

Cindy’s Favorites

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Drinking ice-cold water uses lots of calories and helps you lose weight.

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Fiction

Drinking water that is ice cold doesn’t use any more calories than drinking water at room temperature.

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It is fine to skip breakfast to help lose weight.

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Fiction

Breakfast if very important. When we are sleeping, we are also fasting or an average of about eight hours. It is essential that we break this fast. Although people who skip breakfast catch up on their energy requirements later in the day, they’re unlikely to get all the vitamins and minerals that a simple breakfast can provide. And, if we’ve missed breakfast, we are more likely to snack on foods that are high in sugar or fat by mid-morning.

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Most of the salt in our diet is added at the table.

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Fiction

75% of the salt in our meals comes from processed foods. Just 10-15% comes from the salt we add when we’re cooking or at the table. So, if you want to cut back on salt than you need to cut back on processed foods.

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Dried fruit is not as healthy as fresh fruit.

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Fiction

As part of your healthy balanced daily meals, it is recommended that you eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day. It doesn’t matter if they are fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.

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Salads are always healthier options.

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Fiction

Salads can be healthier options. However, it is what you put on your salad, such as cheese, bacon bits, salad dressing, that can actually make your salad an unhealthy alternative. To have a healthy salad, you may want substitute lower fat cheese, leave off the bacon bits, and the Chinese noodles. In addition, you have to be careful what salad dressing you put on your salad. Many places now offer reduced-fat and low-calorie dressings, which can improve the quality of your salad.

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Diary products are fattening and unhealthy.

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Fiction

Low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese are just as nutritious as whole milk dairy products, but they are lower in fat and calories. Dairy products have many nutrients your body needs. They offer protein to build muscles and help organs work properly, and calcium to strengthen bones. Most milks and some yogurts are fortified with vitamin D to help your body use calcium.

For more detailed information about the health benefits of milk, click here (web link).

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People who are sensitive to lactose should avoid milk and other dairy foods.

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Fiction

An American Academy of Pediatrics report released in 2006 recommends children with lactose intolerance include dairy foods as part of a healthy diet to get enough calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients essential for bone health and growth. When considering milk alternatives, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommends those within the dairy food group, such as lactose-free milk or yogurt, as the most reliable and easiest way to derive the health benefits associated with dairy food consumption. Many people with lactose intolerance can drink up to one cup of milk with a meal without developing symptoms. For tips, see Dairy Myths handout. For a discussion about cow’s milk allergy versus lactose intolerance, click here (web link).

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Flavored milk isn’t good for children due to the sugar content.

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Fiction

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, small amounts of

sugars added to nutrient-dense foods, such as reduced fat

milk products, may enhance the palatability of these products, thus improving nutrient intake without contributing excessive calories. Unflavored milk is lower in sugar than flavored milk; however, experts agree it is better for children and adolescents to drink flavored milk to ensure intake of

protein, calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients found dairy. A new study (web link) shows that children benefit from drinking chocolate/flavored milk.

Also see Dairy Myths handout.

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Organic milk is healthier than regular milk.

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Fiction

Regular and organic milk and milk products are equally safe

and nutritious. The difference between these products is how they are produced on the farm. Organic and regular milk contain the same nine essential nutrients that make dairy products an important part of a healthy diet. For more information, read details about this in Modern Farming Practices & Milk Quality : Myth & Facts (web link).

Also see Dairy Myths handout.

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Margarine is healthier than butter.

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Fact and Fiction

Both butter and margarine are fats and should be used sparingly in the diet. Butter contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which is associated with a growing number of health benefits; margarine does not contain CLA. Butter can contain more saturated fat than some margarines. Margarine can be made to be trans fat free. Guidelines recommend limiting the grams of artificial trans fat in the diet. Butter has naturally occurring trans fats which some research shows to be beneficial to health. For more information see Butter (web link). For more information on the popular email debate sent from friends and family see Butter/Margarine and/or CBS video.

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“Going vegetarian” means you are sure to lose weight and be healthier.

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Fiction

Research shows that people who follow a vegetarian eating plan, on average, eat fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians. They also tend to have lower body weights relative to their heights than non-vegetarians. Choosing a vegetarian eating plan with a low fat content may be helpful for weight loss. But vegetarians—like non-vegetarians—can make food choices that contribute to weight gain, like eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods or foods with little or no nutritional value. Vegetarian diets should be as carefully planned as non-vegetarian diets to make sure they are balanced. Nutrients that non-vegetarians normally get from animal products, but that are not always found in a vegetarian eating plan, are iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, and protein.

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If you want a healthier option, it is best to choose a vegetarian dish.

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Fiction

Some vegetarian dishes contain a lot of fat, especially if they are made with lots of oil, pastry, high calories sauces, fried or higher-fat cheese. So, they aren’t necessarily a healthy option.

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Carob, a chocolate substitute found in health food stores, is lower in calories, lower in fat and nutritionally superior to chocolate.

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One tablespoon of carob chips contains more calories and saturated fat than the same amount of chocolate with no nutritional advantage.

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Eating red meat is bad for your health and makes it harder to lose weight.

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Fiction

Eating lean meat in small amounts can be part of a healthy weight-loss plan. Red meat, pork, chicken, and fish contain some cholesterol and saturated fat (the least healthy kind of fat). They also contain healthy nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc.

Tip: Choose cuts of meat that are lower in fat and trim all visible fat. Lower fat meats include pork tenderloin and beef round steak, tenderloin, sirloin tip, flank steak, and extra lean ground beef. Also, pay attention to portion size. Three ounces of meat or poultry is the size of a deck of cards.

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Natural or herbal weight-loss products are safe and effective.

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Fiction

A weight-loss product that claims to be “natural” or “herbal” is not necessarily safe. These products are not usually scientifically tested to prove that they are safe or that they work. For example, herbal products containing ephedra (now banned by the U.S. Government) have caused serious health problems and even death. Newer products that claim to be ephedra-free are not necessarily danger-free, because they may contain ingredients similar to ephedra.

Tip: Talk with your health care provider before using any weight-loss product. Some natural or herbal weight-loss products can be harmful.

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Eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain.

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Fiction

It does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. No matter when you eat, your body will store extra calories as fat.

Tip: If you want to have a snack before bedtime, think first about how many calories you have eaten that day. Try to avoid snacking in front of the TV at night—it may be easier to overeat when you are distracted by the television.

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Fast foods are always an unhealthy choice and you should not eat them when dieting.

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Fiction

Fast foods can be part of a healthy weight-loss program with a little bit of know-how.

Tip: Avoid supersize combo meals, or split one with a friend. Sip on water or low-fat milk instead of soda. Choose salads and grilled foods, like a grilled chicken breast sandwich or small hamburger. Try a “fresco” taco (with salsa instead of sauce) at taco stands. Fried foods, like french fries and fried chicken, are high in fat and calories, so order them only once in a while, order a small portion, or split an order with a friend. Also, use only small amounts of high-fat, high-calorie toppings, like regular mayonnaise, salad dressings, bacon, and higher-fat cheeses.

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Low-fat or fat-free means no calories.

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Fiction

A low-fat or fat-free food is often lower in calories than the same size portion of the full-fat product. But many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat version of the same food—or even more calories. They may contain added sugar, flour, or starch thickeners to improve flavor and texture after fat is removed. These ingredients add calories.

Tip: Read the Nutrition Facts on a food package to find out how many calories are in a serving. Check the serving size too—it may be less than you are used to eating. For more information about reading food labels, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration online at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/foodlab.html

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I can lose weight while eating anything I want.

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Fiction

To lose weight, you need to use more calories than you eat. It is possible to eat any kind of food you want and lose weight. You need to limit the number of calories you eat every day and/or increase your daily physical activity. Portion control is the key. Try eating smaller amounts of food and choosing foods that are low in calories.

Tip: When trying to lose weight, you can still eat your favorite foods—as long as you pay attention to the total number of calories that you eat.

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Fad diets work for permanent weight loss.

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Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Fad diets often promise quick weight loss or tell you to cut certain foods out of your diet. You may lose weight at first on one of these diets. But diets that strictly limit calories or food choices are hard to follow. Most people quickly get tired of them and regain any lost weight. Fad diets may be unhealthy because they may not provide all of the nutrients your body needs. Also, losing weight at a very rapid rate (more than 3 pounds a week after the first couple of weeks) may increase your risk for developing gallstones (clusters of solid material in the gallbladder that can be painful). Diets that provide less than 800 calories per day also could result in heart rhythm abnormalities, which can be fatal.

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Swallowed chewing gum takes up to 7 years to be fully digested.

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Chewing gum does resist complete digestion by the body, however it is generally expelled like other foods in the normal time frame though in a form relatively unchanged.

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Children can drink as much fruit juice as they want since it is healthy.

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Fiction

Fruit juice contains similar amounts of sugar and calories compared to soda (soft drinks) such as Coke, therefore too much fruit juice can lead to excessive weight gain.

Since fruit juice has high levels of sugar and is quite acidic, drinking too much may also contribute to tooth decay, especially if it is sipped regularly over prolonged periods.

The best drink for kids is simply water, so limit the amount of fruit juice, and even dilute it with some water.

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Nuts are fattening and you should not eat them if you want to lose weight.

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Fiction

In small amounts, nuts can be part of a healthy weight-loss program. Nuts are high in calories and fat. However, most nuts contain healthy fats that do not clog arteries. Nuts are also good sources of protein, dietary fiber, and minerals including magnesium and copper.

Tip: Enjoy small portions of nuts. One-half ounce of mixed nuts has about 270 calories.

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Starches are fattening and should be limited when you are trying to lose weight.

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Many foods high in starch, like bread, rice, pasta, cereals, beans, fruits, and some vegetables (like potatoes and yams) are low in fat and calories. They become high in fat and calories when eaten in large portion sizes or when covered with high-fat toppings. Foods high in starch (also called complex carbohydrates) are an important source of energy for your body.

Tip: A healthy eating plan is one that: Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Is low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. For more specific information about food groups and nutrition values, visit www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines. 

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High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets are a healthy way to lose weight.

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Fiction

The long-term health effects of a high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet are unknown. But getting most of your daily calories from high-protein foods like meat, eggs, and cheese is not a balanced eating plan. You may be eating too much fat and cholesterol, which may raise heart disease risk. You may be eating too few fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which may lead to constipation due to lack of dietary fiber. Following a high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet may also make you feel nauseous, tired, and weak. Eating fewer than 130 grams of carbohydrate a day can lead to the buildup of ketones (partially broken-down fats) in your blood. A buildup of ketones in your blood (called ketosis) can cause your body to produce high levels of uric acid, which is a risk factor for gout (a painful swelling of the joints) and kidney stones. Ketosis may be especially risky for pregnant women and people with diabetes or kidney disease.

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Aluminum cookware causes Alzheimer’s disease.

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Fiction

Read information about the topic here.

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The experts are always changing their minds about what healthy eating really is.

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Fiction

It might seem as though nutrition experts regularly change their minds and don't agree with each other. But, in fact, the main messages about healthy eating have stayed the same for some time. For example, the message to reduce the amount of fat we eat has been the same for more than 15 years, and we were being told about the importance of fruits and vegetables as long ago as the Second World War. Then the advice was to 'dig for victory' and grow our own. When we do hear contradictory messages about healthy eating, this is often because new scientific findings tend to be reported in the media before they have been fully researched, and without the findings being put into context.

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You can tell which day a loaf of bread was baked by the color of its plastic twist tie.

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Fact

Check out this web site for more information.

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Margarine contains less fat than butter.

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Fiction

Butter and margarine contain different types of fat, but both contain a similar amount of fat. So whichever one you choose, remember to use it sparingly.

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Alcohol burns off entirely when cooked.

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Fiction

Click here for explanation.

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Resources

Click here for list of web sites visited in preparing this PowerPoint.