Rhode Island Monthly Whole Woman 2015 : Page 4

NUTRITION FOOD FACT or FICTION Linda Sebelia, registered dietician and adjunct professor in the department of food commonly held dietary beliefs. BY ALLIE HERRERA and nutrition sciences at the University of Rhode Island, gives us the skinny on five 1. Seeing “all natural” on a label is a good way to know that some-thing is good for you. Fiction. Sebelia says ‘natural’ is a misleading word that is mostly unregulated. “There is no real deinition of the word ‘natural.’ People will see a food label that has ive, six or seven long chemical terms that they don’t understand and of course they think that it is un-natural when, in a lot of instances, those are actually natural compounds. I think we need to re-do the food label in a more consumer-friendly manner.” 3. One glass of red wine a day is good for you. Fact. “Absolutely! says Sebelia. While acknowledging that adults should use alcohol judiciously and consider their individual histories before drinking, she refers to a recent study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center who tracked followers of the aptly named MIND diet. “It shows, interestingly, that one glass of wine alone with leafy greens and berries can reduce the incidence of dementia.” In addition to memory, Sebelia says alcohol can reduce stress. “There’s lots of research which shows if you have a lower stress level, that you’re a healthier person. I don’t think we look enough into reducing stress and being happy in relation to heart health.” 2. Margarine is better than butter. Fiction. “People see butter and all they see is saturated fat. They don’t understand the fact that margarine has a lot of saturated fat — that’s what makes it solid at room temperature,” Sebelia says. Bearing in mind that neither 4. Eating after 7 p.m. causes weight gain. Fiction. “That’s ridiculous,” says Sebelia, who says there is little to no evidence to support this widely believed notion. “It’s an interesting concept because if you have people who eat a lot at night and you say to them ‘don’t eat after seven o’clock,’ maybe they’ll eat less. Metabolically there is little reason as to why that would work.” be in those frozen vegeta-bles than they are to be in fresh vegetables. You have no idea how long those fresh veggies have been sitting out unless you go to a local farm and pick them yourself and eat them very quickly.” is good for you, she says stick to what you prefer, and watch your portions either way. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to spruce up your toast or morning pastry, Sebelia suggests trying a little jelly. 5. Frozen fruits and veggies are less nutritious than fresh ones. Fiction. In fact, says Sebelia, it’s quite possible that the opposite is the case. “Those water-soluble nutrients are more likely to 110 WHOLE WOMAN l RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY 2015

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