Lecture: “Myths and truths about food”
Today, October 18th, 2018, was held the lecture titled “Myths and truths of food” hosted by MDH. María Eugenia García Velázquez, Chief of the Human Resources Department of the Public Health and Nutrition School of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León. On the lecture, students from High School No. 2 of our University participated on the lecture and then visited to the laboratories of the Experimental Therapeutics, Bioimaging, and Nutrition Units to perform dynamic activities and to know the research areas of every Unit.
The purpose of the lecture was to provide truthful information on foods. Every one of us have heard or known about myths on food and nutrition, and one of the most relevant is to believe the information given by said “experts on nutrition”; that is, people that use data based on their own experience and lack any scientific base.
Nowadays there is a high level of spreading on the selling of substances, products, and materials like web pages, or online resources that offer methods and specially “diets” that promise weight loss. It is very frequent that people self-evaluate to take care of their health and gather data by themselves on treatments that can lead to health risks.
Nutrition and food are not the same terms. Food is a narrower concept than nutrition. Daily food intake is called a diet and understands the compound of foods and dishes that are consumed in a day. Nutrition is the science that studies foods and nutrients, it explains the reason why nutrients must be present in our diet and portions necessary for everyday consumption.
The second myth was on dividing good and bad foods. Foods are the natural vehicle of nutrients and calms hunger, a primary necessity of humans. In the lecture, it was discussed about the studies of the composition of foods in Mexico; these are classified in 5 groups: fruits and vegetables, grains, animal foods, and legumes. A good diet must be complete, balanced, varied, and adequate for every individual. With the industrialization of food it is less possible to know what is what we consume.
The third myth was about metabolism. This myth is more known among women. It can be believed that their metabolism is slower and that is why they gain weight, which is false. To have a proper function of the body, the individual must consume the right amount of nutrients. The basal metabolic rate is the least expenditure of energy by time unit of a person to keep breathing, their circulation, nervous activity, and temperature. It was explained how we can calculate the basal metabolic rate for men and women; with the purpose of letting the students know what amount of energy is recommended in their consumed food portions.
The fourth myth was about healthy habits and if they help on weight loss, which the Teacher considered true. In Mexico, cultural aspects have a role on food habits, like the types of food, portions, ingredients and dishes.
At last, in the fifth myth, it was discussed how we can read nutritional information contained on the labels of products. It is common for people to be misled by marketing. Just because the label says it contains zero sugar, doesn’t mean we can eat all we want of it. The harder the weight loss attempt is, the more possible it is to loss control and end up overeating, mentioned the MDH Eugenia García, to conclude the lecture.