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The 9 Greatest Myths....Of All Time?

INDI NIW colour cropped for website

As part of Nourish Ireland Week 2014 the Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute has identified some of the most common myths surrounding nutrition that their members see frequently in their clinics.

According to Interim CEO and Dietitian Richelle Flanagan, ‘There’s a lot of confusion out there about nutrition – you hear the good, the bad and the often downright bizarre - and we wanted to put the record straight. As part of our Nourish Ireland Week campaign we will focus on a number of adult and kid scenarios including weaning, allergies and intolerances, cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, eating disorders and sports nutrition. We will dispel the myths and give people the facts they need to help manage their diet whether they are well, sick or aiming to control a certain condition,’ she said.

So what are the most common myths?

Myth 1: People with diabetes cannot have sweets and sugary foods on occasion.

False: People with diabetes can have sweets and sugary food in moderation like the rest of the population. However people with diabetes need to be careful about the quality and quantity of carbohydrates foods including sugar that they eat.

Myth 2: It's okay to self-diagnose celiac disease and go gluten-free.

False:  Never self-diagnose coeliac disease and never start a gluten-free diet without getting this checked. Knowing whether you r problem is coeliac disease or wheat intolerance – or something else entirely - determines the treatment you need. A 100-percent strict gluten-free diet is required with coeliac disease in order to prevent long-term health issues such as anaemia, osteoporosis and bowel cancer.

Myth 3: Juicing is essential to prevent cancer re-occurring

False: There is no convincing scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than whole foods.

Diets rich in plant foods including a variety of whole vegetables and fruits are associated with reduced risk for cancer and other illnesses. Taking large quantities of juice doesn’t provide more of a benefit though and may cause other issues such as diarrhoea, issues with blood sugar control in those with diabetes and displacement of other nutrients from the diet. Juice in moderation but include whole fruits and vegetables as well.

Myth 4: Will eating sugar make my cancer worse?

False: No. Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer. 

Myth 5: To gain weight and bulk up, I need to eat huge amounts of protein

False: The most important factor for muscle gain is not to eat excessive protein but to eat enough overall calories and protein throughout the day. It has been shown in research that during strength exercise training, having enough calories is more important than increased protein in obtaining gains in lean body mass. If you don’t eat enough calories, your body uses your protein for energy instead of muscle-building.

Myth 6: It’s easy to tell if someone has an eating disorder because they will be very underweight.

You can’t tell just by looking at someone whether or not they have an eating disorder. A person with an eating disorder may be underweight, within a normal weight range, or overweight.

Myth 7: If older people maintain the eating habits they had when they were younger, they will  stay healthy.

False: Perhaps one of the biggest fallacies of good health is that nutritional needs don't change with age. Just as children and teens have different dietary requirements than adults, so do the elderly differ in their needs from younger people. Vitamin and mineral requirements can differ due to age but also any chronic diseases that develop with age.  Older people also need more protein than younger people!

Myth 8:  My child will never eat vegetables.

False. Mother Nature actually makes babies and toddlers cautious about new foods. It takes up to 10-15 trials for most children to feel comfortable trying a new food. Ensure you give something your child likes at meal times and introduce a small bite of the new food.

Myth 9: Meat shouldn’t be introduced early in the weaning diet.

Babies are born with a store of iron that lasts until they are about 6 months old. After 6 months

they need to top up their stores with iron from their diet. Therefore, it is important to give your

baby iron-containing foods to prevent them from becoming anaemic. Red meat is one of the best

sources of iron and it can be pureed with vegetables to make it easier for your baby to eat. Other iron-rich foods are eggs, beans, dark green vegetables and cereals with added iron.

So some myths debunked at least.

The Nourish Ireland Week public events take place in Dublin’s ClydeCourtHotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 on Monday 9th June. The Cork venue is the Silver Springs Moran Hotel in Cork city on Thursday 12th June. 

Please note; tickets must be booked via EventBright using the following link http://www.eventbrite.com/o/irish-nutrition-amp-dietetic-institute-indi-6586802105 and we would ask attendees to bring their printed ticket to their chosen venue.

Monday 9th June 2014, ClydeCourtHotel, Dublin 4

Time Talk Topic Description
10.00-10.50am Weaning (Infants) Weaning – it’s always a difficult time for mums, find out what you can do to help wean your baby the healthy way
11.00-11.50am Eating Disorders (early adolescence) Eating Disorders – find out about the management of the nutritional issues facing children/teenagers and their families battling an eating disorder
 
12.00-12.50pm Fussy Eaters (Kids) Fussy Eaters – the bane of every parents life – the fussy eater, find out how you can manage the nutritional health of a fussy eater
 
2.00-2.50pm Allergies & Intolerances (Kids) Allergies & Intolerances – what is the difference and how to manage your child with an allergy or intolerance
 
10.00-10.50am Managing Type 2 Diabetes (Adults) Managing Type 2 Diabetes through diet – find out how you can manage your Type 2 Diabetes through a better diet
 
11.00-11.50am Diet & its role in prevention and cancer reoccurrence (Adults) Diet & its role in prevention and cancer reoccurrence - This workshop will focus on the key changes in dietary habits that can help towards the prevention of cancer reoccurrence
 
12.00-12.50pm Healthy Ageing through Nutrition Healthy Ageing through Nutrition – your nutritional needs may differ as you get older, find out how your diet can help healthier ageing
 
2.00-2.50pm Allergies & Intolerances (Adults) Allergies & Intolerances – what is the difference and how to manage your diet if you have an allergy or intolerance
 
3.00-3.50pm Sports Nutrition Sports nutrition for teenagers – find out about the nutritional needs of your teenage sports fanatic and whether your teenager should be using sports supplements

Thursday 12th June 2014, Silvery Springs Moran’s Hotel, Cork

Time Talk Topic Description
10.00-10.50am Weaning (Infants) Weaning – it’s always a difficult time for mums, find out what you can do to help wean your baby the healthy way
11.00-11.50am Eating Disorders (early adolescence) Eating Disorders – find out about the management of the nutritional issues facing children/teenagers and their families battling an eating disorder
 
12.00-12.50pm Fussy Eaters (Kids) Fussy Eaters – the bane of every parents life – the fussy eater, find out how you can manage the nutritional health of a fussy eater
 
2.00-2.50pm Allergies & Intolerances (Kids) Allergies & Intolerances – what is the difference and how to manage your child with an allergy or intolerance
 
10.00-10.50am Managing Type 2 Diabetes (Adults) Managing Type 2 Diabetes through diet – find out how you can manage your Type 2 Diabetes through a better diet
 
11.00-11.50am Diet & its role in prevention and cancer reoccurrence (Adults) Diet & its role in prevention and cancer reoccurrence - This workshop will focus on the key changes in dietary habits that can help towards the prevention of cancer reoccurrence
 
12.00-12.50pm Healthy Ageing through Nutrition Healthy Ageing through Nutrition – your nutritional needs may differ as you get older, find out how your diet can help healthier ageing
 
2.00-2.50pm Allergies & Intolerances (Adults) Allergies & Intolerances – what is the difference and how to manage your diet if you have an allergy or intolerance
 
3.00-3.50pm Sports Nutrition Sports nutrition for teenagers – find out about the nutritional needs of your teenage sports fanatic and whether your teenager should be using sports supplements

Only a qualified dietitian can help you with any of the above conditions. For further information logon to www.indi.ie for information, fact sheets and a list of dietitains in your area.

For further information logon to www.indi.ie or follow us on Twitter @nourishweek

For further information contact Nikki Gordon, Communications & Sponsorship Manager, INDI on 00 353 87 7985759 or communications@indi.ie

Notes to the Editor;

The Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute (INDI) was founded in 1958 and is the professional organisation for Dietitians in Ireland. The INDI is committed to both shaping change and responding to the changing needs of the public and our members. We see the potential for a healthier Ireland, with our organisation and its members taking a leading role in advising Government and non-governmental agencies, other health professionals and individuals on matters relation to food and nutrition policy and practice.

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