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Eating Comfort Food

Eating junk food helps battle stress

  • You’ve been there: Stressed out and sprawled across your sofa with one arm elbow deep in a bag of cheese puffs. In the moment, it can be comforting, but a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that people who consumed the most highly processed foods were 58 percent more likely to be depressed than those who ate the least. Your move: Find a healthy stress snack. Peanut butter and Triscuits do the trick, or check out the next myth.

Comfort food chases away the blues

  • A bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold winter’s day. A big spoonful of mac & cheese when you’re down on your luck. Comfort food just makes you feel better, doesn’t it.
  • Actually, it doesn’t. In a 2014 study in the journal Health Psychology, aptly titled The Myth of Comfort Food, researchers showed participants depressing films to “induce a negative effect. Then they gave them either comfort food, foods that weren’t considered comfort foods, or no food at all. Result: The subjects got over their bad moods in equal time, regardless of whether or not they ate. Is feeling bad a good excuse for eating bad? Turns out, it’s not. Cheer up and start slimming down.

Kale is our healthiest green

  • A 2014 study at William Paterson University ranked fruits and vegetables by their nutrient density, based on their levels of 17 different nutrients that have been linked to improved cardiovascular health. Not surprisingly, the top 16 were all leafy greens, which pack the most nutrition per calorie. Coming in at #17 was red bell peppers. But kale didn’t even make the top 10. In fact, simple spinach and even Romaine lettuce beat the alleged supergreen, as did parsley and chives. Even stuff you normally throw away the greens atop beets pack more nutrition.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is worse than table sugar

  • Sugar is the master of disguise. Maltodextrin, brown rice syrup, dextrose, sucros it’s got more alter egos than the Avengers. But it’s most well-known costume is High Fructose Corn Syrup. Whether HFCS is worse than plain ol' table sugar has long been a contentious issue.
  • Here’s what you need to know: In a 2014 review of five studies comparing the effects of sugar and HFCS, there was no difference found in changes in blood glucose levels, lipid levels, or appetite between table sugar consumption and HFCS consumption. In other words, your body can’t tell one from the other they’re both just sugar.
  • HFCS’s real sin is that it’s super cheap, and as a result, it’s added to everything from cereal to ketchup to salad dressing.
  • Is it a good idea to minimize the HFCS in your diet? Absolutely. It’s best to cut out all unnecessary sugars. But HFCS’s role as nutritional enemy No1 has been exaggerated.