How many of you have started doing some exercise or following some type of diet and found out later on that it was all wrong? I know it’s happened to me before. Especially when I first started working out. Well, today we’ll discuss a few of those misconceptions and give a few tips. The information this week comes from the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Consumer Information Center. Let’s get started.

The first misconception is fruit juice. Fruit juice can be hazardous to your health. Six ounces of apple juice contain the equivalent of more than five teaspoonfuls of sugar. That’s about 40% more sugar than a chocolate bar and more sugar per ounce than a cola. Those individuals who are blood sugar sensitive normally experience a temporary lift from sugar followed by fatigue. They should be cautious about fruit-juice intake. My recommendation is to eat a whole apple or orange instead of drinking a lot of juice. The fiber dilutes the sugar impact. You can also eat cheese, nuts or other proteins with juice.

Next is non-dairy cream substitutes, often used by those on low-fat diets. Non-dairy creamers usually contain coconut oil and have a higher fat content than the dairy product for which they’re being substituted.

Then there’s decaffeinated coffee. This leads to significant stomach-acid, causing heartburn and indigestion in many people. Caffeine was assumed to be the culprit, but a new study shows that decaffeinated coffee is even worse. The effect is seen in doses as small as a half cup of decaffeinated coffee. People experiencing ulcer symptoms, heartburn, and dyspepsia (indigestion) should avoid decaffeinated as well as regular coffee.

Further, it appears that one of the few proven substances that can bring on flare-ups of acne is iodine. Excessive, long-term intake of iodine (a natural ingredient in many foods) can bring on acne in anyone, but for people who are already prone to the condition, iodine is especially damaging. Once iodine hits the bloodstream, any excess is excreted through the oil glands of the skin. This process irritates the pores and causes eruptions and inflammation. Major sources of iodine in the diet: Iodized table salt, kelp, beef liver, asparagus, turkey, and vitamin and mineral supplements. For chronic acne sufferers, cutting down on these high-iodine foods and looking for vitamins without iodine may bring a little relief.

Finally, people on low-sodium diets should check out tap water as a source of salt intake. Some local water systems have eight times the amount of sodium (20 milligrams per quart) than people with heart problems or hypertension should use.

Semper Fidelis!