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Common Myths About Food

Common Myths About Food
How “bad” is chocolate, really?

 

We’ve all been there, whether you’ve been trying to lose weight, or simply wanted to eat better for your health, one Google search later and suddenly you’re more confused about what you should or should not be eating. Many websites claim to have the secret to exactly what you should be eating, and how much of it, to lose weight or be healthier. With most websites claiming to have the answer, this usually includes having long lists of “bad” foods that you cannot ever eat if you want to get slimmer or be your healthiest. These suggestions are typically based on myths, so let’s take a closer look at 7 common food myths, and just how much truth there is to them.

 

Myth 1: Carbs are bad for you

Truth: Carbohydrates are essential to a healthy diet because they provide energy for your body. It is best, however, to get your carbs from minimally processed foods like vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains, whilst limiting refined grains and sugars, which are not as good for you.

 

Myth 2: Eggs are bad for you

Truth: Eggs are low in saturated fat, and although they do contain cholesterol, which was the reason for this myth in the first place, they are in fact very healthy for you. Most people can have eggs every day and will not have any problems with their cholesterol levels. They also include useful nutrients like Folate and other B vitamins and minerals.

 

Myth 3: It’s important to fast to cleanse toxins from your body

Truth: Your body already has its own system for removing toxins, namely your liver, kidney and spleen. There is no evidence that not eating, or consuming only juice, or worse, neither eating nor drinking makes them work more efficiently.

 

Myth 4: Fat-free and low-fat foods are healthier than full-fat foods

Truth: When it comes to some foods, such as meat, less fat is indeed better. But that’s not always the case with other foods, such as salad dressings without olive oil, or yoghurts that are low fat, which really just means that their sugar content is far higher than their fuller fat counterparts.

 

Myth 5: Raw fruits and vegetables are healthier for you than cooked ones

Truth: Raw food advocates claim that the cooking process destroys enzymes in foods, which usually make them more digestible. This is in fact only half true. The plant enzymes do get broken down by the cooking process, however, those enzymes were only essential for the survival of the plant; for human health, they are indeed not essential. Further, our stomach acids break down those enzymes immediately, having no real impact on digestion.

 

Myth 6: Frozen fruits and vegetables are less nutritious than fresh ones

Truth: Fresh fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than frozen ones, at the moment they are picked. However, the foods you find in the supermarket have often travelled quite far, which means that they start to lose their nutrients. By contrast, food processors quick-freeze freshly picked produce, which preserves most of its vitamin and mineral content.

 

Myth 7: Chocolate is a “bad” food

Truth: Whilst chocolate does have lots of fat and sugar in it, there are some health benefits to this food. Dark chocolate, in particular, has flavanols, which are antioxidants that help with cardiovascular health. Recently, researchers found that eating a small amount of chocolate everyday reduces stress hormones in highly stressed people, just be sure not to eat too much!

 

Written by Alicia, ADAVIC Volunteer

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