Eating the right kind of food is essential to maintaining optimum health. Unfortunately, without proper education, people have held misconceived notions about the value of some foods. These food myths eventually do more harm than good to your overall wellbeing. Given today’s fast-paced world, you surely cannot afford to risk your health. Here are some of the food myths that you should be aware of:
Food myth 1: Vitamin C prevents colds
How many times have you been reminded by your parents to load up on Vitamin C during rainy days? Perhaps, you have heard them a thousand times already. While Vitamin C helps to strengthen the body’s immune system, studies have shown that it does not reduce the likelihood of catching colds. What Vitamin C does is to reduce the severity of colds and speeds up the recovery time.
Food myth 2: Eggs are unhealthy because of their cholesterol content
People stay away from eggs, thinking that they are feeding themselves with tons of cholesterol and might end up with a bad heart. This is not true at all. According to Heart Foundation, egg cholesterol barely has an effect on your blood cholesterol. It is the trans-fat and saturated fat that cause damage to your heart. Blame the bacon and canned goods, not the eggs. In fact, eggs are your best and affordable sources of essential nutrients such as lutein, Vitamin D, zeaxanthin, choline, iron, and zinc. Eggs are also good sources of omega-3 fats and antioxidants that help prevent cell damage due to free radicals. Anti-oxidants are also found to reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease. The key here is to consume eggs in moderation. Six to seven eggs in a week is within the safe range.
Food myth 3: Avoiding carbohydrates to lose weight
People readily equate carbohydrates with weight gain and a poor heart condition. However, scientific studies show that whole grain intake is beneficial to one’s overall well-being. Yes, whole grains are carbohydrates, but they are the healthy kind of carbohydrates. A 2010 study participated by 13,000 adults revealed that those who consumed whole grains weighed less compared to those who did not. In separate studies, whole grains have helped people experience less heart disease.
Food myth 4: Margarine is healthier than butter
This is outright mythical. Margarine and butter have the same caloric value. Yes, margarine comes from vegetable oil which is healthier compared to the saturated fats of butter. However, there are brands of margarine that contain trans-fat which is worse than saturated fat and cholesterol. You might want to read the label before you buy your next margarine.
Food myth 5: Fat-free food is always a healthier choice
People are led to believe that fats are generally B-A-D. It’s not surprising why you will typically choose fat-free or low-fat brands when shopping. But as a consumer, you have to learn how to differentiate. With dairy foods and meat, the rule is to choose less fat. With other products like cookies, pastries, and other processed foods, the rule is to read the nutritional facts first. Fats in fat-free food products is replaced with another ingredient like sugar or salt in order to maintain or improve its tastiness. Nutritionists recommend cutting back on fat-free processed foods as no one can know exactly the alternative ingredient being used. It may cause more harm to your health than good.
Food myth 6: Grocery fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier than the processed ones
You are made to believe that processed fruits and vegetables are generally bad. You end up choosing fresh produce, thinking it is more nutritious. However, this is not the reality, especially with those fruits and vegetables that have traveled a long way from the farm and been stored in the shelf for a long period of time. Prolonged storage and transport trigger the release of natural enzymes in fruits and vegetables that contribute to nutrient loss. Your carrot may have less amount of beta-carotene that it originally contains after 6 weeks on the shelf. On the contrary, canned fruits and vegetables in the grocery were preserved in such a way that their nutrient content remains intact for a longer period.
There are many other misunderstood beliefs about food that affect people’s eating habits. Sometimes, listening to and absorbing them becomes a convenient option. However, a truly health-conscious consumer knows how to research. As a recommendation, take the longer route and get yourself informed about the food that you eat.