Whether you heard them from your mother or you follow every fad in cyber-space, at some point we’ve all been told that raw veggies are more nutritious than cooked…or we should avoid eggs because of their high cholesterol. Yes, we’re talking food myths – and it’s time to bust a few biggies.
Ah, those self-righteous food myths! We’ve all heard them and many of us may even know at least one person who espouses them. And usually, they’re as certain they’re right as all those tech geniuses were about iPhones never replacing Blackberries.
Well, in some cases, people are actually basing their assumptions on either pure myth or the latest diet fad. You know, as in: gluten is bad for you. And listening to them can actually be risky as they can, in fact, deprive you of the benefits of a healthy diet.
Here are a few myths that deserve to be debunked.
MYTH #1: All yogurt is good for you
C’mon, if you smother anything with enough sugary fruits and toppings, it becomes dessert.
MYTH #2: Fresh veggies are more nutritious than frozen or canned
Lived on a farm lately? We didn’t think so or you’d know, as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’s Melissa Joy Dobbins explains, that veggies (and fruits) “are canned as soon as they’re picked so they’re at peak nutrition”.
There’s also been research showing that canned tomatoes, in particular, contain more of the heart disease-protective carotenoid pigment lycopene than fresh ones. And since statistics indicate that, for some reason, adding tomatoes to your diet is related to increased consumption of healthy vegetables of all kinds – hey, ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture why – maybe we should all consider stocking up on a few cans.
MYTH #3: Gluten-free diets are healthier
Chalk this one up to the hottest new diet fad. Without even really knowing what gluten is – it’s a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye – people have somehow got it into their heads that the 99 per cent of Americans who don’t have celiac disease should also avoid it.
Problem is, such wholegrain foods happen to be rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fibre, and may even help lower the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
That explains why no less than Peter H.R. Green, the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, told WebMD that going gluten-free “isn’t something that anyone should do casually”.
MYTH #4: Eggs are bad for your heart
According to the Harvard Medical School, the only large study that addressed the issue, found “no connection between the two”. However, egg yolks do contain a lot of cholesterol, calories, and fat. So, for a lean and healthier option, discard the yolk or switch to pourable egg whites-only – such as