Fitness

Debunking Food Myths

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The internet is a wonderful thing, but it means everyone’s
an expert when it comes to nutrition. Or so they think.
Here. BESTFIT’S @Drekirkeostm debunks a few food untruths…

Food Myths

Vitamin C can prevent you from catching a cold

Research has shown that unless you are a marathon runner, skier, soldier or on sub-arctic exercise, vitamin C is unlikely to ward off colds.

Eating celery burns more calories than you take

Many people believe that eating celery creates a negative calorie situation. This isn’t actually true, but it does have less than 10 calories per serving and a subsequent detoxifying effect. So, if you’re wanting to cut down on your calorie intake, it’s a pretty good food to munch on.

Raw carrots are more nutritious than cooked

You might prefer the texture of raw carrots, but can you believe the nutritional value of the standard carrot actually increases when cooked? The cooking processes actually break down the toug cell wall, which releases the encased beta-carotene (the good bit).

To minimize fat and calories, always remove the skin when cooking chicken

In fact, you really should cook with the skin on and then remove it before serving. Baking, grilling and roasting with the skin on helps to preserve its natural juices.

Avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content

Eggs have a bad rep, which is unfounded. They don’t actually contribute to high cholesterol, according to recent research. Eggs are an inexpensive source of many nutrients, including zinc and iron, as well as antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin D, and the brain-boosting chemical choline. Instead, keep cholesterol in check by monitoring saturated fat in your diet.

The fewer the carbs, the healthier you are

Carbs are forever a source of confusion. All too often, I have ladies missing carbs to lose weight and become ‘healthier’! In truth, choosing healthy carbs can benefit your well-being. There are at least seven major studies indicating that men and women who eat whole grains have 20-30 % less heart disease.

Nuts are as bad as junk food

Eating almonds everyday can in fact assist with weight loss and eating nuts at least five times a week can reduce your chances of developing diabetes type 2 by 20%. Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fibre and other nutrients, as long as you’re keeping the portions to 30g (a handful) you won’t be going overboard

You sleep better after a nightcap

Drinking alcohol can in fact disrupt your sleep and increase wakefulness, even in healthy adults. Ask yourself, how often have you actually had a good night’s sleep following alcohol?

Carbonated drinks are bad for you

This is a deceptive statement, for there are carbonated drinks that will be thirst quenching and which will not harm your health. For example, sodium-free soda with a wedge of lemon or lime, will do just this. In contrast, other popular fizzy drinks are full of sugar, can contribute to weight gain, tooth cavities, higher blood pressure and potentially other health issues.

Cranberry juice can cure a urinary tract infection

There is no evidence to suggest cranberry juice can treat an infection, and medical advice should be sought if you have symptoms that do not relinquish with over-the-counter treatments and cranberry juice. Drinking the juice can help to prevent the infection starting in the first place, as compounds in the juice help to prevent the bacteria taking hold on the bladder wall. It can also help reduce associated symptoms, which may be where the myth came from.

Spicy food gives you an ulcer

Spices don’t trigger ulcers. If you have an ulcer, spicy food may aggravate your associated symptoms. There are a number of causes of stomach ulcers including Helicobacter pylori, medication including aspirin and certain medical conditions. Spices can also irritate the bowel and be mistaken for an ulcer, if you are in any doubt please seek medical advice.

Fat-free and low-fat foods are always better than full-fat versions

Generally speaking, when talking about certain dairy products, it is generally true that low fat can mean better, however not so much the case with packaged and processed foods. When manufacturers remove an ingredient they tend to compensate for taste by adding something else. The switch tends to be fat replaced by sugar. Most nutrition experts now believe you are better avoiding artificially fat-free foods and instead should opt for whole foods with healthy fats, like nuts.

Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are less nutritious than fresh ones

The instant fruit and veg is picked it undoubtedly has more nutritional value than when it is canned or frozen. However, the foods you find in the shops have likely had a long journey, often spending days in transit. During shipping and storage, natural enzymes are released that cause them to lose nutrients rapidly. Food companies that freeze from fresh do so quickly, which preserves much of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients. So, realistically, buy fresh and local or fresh and same-day frozen as an alternative.

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