10 common food myths about everyday diets and nutrition

There’s no scarcity on the market of knowledge to reply any diet- or nutrition-related queries we might have. In truth, there are numerous completely different sources telling us what we must always, and mustn’t, be consuming.

The concern is a number of the materials we come throughout by way of social media, or household and mates, just isn’t all the time correct. 

Worse, a few of these concepts grow to be beliefs that perpetuate false notions associated to food regimen, vitamin and weight reduction.

Here are some widespread vitamin myths we must always put to relaxation, as soon as and for all.

Eggs improve ldl cholesterol

Possibly the commonest query that’s requested in relation to vitamin is about egg consumption, and whether or not eggs improve blood levels of cholesterol. For a few years, well being professionals inspired sufferers to restrict egg consumption if they’d, or have been liable to excessive levels of cholesterol however extra not too long ago many intervention research have proven that eggs, when eaten of their pure kind, don’t adversely have an effect on blood levels of cholesterol. Specifically, it has been proven that it’s the constructive fats profile in eggs that seems to be protecting of any detrimental impact on blood levels of cholesterol general. In sensible phrases, which means if the remainder of your food regimen is wholesome general, you may take pleasure in an egg or two every day with none trigger for concern, even in the event you’re keeping track of your levels of cholesterol.

Skim milk has extra sugar than full-cream milk

It is commonly argued that skim milk is extra processed than full-cream milk, and that skim milk accommodates extra sugar, which isn’t the case. Rather, full-cream milk really has barely extra lactose, which is the sugar discovered naturally in dairy. Public well being suggestions to swap to reduced-fat or low-fat (skim) milk have been based mostly on the truth that Australians eat an excessive amount of saturated fats of their food regimen general. So swapping to a lower-fat milk helps to scale back saturated fats consumption general, and opposite to standard perception doesn’t lead to extra sugar being consumed. 

Fruit is excessive in sugar so ought to be prevented

While fruit does include the naturally occurring sugar fructose, it additionally has loads of fibre and key vitamins. Overall, a few items of fruit a day provides comparatively small quantities of pure sugars to the food regimen. Fruit-based snacks, juices and dried fruit however are all concentrated sources of fruit sugar and as such may be simply overconsumed, so it is not shocking they’ve been linked to long-term weight acquire. Here, it’s an extreme vitality consumption, not fructose consumption particularly, that’s related to weight acquire. It’s additionally vital to keep in mind that the Australian meals provide just isn’t a wealthy supply of high-fructose corn syrup, in contrast to within the US and different international locations. It is that this type of fructose that’s carefully related to weight acquire and sort 2 diabetes, not naturally occurring fructose in complete, pure meals akin to recent fruit.

You ought to by no means prepare dinner with additional virgin olive oil

This is totally false, particularly in relation to good high quality, Australian additional virgin olive oil, which has a particularly excessive antioxidant content material that helps to guard it from molecular harm when it’s heated. This signifies that you should use additional virgin olive oil for baking and roasting, in addition to a dressing or dipping sauce. Keep in thoughts although that some olive oils are blends, which is not going to reply to warmth in addition to Australian additional virgin olive oil.

Non-dairy ‘mylks’ do not include the identical vitamins as animal milk. Photo: iStock

Nut mylk is milk

The development of plant based mostly “mylk” in Australia has exploded however a key factor to know is that plant milk, and nut- and oat-based mylks specifically, aren’t really milk. Milk should come from the mammary glands of an animal, and milk will naturally include numerous vitamins together with protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Nut variations of milk include only a few of those vitamins naturally, and even when fortified with calcium and vitamin B12 are nonetheless exceptionally low in protein. This is to not say you should not take pleasure in plant-based forms of “mylk”, however understand that it isn’t milk in a conventional sense.

Potatoes are fattening

The poor previous potato. This age-old meals staple is filled with B group nutritional vitamins and fibre and but was banned from many weight-loss diets. If you take into account {that a} single potato accommodates simply 20 grams of complete carbohydrates, which is lower than half a cup of rice or pasta, a easy baked potato (of affordable dimension and never made into chips) is a good selection nutritionally. 

Chilli-roasted carrots with cashews.

Cooking carrots can really make them extra nutritious. Photo: William Meppem

Raw greens are higher than cooked ones

While some uncooked greens may be extraordinarily good for us (suppose leafy greens, whose key vitamins are delicate to warmth), this isn’t all the time the case. In truth, a number of the vitamins we discover in greens really grow to be extra concentrated and bioavailable when they’re cooked. For instance, the beta carotene content material of carrots will increase when carrots are cooked, as does the lycopene content material of tomatoes. On the opposite hand, leafy inexperienced greens can have a few of their key vitamins destroyed when uncovered to excessive temperatures so these are greatest consumed uncooked or frivolously cooked. This signifies that to assist help optimum nutrient we must always embody each uncooked and cooked vegies in our every day food regimen.

Margarine is a more healthy selection than butter

Back within the 80s and 90s we have been usually instructed that plant-based, vegetable oils have been significantly better for us than butter, which was a supply of saturated fats. Now we all know that processed vegetable oils, together with these used to make margarine aren’t overly good for us, and add extra omega-6 fat in our diets. Omega-6 fat act to drown out the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fat, particularly when consumed in excessive quantities by way of processed and packaged meals. This is to not say that butter is overly good for us, relatively that margarine is certainly not higher nutritionally.

Frozen foods are much less nutritious than recent

New technological advances imply that a lot of the frozen recent meals and meals we discover at supermarkets are frozen instantly after cooking or harvest, and as such retain all if no more vitamins than meals that haven’t been saved appropriately, or consumed a while after preparation. This means you may take pleasure in frozen vegies, fruits and even wholesome meals with out worrying concerning the dietary high quality of the meal.

Coconut oil is wholesome

Coconut oil, like all fat, accommodates 5 grams of complete fats per teaspoon, 90 per cent of which is saturated. The most important purpose that coconut oil is sprouted for its well being advantages is {that a} important proportion of the fats kind in coconut oil is lauric acid, a sort of fats identified to extend “good ldl cholesterol” within the bloodstream and a medium-chain triglyceride, which is extra more likely to be burnt as vitality than different fat. While this may occasionally sound interesting, the reality is that coconut oil remains to be a fats, excessive in vitality with few if some other vitamins, which doesn’t make it a “wholesome” selection by any requirements.

Susie Burrell is a nutritionist and dietitian.

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