Fact or Fiction: The Actual Truth Behind 5 Popular Food Myths
Food myths are everywhere. Every time you open your internet browser, turn on the TV or read the news, it seems like there is new information on the topic of nutrition. It can be difficult to keep up and tougher still to know what to believe.
In this post, we debunk some of the most common food myths and explain the facts behind the fiction. Let’s get started!
Food Myth #1: Fruit should be limited because it’s high in sugar.
While it does have sugar, eating a piece of fruit is different from drinking a sugary beverage or eating a slice of cake. Why? The sugar in fruit is natural. On top of that, fruit also contains fiber, hydrating water, and essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Speaking of things the body needs, the fiber contained in a piece of fruit slows down the absorption of sugar in the body. So, this causes a slower rise in blood sugar compared to other sugary foods.
Eating fruit is a great and healthy way to fulfill a sweet tooth. Instead, avoid foods that include added sugars. Doing so will keep your calories down and ensure your body is well nourished.
Food Myth #2: You should only eat egg whites – the egg yolk is too high in cholesterol!
It’s the greatest food myth of all!
In comparison to the white of an egg, the yolk does contain more cholesterol. It also includes the majority of vitamins and minerals (hello, iron and folate!) that are essential nutrients for any adult or growing child.
The latest research shows that the cholesterol in egg yolks may not have as much of a negative impact on your body’s cholesterol levels as once believed. Eggs in moderation can be part of a healthy diet.
Food Myth #3: Coffee and caffeine are bad for you.
Coffee drinks have been popping up in schools around the country and, while most think of coffee as a source of caffeine, it also has some health benefits.
Coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants that protect cells from damage and help fight free radicals. Consuming coffee drinks with milk, like cappuccinos and lattes, is another way to get your daily calcium serving — a vital nutrient for bone health.
One warning: some coffee drinks contain an enormous amount of added sugars. These types of drinks should be limited to maximize the health benefits of coffee.
Overall, coffee provides health benefits along with an energy boost when you drink it in moderation.
Food Myth #4: Foods that contain gluten aren’t a part of a healthy diet.
A small percentage of the population has celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that genetically predisposes people to gluten intolerance. Meanwhile, others have an issue digesting gluten but don’t have celiac disease. If you don’t have these issues, there is no need to avoid gluten.
Foods containing gluten, like whole-grain bread, are high in fiber and contain essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.
Instead of cutting out gluten entirely, work on reducing your intake of refined grains like those found in white bread, cakes and cookies, and focus on nutrient-dense whole grains instead.
Foods featuring whole grains make for good on-the-go snack options. Try cheese and crackers, granola bars, and graham crackers as a way to get your daily dose of healthy grains.
Food Myth #5: Produce is healthier fresh rather than frozen.
Frozen fruits and vegetables contain just as many health benefits as when fresh, and possibly more. Produce is picked at peak ripeness and then flash-frozen, retaining all of its essential vitamins and minerals.
Frozen produce also tends to be more affordable, which makes it a budget-friendly option and a great choice if you live in an area with limited access to fresh options.
Know the Facts Behind Food Trends
With an abundance of new nutritional information shared daily, it can be challenging to determine what is fact or just another food myth. You must look beyond the fads and false claims for the truth.
When in doubt, focus on eating a well-balanced diet full of whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables.