Humankind has been cooking up myths about food since meals were being prepared in caves. These can range from fairly rational tales to far more imaginative notions – some of them quite outlandish. Here, we look at several of the more common claims and whether there is any truth in them.
Carbohydrates Make you Fat
False: There is nothing intrinsically fattening about carbohydrates. It’s consuming too many calories that put the weight on. Yes, eating lots of sugary and refined-carbohydrate-rich foods, such as white bread and pasta, can increase the risk of developing health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. However, if you cut out ‘good-carb foods, including whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, the body’s primary fuel source and vital for nutrients and fibre, it’s a big mistake.
Milk might be the reason that bones lose calcium
Carrots are Good for Your Eyes
True: Carrots offer a broad spectrum of vitamins, including vitamin A, which improves eye health. However, according to Harvard Medical School, eating fresh fruits and dark leafy green vegetables are even more beneficial.
Milk Builds Strong Bones
False: A bit of a surprise this one, but no. In 2010, the journal ‘Nutrition in Clinical Practice’ found that milk might be the reason that bones lose calcium. Moreover, in a 2009 study published in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that the rates of bone fractures were highest in countries that consumed the most dairy.
Organic Food is Healthier
True: There is a mounting body of evidence that shows several potential health benefits of organic foods when compared with conventionally grown foods. These include nutrients (studies have shown small to moderate increase in certain nutrients in organic produce); toxic metal (there are significantly lower cadmium levels in organic grains when compared with conventionally grown crops, which may well be related to the ban on synthetic fertilizers in organic farming); and pesticide residue (compared with conventionally grown produce, organically grown produce has lower detectable levels of pesticide residue).
Eggs don’t in fact contribute to high cholesterol
Brown Sugar is Better for you than White Sugar
False: Psychologically, you might feel healthier having brown sugar in the cupboard, but, according to the Cleveland Clinic, you are fooling yourself. The only difference is the taste.
You Can’t Get Enough Protein on a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet
False: When people think of protein, they more often than not think of beef, poultry, seafood and eggs. However, you don’t need those options to get an appropriate amount of protein – you can easily do that through plants.
Drinking Fruit Juice is as Nutritious as Eating Whole Fruit
False: Whole fruit contains vital fibres and nutrients that are removed when juicing.
Avoid Eggs Because of their Cholesterol Content
False: Eggs have gotten a lousy rap over the years. But in a 2018 study in the journal ‘Nutrients’, researchers found eggs do not contribute to high cholesterol. Eggs are a reasonably priced source of many nutrients, including zinc and iron, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin D, and the brain-boosting chemical choline.