I studied Food and Nutrition throughout my college life and went on to do Masters and M.Phil. too as it’s my favourite subject. There are many myths around food and just wanted to mention a few which we hear very commonly from others. I will be mentioning the things which people commonly ask me and are confused about.
- Carbohydrates are fattening– Good carbs like whole wheat, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are not fattening. In fact, these are good for the heart and helps in lowering sugar levels. These should not be missing from your diet. On the other hand, carbs such as white bread, cakes, pastries, full cream desserts are not only fattening but bad for your health. I have seen people avoiding carbs while losing weight. ‘No carbs diet’ is not beneficial in the long run.
- Don’t cook food in the microwave- Many people think cooking food in a microwave is unhealthy and some chemicals are produced in food. A few days back one of my friends asked me not to cook popcorn in the microwave and I told her the truth. The radiations produced in the microwave are very weak and food actually cooks by the heat of the food and not by the radiations. But the most important thing is to avoid using plastic containers in the microwave.
- Replace white sugar -These days a lot of people have started replacing white sugar with brown sugar or honey. But I must tell you that all the sugars have the same amount of calories. Also not much difference in terms of impurities or minerals. It is best to reduce total intake of sugar than replacing them.
- Skipping meals is good– If you are trying to lose weight and think that skipping meals can help you, then you are wrong. Instead of skipping, just make healthy choices. Eat a well-balanced meal by reducing overall calorie intake and eat at right time.
- Fats are bad for the heart- We all see fats as our enemy as they have a really bad reputation. But whether you are trying to lose weight or just for overall health, fast is not bad. We get some essential nutrients like Vitamin A, D, E and K from fats. Avoid saturated fats but unsaturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids are good for health.
- Milk at night- People think drinking milk before bedtime is good as it helps you to have a good night sleep. I think milk is the hardest food to digest at night. If you want to drink milk at night, try taking it at least 2 hours before sleeping.
- Apples are rich in iron- One of the myths about apples is that they are a good source of iron. Apples are a good source of fibre, not iron. The change in colour is due to some enzymatic reaction and not the presence of Iron.
- Eggs are bad- We always hear that one should avoid eggs as they are high in cholesterol, but the truth is that is highly nutritious. They are a source of high-quality proteins and rich in vitamins and minerals. To avoid cholesterol, try taking only whites of egg. Eggs have a lot of cholesterol in egg yolks but labelling eggs as foods which raise our cholesterol levels are wrong. Do you know the main culprits are saturated and trans fats which causes a rise in cholesterol in your body? Just make sure you don’t overeat them.
- Sugar causes diabetes- Eating sugar alone cannot cause diabetes. It can, of course, lead to an increase in sugar levels in blood but cannot cause diabetes. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, so choose healthy carbohydrates and stay active.
- Green leafy vegetables are a good source of calcium- Green leafy vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fibre, iron and many other nutrients. But they are not a very good source of calcium. It is important to take other sources like milk and milk products to get enough calcium.
This post is written for #Worldfoodday which is celebrated on October 16th every year. Many food myths busted here. Let me know if you heard of any lately.