Myth #1: Fresh Food is better than frozen. When
available, farm fresh produce is always best. But, especially
during winter months, the "fresh" fruit and vegetables sold at your
local grocery store or market have traveled great distances. When
fresh produce sits for long periods of time, it loses nutrients.
And, the far too common practice of treating produce with shelf
life-enhancing chemical compounds doesn't help. On the other hand,
frozen fruits and vegetables are flash frozen promptly after
harvest and retain their nutrients until they're defrosted. You can
save even more of the nutritional content by gently steaming these
rather than microwaving or boiling.
Myth #2: Dried fruit isn't as healthy as fresh.
This is another case where choosing an alternative to fresh produce
during the off-season is definitely a nutritious choice. Dried
fruits, such as raisins, apricots, apples, currants, dates, figs
and cranberries provide a burst of nutritious food energy and are
also full of figure-friendly fibre.
Myth #3: You can cut down on salt by not using
it at the table. Shunning the salt shaker is always a good idea,
but this is certainly no reason to feel smug! Only 10-15 per cent
of the salt in our diet is added at the table. A whopping 75 per
cent of the salt we consume comes from processed and packaged
foods, so avoiding them is the best way to curb a salt habit you
may not even know you have!
Myth #4: Vegetarian dishes are always a good
choice. Don't let the label "vegetarian" fool you into thinking a
dish is super healthy. Some vegetarian dishes contain a lot of fat,
especially if they're made with cheese, oil or creamy sauces or if
they've been fried. Vegetarian dishes can be heavy on pastry, bread
and pasta, too, so aren't always a waist-loving choice. Lean beef,
skinless chicken, turkey breast and pork loin with plenty of
steamed veggies on the side make for a much healthier choice than a
rich, creamy pasta primavera.
Myth #5: Organic food is completely
pesticide-free. It's true that organic food isn't treated with
manufactured chemical pesticides and fertilizers-but that doesn't
mean it's pesticide-free. According to current regulations, organic
foods may be treated with organic pesticide compound. These are
similar to manufactured pesticides but are developed from a natural
state rather than artificially in a lab. So while it's fairly safe
to say the pesticides used on organic food are less harmful than
commercial ones, it's not safe to say these pesticides aren't
harmful at all.
Myth #6: Organic food is contaminated with
bacteria from manure fertilizer. Organic food may not be completely
free of pesticides, but it certainly isn't full of manure!
Actually, more manure is used in conventional farming than in
organic agriculture and the number of recalls due to manure-related
bacterial contamination is greater for conventional foods. This is
because organic farmers must compost manure to remove harmful
bacteria before using it as a fertilizer. In conventional farming,
the manure is usually spread on fields raw.
Myth #7: Organic produce is no more nutritious
than conventional. While a number of scientific studies have
compared organic and conventionally grown foods have showed no
difference in their key vitamin and mineral content, organic foods
have been shown to have lower nitrate levels and higher vitamin C
and selenium levels than conventionally produced foods.
Myth #8: Eating pasta will make you fat. The
low-carb revolution caused many people to miss out on one of the
healthiest foods in the world. Pasta is made from semolina flour,
which comes from durum wheat. Unlike the wheat used for bread, this
is a very high protein wheat source. And, the carbohydrates pasta
provides are an excellent source of fuel for the body. But, too
much of anything is always bad, so make sure your pasta meals are
balanced. Make a little less pasta and fill out the dish with a
variety of vegetables, lean meat and low-fat cheese toppings.
Myth #9: If you want to lose weight, you'll
have to cut out the nuts. Nuts are a high-fat food source, but
they're also very nutrient dense and make for an incredibly
satisfying snack. In small amounts, nuts can be an important part
of any weight-loss program because they curb cravings and help you
stay full longer. Nuts are excellent sources of protein, fibre and
minerals-and the "˜good' fats they contain may also contribute to
healthy hair, skin and nails!
Myth #10: Dairy products are bad for you.
Unless you're allergic to milk products, there's no good reason to
cut this food group out of your diet. Dairy products contain many
of the nutrients and compounds we need to be healthy, including
protein and calcium. Dairy products are available in low-fat and
fat-free versions, so try these if you're concerned about fat and