A few months ago I went to a breakfast held by the Egg Nutrition Council where a whole heap of nutrition myths were debunked. So for this post, I thought I might egg-lighten you!
Jokes aside, food myths can be detrimental to your health a�� they can affect your food choices and meal preparation. Did you ever hear that fruit was so good for weight loss that all you ate for a whole week was fruit?! I did, but I was 16 and clearly very naA?ve!
Anyone can make claims about food and nutrition, but ita��s the info that you get from reputable bodies such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Heart Foundation that are the ones to actually listen to. So here goes to setting straight some of the food myths going around at the moment.
Eating Fat Will Make Me Fat
Weight gain is caused by consuming too much energy (kilojoules) for your needs, not just too much fat. However, ita��s good to note that fat is energy dense and it provides more kilojoules per gram than protein and carbohydrates. Our bodies need some fat to function so you should definitely include a small amount of a�?good fata��, like that from avocados, olive oil, and nuts etc, each day.
Eggs Are Bad For My Cholesterol
Eggs are super nutritious! They provide high quality protein, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids as well as at least 11 vitamins and minerals. Eggs do contain some cholesterol, however the cholesterol in food does not have a large impact on blood cholesterol levels. It is actually saturated fat that has the most impact on your blood cholesterol, and eggs are made up mostly of unsaturated fats. The Heart Foundation states that all Australians can consume up to 6 eggs per week, in a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fat, without increasing their risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
Honey Is Better Than Sugar
I hate to tell you this; even though ita��s sold in health food stores, honey is still a sugar. Honey is made up of 75% sugar and 20% water. Neither honey nor sugar is better nutritionally. Try using smaller amounts of in your tea/coffee or when baking and have a piece of fruit to satisfy your sweet craving.
Fresh Is Better Than Frozen
Frozen fruits and vegetables are often as nutritious, if not more nutritious, than fresh varieties. Frozen fruit and veg are snap frozen when they are their most ripe (this is when they have the most nutrients), whereas fresh varieties may spend a long time between being grown then picked and finally ending up on our plates. Hence they might lose some nutrients along the way.
Carbs Are Fattening
We store fat in the body when we consume excess energy. All sources of energy are stored as fat, not just excess carbohydrate. Carbs are the main form of fuel for our bodies and theya��re essential for keeping our brain, nervous system and red blood cells healthy. In fact, for a well-balanced diet, 45-65% of our energy intake should come from carbohydrate foods.
Organic Foods Are Healthier
When youa��re looking at the nutrient profile of organic vs non-organic foods, there is no substantial evidence to suggest organic is any better. However, there are environmental benefits of purchasing organic foods when you can. Organic farming methods exclude the use of pesticides, herbicides growth hormones or genetic modification (GM). Buying fruit and veg thata��s in season is one of the best ways to get good quality produce and value for money, be it organic or non-organic.
(By the way, fruit can assist in weight loss. As long as ita��s part of a energy-controlled and balanced diet that includes foods from each of the five food groups a�� not just fruit!).
Words: Helen Havryliv
Helen is a publicist turned Nutritionist and now Dietitian-in-training. Shea��s nutty about sharing healthy food ideas, ocean swimming and packs the bestest lunchbox for her fiance to take to work each day.
References and for more info:
- Egg Nutrition Council Roundtable Report, November 2010, http://enc.org.au/enc-roundtable-report/