Food / Cooking

How Many Food Myths Can You Think Of? Hint : Here’s A List Of 20

Perceived believes on food are common around the world. But if most of the time, if you hear yourself saying, ‘is it true?’, it probably isn’t. Below is an interesting, comprehensive list of food myths.

  1. Never swim on a full stomach, or you’ll get a cramp and drown.
  2. You’d be a bit heavier due to the food but it won’t drown you. If you’re swimming for fun, you’ll be fine. If you’re competing, you’re taking a risk. Which may lead to nothing more than cramps, accroding to Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, a gastroenterologist at the New York University School of Medicine. However, drinking does. Back in 1990, a study of hundreds of drowning deaths among adults in California found that 41 percent were alcohol related.

  3. Eating it raw is healthier than heated food.
  4. Right and wrong at the same time. It’s a fact that raw fruits and vegetables contain more nutrition than heated ones. However, not all is safe to consume raw. For one, beans in their mature state contain Prussic/Hydrocyanic Acid or Cyanogenic Aminoglycoside in quantity. Eggplants for another, contain toxic solanaceous alkaloids. Before jumping on a raw food marathon, I’d suggest checking out this list of poisonous plants first.

  5. Carrots contain Vitamin A, the vitamin that improves your eyes.
  6. Wrong. Carrots contain beta carotene and Vitamin A is a conversion of beta carotene. Eating a lot of carrots does not improve the eyesight significantly. An average human body will rarely face a lack of vitamin A as it is easily replenishable by the large amounts of beta carotene found in the liver. Beta carotene is easily obtainable as it is found plenty in bright orange, yellowish or dark green fruits and vegetables.

  7. Whole milk contains more nutrition than skimmed milk.
  8. Skimmed milk is the best type of milk.Skimmed milk’s fat content is <0.5% while whole milk is >3.25%. It has all the nutritional values of whole milk like protein, except for a significant drop in quantities of Vitamin A. Drinking skimmed milk is most beneficial to weight watchers.

  9. Milk with a long shelf life contains strong preservatives.
  10. Milk is heated for around 1-2 seconds, at a temperature exceeding 135°C (275°F) to kill spores in milk. There is no preservative added. The very short time reduces the spoiling of nutrients. Generally, an average box of UHT milk has a minimum shelf life of 180 days until opened.

  11. Healthy food is too expensive to sustain.
  12. cost = time + process effort

    No, definitely not price. Fruits and vegetables are definitely cheap. Anways, here are some other ideas. Buy long shelf life grains like oats, lentils, chickpeas, and brown rice which are also cheap. For meat, don’t buy lean cuts. Buy the whole chicken. I bet you they are much cheaper. Just remove the skin and bones yourself. Same goes to beef. Buy the whole cut that comes with all the fat. Just trim it, portion and freeze. You’re basically exchanging your own time and workload for cost, instead of paying for the readily prepared, conveniently, cut into sizes meat.

  13. Products described as ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced fat’ is always the better choice.
  14. Energy = Calories

    Fat stored in our bodies is a result of unused energy. This energy comes from carbs, protein and of course, fat. Having ‘low fat’ does not necessarily mean low energy. As energy of fat is replaceable by other elements, the product may end up having the same or even higher energy content.

  15. Going all out for vegetarian dishes is better.
  16. Not necessarily. French fries, refried beans, pasta with processed cheese, sugar, sodas, salt, processed cold cereals rich in sugar are low in nutrients. Processed foods are surely less healthy. So if you want a hot dog, hamburger or chicken dish, it is better to have the real thing than buying imitations. Moreover, if you eat the same food all the time, you are not having a balanced meal.

    Red meat is low fat when it’s lean. The same goes to skinless chicken or fish, when cooked without chicken without the skin, and fish, if they’ve been cooked without too much oil. But still, eating lots of vegetables and fruits is as important in ensuring a daily healthy balanced diet.

  17. Margarine vs Butter
  18. Missing breakfast is harmless.
  19. Breakfast is usually the most skipped meal of the day. Gail Frank of the American Dietetic Association says that ‘break’ ‘fast’ after a good night’s sleep helps to curb hunger and prevent binge eating. More often than not, breakfast contain significant amounts of vitamin C, D, calcium, iron and fiber. The fuel provided will be used by our body to think, walk, talk properly throughout the day. Skipping breakfast is like a signal to the brain that nothing is coming in. As a result, our stomach stops producing acid needed for digestion and starts taking energy from other parts of the body. Anything coming in will not be digested properly. Which means that skipping breakfast doesn’t help to lose weight. It leads to over eating and distorted satiety signals.

  20. Food coloring is harmful to the body.
  21. A color additive is any dye, pigment or substance that can impart color when added or applied to a food. Color additives are used in foods for many reasons, including offsetting color loss due to storage or processing of foods and to accommodate variations in natural food color. Numerous studies decades ago have proven that food coloring is safe.

  22. Additives and preservatives is unhealthy.
  23. Additives help keep food safe, stable and greatly slow down spoilage to prevent foodborne illness. Food like cheese and wine is preserved by using benign bacteria, yeasts or bacteria. Ham and bacon is only safe to eat in the presence of preservatives. Ice cream’s smooth and creamy taste comes from emulsifiers. Thanks to additives, many types of food looks more pleasent, tastes better, costs cheaper and stays on longer.

  24. Eating after 7pm makes you fat.
  25. It’s more of what you eat not so much of when, as long as it’s 2-3 hours before bedtime. I’d suggest regular mealtimes while watching the calories that go into the body. Having a fixed time for meals better prepares the body for digestion. Having a regular sleep time also minimizes impulsive snacking. Both habits should help maintain a regular total caloric intake.

  26. MSG is an unnatural food additive.
  27. Monosodium glutamate. MSG. It consists of only water, sodium and glutamate. Glutamate, one of the 3 components, is a type of amino acid and is found in abundance. Our body produces and uses it for metabolism and brain function. Commonly it is found in food like cheese, milk, mushrooms, meat, fish and vegetables. Know that the body does not distinguish between glutamate added to food and glutamate found naturally in food. The key lies in moderation.

  28. Eating fully 3 times a day is almost the same as breaking it into small, frequent meals.
  29. Nope. It is not. We should not eat only when the clock says so. We should eat whenever our tummy says so and stop when the need is met. Small frequent meals will ensure that our body is well energized throughout the day and put a stop to overeating when ‘meal times’ come around. Consider also that the less frequently we eat, the more calories we will probably consume at any one sitting. Eating is like filling a cup up with water. Everything in excess runs off and goes to fat storage.

  30. Sugar is the main culprit behind diabetes.
  31. Wrong. During digestion, carbs like sugar in food are converted to glucose, which is required in the blood at all times. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps this blood glucose enter our cells, and keep our blood glucose at a healthy level. Diabetes is a state of insulin resistance or insulin insufficiency caused by these 9 factors.

    • Hereditary or Inherited Traits (Risk is higher if both parents have diabetes)
    • Age (80% of cases occur after 50 year)
    • Poor Diet (Malnutrition)
    • Obesity (Being overweight means increased insulin resistance)
    • Sedentary Lifestyle (Idly, inactive or lazy way of life)
    • Stress (Very often blamed as the initial cause)
    • Drug Induced (Clozapine, olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine and ziprasidone)
    • Infection (Infection in pancreas)
    • Sex (Females with multiple pregnancy or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
    • Hypertension (Direct relation with high systolic pressure)
    • Serum lipids and lipoproteins (High cholesterol levels)

  32. Oysters are an aphrodisiac.
  33. False. There is no such thing as erotic food. Our sex drive starts and ends with the mind. If you think oysters work, chances are they will.

  34. Organic food is the healthiest choice.
  35. There is no logical or factual basis for the above statement. Organic food believers will claim that the difference lie in the residue of chemical pesticides. Since organic pesticides are less efficient than modern synthetic pesticides, up to 7 times of it must be used. Rotenone, a component of organic pesticide, causes symptoms of Parkinson’s and is a natural poison used by native tribe hunters. Pyrethrum is carcinogenic. Fermented urine, period.

    A very good example is the 2006 North American E. coli outbreak which resulted in deaths and illnesses, that was finally traced to organically grown spinach and letuce. Remember, natural does not mean that a product is healthy.

  36. Chocolate causes acne.
  37. No. But a diet high in saturated fats, bad oils and sugars may wreck havoc on your skin. Just as these unsavory additions to your diet can cause other issues seen in your body, what you eat directly affects the quality of your skin. Eating a lot of chocolate will make you fat, but it will not cause acne.

  38. Boiling vegetables eliminates all vitamins and minerals.
  39. According to USDA Table of Retention Factors, boiling has only a minor effect on the nutrients. Take a brocolli spear for example. The Vitamin C goes from 48% of the daily recommended value to 46% and Folate from 6% to 5%. Steaming is recommended as it reduces less than boiling.

6 replies on “How Many Food Myths Can You Think Of? Hint : Here’s A List Of 20”

Your raw food myth stopped a bit short. Sure there are some toxins that need to be destroyed by heat, but there are also some nutrients that are quite inaccessible raw and are more readily available cooked. Lycopene in tomatoes is a good example. There are also plants that are simply too rugged to be of much nutritional value raw and benefit from cooking to break them down to toallow the body to access their nutrients, say, in collard greens for example.

Another Myth: Coffee is unhealthy!

After following a group of 130,000 study volunteers for 18 to 24 years the Harvard school of public health concluded that
“We did not find any relationship between coffee consumption and increased risk of death from any cause, death from cancer, or death from cardiovascular disease”. This means “that coffee drinking doesn’t have any serious detrimental health effects”.
This only goes when the coffee is drunk black, without milk or sugar. These additives depending on the amount used, can have negative effects. Drinking coffee can have benefitial effects on your health.

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