Myths about food, eating and cooking have been prevalent since ages. In recent times, more and more people refuse to believe in something without a solid scientifically proven evidence supporting it. In the wake of such informed consumerism, here’s are 5 popular myths about food and the real deal about them.
Myth 1: Raw foods Are Better Than The Cooked Ones
In an age of various fad diets, it’s important to understand that raw food diets are not the healthiest way to eat. Although cooking or any heating methods destroy certain enzymes, it also makes fiber in meat and vegetables much easier to digest.1
Many scientific studies have revealed that people who followed only raw-food diets have lower levels of total cholesterol including the good guy, HDL cholesterol. It even showed a considerable rise in homocysteine, the amino acid associated with cardiovascular disease and strokes. Chances of contamination with microbes and pesticides are higher among uncooked foods too.2
Myth 2: Dairy Worsens A Cold Or Cough
Many of us stay away from milk and yogurt when we are suffering from any respiratory illness for fear that dairy will thicken mucus. However, unless you are suffering from lactose allergy or intolerance this myth doesn’t hold any water.
Milk and smoothies can be a source of nourishment for you when you are ill to help in your speedy recovery. Drinking plenty of water is a great way to get phlegm moving out of your system during any respiratory illness.3
Myth 3: Eat Carrots For 20/20 Eye Vision
This is one of the oldest myths that has been passed down to generations. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene that has been proven to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which can lead to blindness. It doesn’t assure you 20/20 vision or the ability to see in the dark.
A significant side effect of too much beta-carotene can increase the chances of lung cancer in smokers. It can also turn your skin yellow even if you are smoking or not. This is not to say that you should stop eating carrots. But moderation is the key.4
Myth 4: Microwaving Food Destroys All Nutrients
Microwaving has made cooking undeniably easy. Many people are misinformed of its benefits though. By reducing the time required for cooking, it has prevents a lot of nutrients from destroying. Heat unstable vitamins like vitamin C are sure to be lost while cooking food conventionally.
Many nutrients like vitamin B and C can be preserved with shorter cooking time using a microwave. As it doesn’t require much water, the loss of water-soluble minerals and vitamins can be avoided too. Therefore, microwaving food is not unhealthy.5
Myth 5: Sugar Is Alright But Cut Back On Salt
Salt seems to have garnered a lot of notoriety over the years. Too much of both salt and sugar can affect your health adversely. Some people take less salt to avoid the risk of hypertension but still find it hard to cut back o sugar intake. Scientific studies have proven that in addition to causing fat gain, it increases cellular aging, inflammation and decrease brain functioning with time.
Excess sugar in the body stimulates more insulin production. Insulin breaks down sugar but instructs your kidneys to retain sodium. If you binge on sugary foods, you are more likely to suffer from high-sodium related health issues despite your low salt intake.6
Now that you are aware of these myths, make informed choices and be healthy!
|↑1||Tuso, Philip J., Mohamed H. Ismail, Benjamin P. Ha, and Carole Bartolotto. “Nutritional update for physicians: plant-based diets.” The Permanente Journal 17, no. 2 (2013): 61.|
|↑2||Koebnick, C., Garcia, A. L., Dagnelie, P. C., Strassner, C., Lindemans, J., Katz, N., … & Hoffmann, I. (2005). Long-term consumption of a raw food diet is associated with favorable serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides but also with elevated plasma homocysteine and low serum HDL cholesterol in humans. The Journal of nutrition, 135(10), 2372-2378.|
|↑3||Pinnock, Carole B., Neil M. Graham, Arul Mylvaganam, and Robert M. Douglas. “Relationship between milk intake and mucus production in adult volunteers challenged with rhinovirus-2.” Am Rev Respir Dis 141, no. 2 (1990): 352-6.|
|↑4||For the Public: What the AREDS Means for You. National Eye Institute(NEI)|
|↑5||Microwave cooking and nutrition. Harvard Health Publishing School|
|↑6||DiNicolantonio, James J., and Sean C. Lucan. “The wrong white crystals: not salt but sugar as aetiological in hypertension and cardiometabolic disease.” Open Heart 1, no. 1 (2014): e000167.|