DEBUNKING THE MYTHS OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]emember the time when your doctor told you about avoiding eggs as they’re not good for your health? After reading this article, pretty sure you’ll boil an egg again.
How about the time when your grandmother told you not to cook broccoli as it’ll lose its nutrients? But you hate eating raw broccoli, right? When you’re done reading this post, you’ll be firing up the steamer to cook the broccoli.
These days, you get to hear many food fads and wrong medical advice from various individuals. For instance, many people have stopped drinking coffee because certain studies showed that it could cause cancer in laboratory rats. This is also the case with peanut butter.
Sadly, there are myths and misconceptions that have risen about frightening diseases related to the intake of certain foods. To make the matter worse, the foods in question aren’t really the culprits. But they ended up as one because of false claims that tainted their reputations.
The main goal of this article is to bring out the truth of some of the misconceptions about your favorite food and drinks.
Myth: EGGS ARE VERY UNHEALTHY
Say that again and you’ll be banned from a weight loss group. But this is a classic example of favorite food being avoided because of scrambled science. For many years, doctors warned their patients that eggs aren’t good for their health. The reason for this is that they’re rich in cholesterol. Well, they’ve a point for this one. After all, cholesterol could block up arteries. Thus, by avoiding eggs, your risk of heart attack and stroke would be greatly reduced, right?
Well, you’re wrong about that. Studies suggested that this kind of theory have plenty of holes.
The Framingham Heart Study in the US published a study that having a high blood cholesterol could cause heart attack. But the study didn’t show any connection between eating eggs and heart problems.
Not convinced yet?
In the US, another study was conducted. This time researched dug deeper of the eating habits of more than 110,000 women. The study didn’t show an increased risk of heart attack to those who ate up to one egg each day. This is in comparison to those who ate only one egg each week.
This only shows that the cholesterol in their blood didn’t all come from food. In fact, only 25% of it comes from the food you’ve taken. The remaining 75% is manufactured by your liver. It produces more cholesterol when you consume fatty foods, like doughnuts, hamburgers and other sources of saturated fat. Good thing is that eggs are low in this type of fat. Not only that. Eggs contain useful nutrients that can even offset the damage done by their cholesterol content. Furthermore, you can already buy eggs that have been enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, which are very beneficial to your heart.
That said. Don’t ignore the eggs in a grocery aisle. They can very well fit into your balanced diet. Having two eggs each day won’t increase your cholesterol.
But you need to keep this in mind: egg has 200 mg of cholesterol and the Heart Foundation recommends eating not more than 300 mg of cholesterol each day. Instead of pairing your omelet with bacon, you should opt to consume oranges.
Even though it turned out that eggs aren’t really unhealthy, you must still check with your doctor, especially if you have a family history of a cardiovascular problem. The reason for this is that eating eggs can be a significant risk factor.
Apart from eggs, prawns too were banned to be served on the plate of people with cardiovascular problems. However, research showed that prawns didn’t affect cholesterol levels of those who are fond of eating them.
Myth: COFFEE IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH AS IT CAN CAUSE CANCER
Yes, rumor has it that coffee is linked to cancer. It has been criticized that way on several occasions. Case point: certain research in the late 1970s pointed caffeine as the reason cysts grew in breast tissue. Because of that, it raised concerns amongst women who developed cysts and later diagnosed to have breast cancer.
Years after, a study in the US revealed that there was a linked between pancreatic cancer and coffee.
Good thing was that other scientists took some time to look into this matter and researched on whether or not coffee could really cause those cancers. They utilized superior research methods and studied larger groups of individuals. And they found no correlation. Nada.
Then, major studies have conducted to evaluate and examine the risk of other cancer among those who frequently drink coffee but they didn’t find any. In fact, they found the opposite. When researchers reviewed 17 studies about coffee, they were surprised to know that those people who drank up coffee regularly have reduced their risk of colon cancer. And this included decaffeinated drink and tea.
Coffee, too, is good at protecting against Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. However, in order to get the benefits of coffee to protect against diabetes, you’ll have to drink more than 6 cups of coffee each day. But such amount may cause high blood pressure. However, studies revealed that coffee drinkers didn’t experience a rise in their blood pressure level. That’s good to know.
Even though nuts contain high amount of healthy fats, they don’t raise your cholesterol or other blood fats. Apart from that, they’re an excellent source of fiber and nutrients, like magnesium, folate, vitamin E and copper. If you eat a small handful of nuts each day, then you’re less likely to have heart attacks. If you want to eat a peanut butter, however, you must opt for the unprocessed one. And if you spread it on a bread, use the wholegrain bread. In this way, you’ll be able to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Myth: CHOOSE LOW-FAT OR NON-FAT OVER FULLFAT
The less fat, the better it is to your health. Right? Unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Trying to lose weight by switching an oil-based dressing to non-fat dressing makes sense but you’re not getting the real benefits of salad dressings. How come?
First of all, salad dressings that are made of olive or canola or and some herbs could help you prevent heart disease and other life-threatening conditions. By going oil-free, you’re greatly missing out a lot of health benefits. This is because the oil helps your body in properly absorbing more nutrients from those herbs and veggies from your vegetable salad.
When researchers from the University of Iowa conducted a study about the effects of different salads, they found that those who consumed salad with non-fat dressing weren’t able to absorb adequate amount of carotenoids from their salad compared with those who consumed full-fat dressing.
But you don’t have to spread full-fat dressing to your greens. Instead, add not more than 2 tablespoons of dressing to your vegetable salad. Don’t eat it yet. Make sure that you mix it gently so each leaf is coated with the dressing.
Myth: EAT FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES INSTEAD OF FROZEN ONES AS THEY’RE LESS NUTRITRIOUS
It’s true that fresh fruit and veggies contain higher amount of nutrients as soon as they’re picked. But did you know that those fresh foods sold in the supermarket took a long journey to be displayed on the shelves? Yes, they spent days or weeks in transit. During those times, the natural enzymes have already released and escaped.
Frozen fruit and vegetables, on the other hands, were quick-frozen as soon as they were picked. This, in turn, preserves the vitamin and mineral content. Want proof?
Well, in a 1992 study in US revealed that those frozen beans have retained more vitamin C as those of fresh beans sold in a supermarket.
This means that canning doesn’t necessarily deplete the nutrients found in fruit and vegetables. Although processing them may reduce the levels of some vitamins, they’ve higher levels of vitamin A than those fresh ones.
What’s more is that freezing technology has improved allowing canned fruits and veggies to be more palatable.
Myth: DON’T COOK YOUR VEGIES OR FRUITS
In Germany, researches studied men and women who ate raw food diets. What they found is that these people have lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels but their HDL cholesterol also dropped. Not only that, their homocysteine levels, which is an amino acid that has been linked to heart disease have risen.
Scientists dug deeper and they discovered that through cooking, the compounds in fruit and veggies are enhanced. Tomato sauce, for instance, contains more lycopene than raw tomatoes. This makes it more useful to protect yourself against prostate cancer.
Although heating does reduce the vitamins and minerals of fruits and vegetables, they’re only true to vitamins that are sensitive to heat. Generally, however, cooking increases the anti-oxidant levels of some veggies.