4 Nutrition Myths that are Harmful to your Health
We all want to have good nutrition and use only healthy products for our wellbeing, but sometimes it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to nutrition. Below are several myths about nutrition that you might have heard from your friends or even from the mass media.
“Raw food is always healthier than cooked food.”
Despite the fact that raw products almost always contain more vitamins, mineral substances and vegetable compounds, the biological availability of some nutrients only grows larger after being processed.
Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color, and it’s absorbed three or four times better after being cooked. Tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato soup provide more lycopene for the body than is the case with raw tomatoes. Cauliflower (a type of cabbage) is a great source of beta-carotene and fat-soluble vitamins A and K. All of them are more available for the human body after cauliflower has been processed — not raw.
Lutein, which is contained in carrot, is a compound that provides good eye health and improved vision, and it is much better absorbed from boiled carrots.
Thermal processing also improves the digestion of proteins in fish and meat, and we all have to admit that fish and meat smell much better processed than in their raw state. Moreover, thermal processing helps get rid of all the microorganisms that may be contained in the foods.
That is why you should keep enjoying your raw food as a part of a healthy nutrition plan, but remember that processed food has its advantages.
“Everything processed is bad.”
If you consider all treated products bad then you should put aside your morning coffee, tea or almond milk, as they all are processed goods.
When it comes to processed food, most people usually only think of products with a high fat, sugar, and sodium content, perhaps with a few health-beneficial components added in.
These types of foods are indeed not healthy, but not all processed food is actually bad.
Carrot is processed in the same way as apples at the food store. Despite the fact that packed salad is more expensive, who doesn’t find pre-packed products better — thanks to their higher level of convenience — particularly when you don’t have that much time?
Recent studies by the American Institute for Cancer Research show that new methods of food processing actually increase absorption of useful elements from vegetative products, which can be used to fight several types of cancer.
Thus, in order to refrain yourself from labeling all processed food as “bad”, group them according to those that provide healthy nutrients, and those that have a high content of fats, sugar, and sodium — and don’t eat the second ones.
“Natural food is always healthy for humans.”
The word “natural” itself conjures up the image of a freshly gathered blueberry or of freshly squeezed orange juice. The only bad thing here is that “natural” is just a marketing buzzword. There is no formal definition given by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Some manufacturers only use word “natural” to make you believe that their food is beneficial for health, while in truth it has a high-calorie content and is full of sugar and/or fat.
For instance, some candies are labeled“natural” only because they contain a tiny bit of agave nectar or honey. But sugar is still sugar for the body — no matter what its source is —and itdoesn’t make“natural” candies any healthier.
Likewise, some snacks are also labeled as “natural”. For instance, potato chips with the peel left on them after being processed are not healthier than ones without the peel. Instead of buying these advertised products, try to spend your money on something more beneficial, and have a snack with fruits, nuts or vegetables.
“You shouldn’t eat sugar at all.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends decreasing individual sugar consumption from 10 percent to 5 percent of your daily ration. This means lowering sugar to 5 teaspoons (or 25mg) a day.
The natural sugar contained in fruits and milk is combined with other nutrients. That’s why you should worry more about decreasing the additional sugar you receive as a food additive, and worry less about the few extra grams you absorb from milk or fruits.