Some food myths are relatively innocuous. One of my favorite harmless myths about food is “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” Apples ARE marvelous for you, but blueberries contain more vitamins than apples despite having similar calorie and fiber counts. In fact, one serving of blueberries has more protein than an apple, as well.
I’m not advocating people stop eating apples. I love apples – especially with a smear of peanut butter. Some food myths may do more harm or mislead you into making a poor dietary decision. Here are some myths I’d love to see eradicated.
Food Myth 1: Egg yolks are bad for you
For many years, diet-conscious cooks reached for egg substitutes or egg whites to minimize their intake of dietary cholesterol. Experts believed that removing eggs from the diet would help keep blood cholesterol levels low.
However, more recent studies indicate that you don’t have to give up your morning egg to maintain a healthy heart. A study published in JAMA suggests no direct correlation between heart disease and egg consumption in healthy people.
By removing eggs from your diet, you are depriving yourself of an easy source of necessary nutrients. Another study by the University of Connecticut says:
“Eggs are also good sources of antioxidants known to protect the eye; therefore, increased plasma concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin in individuals consuming eggs are also of interest, especially in those populations susceptible to developing macular degeneration and eye cataracts.”
Myth 2: Brown eggs have more nutrition than white eggs
I’m sure that the supermarkets don’t want you to know this but, There is no difference in nutrition between a brown and a white egg.
Taste, quality, and nutrition have everything to do with the hen’s diet and egg freshness, and nothing to do with the color.
White hens lay white eggs. Red hens lay brown eggs.
That is the only difference.
Now, I grew up with chickens. My sister raises chickens. I buy fresh eggs from a local farmer. Why? Because I cannot tell a difference between brown and white eggs in the grocery store, but I can discern a farm raised egg over a store-bought egg almost every time.
Local chickens from small farmers are more likely to have a much larger ranging space, less crowding, and lower stress environment than a factory farm. These factors can influence shell strength, yolk color, and egg flavor. Not the color of the eggshell.
Myth 3: Multigrain means it’s full of healthy grains
Nope! Time to become a label reader.
If you want to get more grains into your diet, look for labels that explicitly indicate whole wheat, whole grain, or bare the Whole Grain Council’s stamp. Multigrain does not necessarily use the entire grain.
Multigrain just means that the manufacturer used more than one type of grain. Multigrain does not necessarily use the entire grain. Products made with multiple grains can still contain highly processed grains, stripping much of the nutritional value in the process.
Lesson: Read the label. Look for the 100% Whole Grain stamp (as opposed to the basic stamp) and make an informed decision.
Myth 4: Microwaving food kills nutrition
I love my microwave. It makes preparing dinner so much easier some nights. I don’t have 45 minutes to bake a potato in the oven, so I toss it in the microwave and have a fantastic sweet potato side in just a few moments. But, I just killed all the vitamins, right?
Nope! In reality, cooking in the microwave is more than just a time saver. In many cases, it’s a healthier preparation choice than other options.
Harvard published an article that discusses microwave cooking and its impact on nutrition. They pointed out that heat DOES destroy some vitamins. However, any cooking involves heat. Microwaving exposes food to heat for a shorter duration, so it destroys less of the vitamins than other cooking methods.
Water cooking methods, such as boiling, leech nutrients into the water. All those essential vitamins just get dumped down the sink when you drain your vegetables.
Myth 5: If you workout, you don’t have to worry about what you eat
You don’t know how much I wish this one was true, but sadly, it’s not. I would make out with a Godiva candy bar every night if it were.
You cannot outrun a bad diet. Yes, you do burn more calories when you workout. Muscle tissue also burns more calories at rest than adipose tissue.
A fit person can eat more without gaining weight. However, this does not give them carte blanche to suck the bottom out of the restaurant dessert tray.
A 30-minute gym workout only burns about 184 calories for a 130lb 30-year-old woman. You know what that means? You burn fewer calories in one workout than you eat in an average Snicker’s bar! Nope – you can’t outrun your mouth.
Don’t use that as an excuse to skip the run, though. Exercise still has many other health benefits and will help keep you trim.
Other Food Myths
At some point, I may tackle other food myths (such as eating fat will make you gain weight). However, I want to hear from you. What food myths do you hear echoed around the cosmos that drive you crazy?
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.