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Nutrition – Myths & Facts

Coffee stunts your growth. Bananas are bad for a cold. Both untrue. Nutrition myths like these are hard to erase, and somehow seem to live on for years. It’s easy to fall for certain myths — they get passed on through the generations and there is always some new hype in the media about the do’s and don’ts of eating.

See if you know if the following is actually fact or fiction.

Myth or fact?

1.  Foods boasting “0 trans fat” contain “good” fats.

Myth. Sometimes the substitution for trans fat is saturated fat, which is not better.

Check the Nutrition Facts label. Front-of-the-package claims are marketing facts, on the back you will find the real information. Saturated fats you may see are palm oil, coconut oil and the all encompassing “edible vegetable oil” that is an inexpensive palm oil. Not much better than trans fat. 

2. You can still eat prawns  and other shellfish on a cholesterol-lowering diet.

Fact. Shrimp may be high in dietary cholesterol but it’s low in saturated fat, which play a bigger role in raising blood cholesterol. Studies now suggest that saturated and trans fats tend to have a greater effect on our blood cholesterol than the cholesterol we eat. (Just make sure the shrimp is not smothered in butter, fried, or in a heavy coconut gravy which will increase the saturated fat)

3. Low-fat always means low calories.

Myth. Low-fat is a big marketing tool. Check the nutrition label for serving size and the number of calories. Low-fat foods often contain the same amount or a just a few calories less than the original version.

To take out fat something else has to be added and that is often sugar. Some studies suggest that with snacks with low-fat labels give make you think it’s ok to eat more of that same food, making you consume even more calories than the regular version.

 4 .Olive oil has fewer calories than other fats.

olive oil

Myth. Olive oil is not a wonder drug to eliminate heart problems. Being a ‘good’ fat or monounsaturated fat, it has some good properties but people often forget it is still fat.

All oils are 100 percent fat and supply basically the same number of calories — about 120 calories per tablespoon. “Light” olive oil has nothing to do with the amount of calories: That simply refers to the flavor. So watch how much you use.

5. Multigrain foods are always made with whole grains.

Myth. “Multigrain” only means the product was made with several grains. Chances are there is still quite a bit of maida in your local multi-grain bread. Those little seeds on top are plainly — just little seeds on top and have nothing to do with how healthy the bread actually is.

 Look for products labeled “100 percent whole grain or whole wheat”

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