None of us want to restrict the ways we eat and cook, but many popular myths prompt us to do so. But nutritionists are suggesting many of these myths are not true, compiled here in this list…
Myths about nutrition are rife everywhere you look – from social media to TV adverts, it’s best you know yourself what the truth is.
On social media in particular, influencers will have endless advice on how to live your life as happy and healthy as they do – often advice which will be to little or no avail. On TikTok and Instagram there is never-ending eating and cooking advice – but nutritionists warn that you must not believe all that they say.
Experts have now gathered together to debunk the most worrying – and ridiculous – myths about food which are common on social media. Get your notebook and a pen out, because you’ll want to remember these.
Fresh food is better than frozen food
Despite being cheaper and longer-lasting, tinned fruit and vegetables are apparently no worse than their fresh counterparts. This would certainly come as a surprise to ‘fat loss expert’ @alejandrofts, who often tells his 55.5k followers that frozen food is “terrible for your body”.
London-based nutritionist Kim Pearson disagrees: “Actually, frozen fruits and vegetables can contain higher levels of nutrients,” she says. Frozen veg is frozen right after being picked and goes through much less processing than much fresh veg – meaning they keep lots of their nutrients.
Fresh produce is often sat in a supermarket for days or weeks – vitamin C content in a vegetable, for example, can decrease by half in just a couple of days. “In one study, fresh peas were found to lose 15 percent of their vitamin C after seven days when stored in the fridge, and 60 per cent when stored at room temperature. However, when frozen, they only lost 10 per cent after 12 months,” Ms Pearson added, according to MailOnline.
Microwaves destroy the nutrients in your food
Some say microwaves cook the nutrients out of your food, including @cleanseclub, who claims to his 258,000 followers that putting food in the microwave “kills 94 percent” of your food’s nutrients. You are “better off using a stove or an oven”, claims @cooperhealth.
The truth: all methods of cooking, whether steaming, roasting or microwaving, cause nutrient breakdown, due to heat changing their chemical structure. Dr Duane Mellor, a dietitian at Aston University in Birmingham, claims that microwaves actually preserve vitamins better than other methods of cooking as they cook food quicker.
In theory, your microwaved meals may be richer in vitamin C, potassium and magnesium than if you have been cooking your food for very long or at a very high temperature using another method. Microwaves better retain fibre – vital for gut health – in comparison to pressure cooking vegetables. .
Nightshade vegetables are bad
Some content creators push the narrative that tomatoes, aubergines, and potatoes are actually bad for you. They are all members of the nightshade family, which is unique as the vegetables contain small amounts of alkaloids.
But bloggers have begun spreading a theory that they can cause inflammation and impact arthritis because they contain lectins – a protein which binds cells together. Consumed in high quantities, lectins have been linked with irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis.
But Dr Mellor says nightshade vegetables that are eaten raw, such as tomatoes and peppers, only contain low levels of lectin. Foods that contain more of the protein, such as kidney beans, are usually cooked beforehand – meaning the lectin is broken down. Dr Mellor adds that nightshade vegetables are high in vitamin C, which maintains healthy joints.