9 Food Facts That Have Been Fooling Us for Years
Palm oil is very harmful, monosodium glutamate is addictive, potatoes should be totally removed from our nutrition — these are the things we keep hearing every now and then.
Bright Side collected the most popular myths about food and found out whether we should believe in them or not. Don’t miss our bonus at the end as it might change your perception of healthy eating once and for all.
A latte has less caffeine than an espresso.
Many people are sure that an espresso contains the most caffeine. It’s the saturated taste of this drink that can cause the confusion, as it doesn’t affect the “strength” of the beverage. In fact, the amount of caffeine in a latte, a cappuccino, and an espresso is absolutely the same and it depends on the coffee type and coffee blend.
Fruits and sweets should be eaten for dessert only.
Nutritionists fundamentally disagree with this established tradition. It’s recommended to eat fruits for breakfast or as a snack in the afternoon, while sweets are better to be eaten only in the morning because a couple pieces of chocolate eaten in the first half of the day won’t cause a drastic insulin spike. It’s better to stay away from consuming sugar and baked goods after lunchtime.
Monosodium glutamate is dangerous for your health.
Е621, the sodium salt of glutamic acid, is one of the most wide-spread food additives in the world. Its formula was derived in Japan. In 1908, biochemist Kikunae Ikeda got monosodium glutamate from seaweed and characterized its taste as “umami,” which means delicious. In fact, this element is there in most natural products such as bell pepper, tomatoes, etc. It makes our taste buds work more intensively and manufacturers use this trick for their benefits. The main danger of the food that contains E621 is in the risk of overeating.
Rye bread is healthier than white bread.
Many people are sure that products made of white flour are highly contraindicated for those who want to lose weight and they should choose rye bread, instead. However, the amount of calories in dark and white loaves is almost the same, which makes it possible to gain weight from eating an excessive amount of any type of bread. The main difference is in the flour — dark bread is made from rye flour which contains more dietary fiber and is, therefore, more preferable for maintaining a healthy metabolism. On the other hand, wheat bread is more porous and is easily digested; that’s why it’s better to consume this type of bread if you have issues with your gastrointestinal tract.
Granola is the best snack.
A popular American snack that has been loved by the healthy eaters all over the world is the combination of baked oatmeal, nuts, and honey — all of which make granola one of the most nutritious snacks. However, in the pursuit of reducing calories, manufacturers often add artificial sweeteners to the product. The latter cause an increased appetite and we often imperceptibly eat more than we need.
Olive oil is healthier than sunflower oil because it speeds up the metabolism.
Experts claim that any seed oils are healthy if consumed in a limited amount — no more than 30 g per day. They contain unsaturated fatty acids that improve cholesterol metabolism, which in its turn, can prevent diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Cane sugar is healthy.
It does have many useful microelements but their amount is insignificant. It’s unlikely that a person will be ready to eat 4 lb of sugar in order to get a daily norm of potassium. The main advantage of cane sugar is that it can be consumed unrefined. The benefits of this product cause many debates among nutritionists because it contains 97% of sucrose and its caloric content is almost 387 kcal per 100 g.
Pasta and potatoes harm the shape of the body.
- It’s actually not as scary as it might seem. Potatoes contain potassium, magnesium, and iron. However, there are a few things that one should keep in mind. The caloric content of 100 g of a baked potato is 80 kcal, while French fries of the same weight contains 317 kcal. Moreover, if you add sauce to them, the number of calories will increase even more.
- The situation with pasta is a bit more difficult. 100 g of vermicelli contains about 114 kcal, while the calorie content of durum wheat pasta is 230 kcal. However, durum wheat pasta also contains many useful and healthy nutrients and fiber and it has less starch and fat, while regular pasta contains only empty calories.
Palm oil is harmful.
It’s the high content of palmitic acid that made everyone believe that this tropical oil is harmful. All because this acid stimulates the increase of the amount of the so-called “bad cholesterol.” However, this oil also contains oleic acid that neutralizes possible harm done by the palmitic acid and therefore, eventually, palm oil doesn’t affect the metabolism or cholesterol. A bright orange extra virgin palm oil is a source of unsaturated fatty acids as well as beta-carotene. The main issue lies in the fact that unscrupulous manufacturers often add cheap palm oil instead of more expensive ingredients to their products, thus, cheating buyers.
Bonus: you don’t need to cut back on your favorite food in order to lose weight.
Very often, in the pursuit of losing weight, we start sticking to a well-balanced diet that contains only healthy elements and we forget to check the number of calories they provide. It turns out that some products that are considered healthy contain as many calories as some “unhealthy” products. For example, a handful of almonds contains 188 kcal, while a handful of Fruit Mentos or Skittles contains the same number of calories. Perhaps almonds contain more nutrients but you can easily replace them with sweets on some days of dieting when you have a sugar craving.
Have we managed to bust any myth that you used to believe in? Are you aware of any other products that have gained a wrongful reputation? Please tell us about them in the comments!