7 fruit and vegetables myths, busted
There’s so much information (and misinformation) out there about what to eat and what to avoid, that it can get pretty confusing. You can end up not knowing what to eat. So here’s the facts to some common fruit and vegetable myths, busted.
Potatoes are bad for you
What was once a staple at the family dinner table, in recent years the potato has developed a bad reputation in the food world. But does the potato deserve the mud-slinging? Much of its bad boy reputation has come from its high starch content, and the fact that it can be turned into a hot chip or covered in sour cream. But potatoes come with a lot of health benefits that can’t be overlooked. They’re high in fibre (especially if you keep the skin on) and have twice as much potassium as a banana, plus they contain some good antioxidants. So if you eat them in moderation and be careful how they’re cooked and what they’re served with, potatoes are a good addition to a diet.
Mould on fruit and vegetables mean they should be thrown away
If your fruit or vegetable has been hiding at the back of the fridge and looks like a Year 8 science experiment, it’s probably best to throw it away. But if it’s only a spot of mould, it may be salvagable. If it’s a firm fruit or vegetable, like pumpkin or carrot, cut off the offending area and check to see if the remainder is fine. However, if it’s a soft fruit or vegetable, like strawberries or peaches, you should throw it away.
Avocados are fattening
Another food with a bad reputation is avocado, and word around town is that smashing it on your toast will make you fat. The bad rap has come from its high fat content (around 70%), and the general message we’re used to hearing is that eating fat means you put on weight. But the good news is that you can smash it and eat it too. The reason? Not all fats are created equal. Avocado is full of a natural monosaturated fat, a good fat which is essential for a healthy body. It’s the not-so-good fats from processed foods that you need to avoid. So smash away and enjoy.
Clean looking fruit and vegetables don’t need to be washed
Even the cleanest looking produce has been touched by someone else before it gets to you (how do you think it gets on to the shelf or in your delivery box?). So it is worth giving your fruit and vegetables a wash before consuming. Use a brush on firmer produce like zucchinis, or give a good rinse for gentler produce like strawberries. Make sure you only wash just before you are about to eat because damp fruit and vegetable will deteriorate much quicker.
Eating superfoods will give me optimal health
Superfoods – think goji, acai and chia – have been touted by health gurus and celebrities as the latest food saviours, but are they worth all the hype? There is no denying that they certainly have nutritional benefits but often not any more than a humble apple, orange or carrot. These guys may be as daggy as your Dad’s jokes, but nutritionally, your stock standard fruit and vegetables are just as super as anything wrapped in a slick marketing campaign.
Raw vegetables are better than cooked vegetables
To cook or not to cook? On one side, cooking makes chewing and digesting our food a whole lot easier. But on the other side, the raw foodies say that cooking can kill all the nutritional goodness – which kind of defeats the purpose of eating your vegetables in the first place. Check out the numerous scientific studies on the topic and, well it’s complicated. There’s no definitive answer whether one is better than the other. At the end of the day, eating vegetables is better than not eating vegetables. So really, eat them however you want, just eat them.
It’s impossible to eat the recommended serve of fruit and vegetables per day
It does take a little bit of effort, but it’s not impossible. So what are some ways to get two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day? Cook your meals from scratch and fill them with lots of vegetables. If you’re making a meal, say a pasta dish, go lighter on the pasta and heavier on the mushrooms, carrots, capsicum and zucchini. Serve either a green salad or steamed vegetables with every main meal. Have lots of fruit and vegetables in the house, instead of processed food (that way you’re more likely to grab that banana instead of a biscuit). And finally, why not set up a weekly online order with BuyFruit and have it delivered to your door. Then you’ve always got fresh fruit and vegetables on hand.