5 Food Myths Busted and/or Debunked (Your Choice)

I’ve never understood the use of “busted” and “debunked” when referring to the process of proving a previously held belief (myth) to be false.  In my youth, “busted” meant being caught by some authority figure in an act of wrongdoing, such as placing 47 “for sale” signs in the yard of a “friend” in the middle of the night while being observed by said friend’s neighbor who happened to be a local police officer.  And “debunked” sounds like the act of exiting a bunk bed, as in “When her boyfriend burst in I debunked in world record time.”…but that’s another story for another time.

Fresh produce is healthier than frozen.

wiltedActually, depending upon how long the produce has been sitting around, the exact opposite is true.  As fruits and veggies age, in a warehouse, the produce section, or in your fridge, their sugar content increases as their nutritional content declines.  So long as they are frozen soon after they’re picked, frozen veggies and fruits can actually have MORE nutritional value than those that have been languishing for days or weeks prior to being consumed.

Eggs, especially the yolks, are bad for you.

eggsActually, people have climbed out of their bunks (see: debunked above) on this one years ago.  Yes, egg yolks are high in cholesterol, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to raise your blood cholesterol levels.  Well, let me re-phrase that…studies have shown that eggs actually raise the levels of your “good” cholesterol (HDL).  They also are low in calories at around 75 and high in protein (6-8 grams).  They also contain essential amino acids as well as lutein and zeaxanthin which promote eye health, and choline which supports brain health.  So next time, go crazy and use the whole egg when making your omelet.

Oranges are the best source of vitamin C.

strawberriesLook, I’m not saying oranges aren’t a great source of vitamin C.  However, there are other, lower-calorie sources of this essential vitamin that we can’t store or produce and that supports our immune system and helps build collagen for healthier skin.  An average sized orange gives us 70 micrograms of vitamin C with 70 calories that tag along for the ride.  Compare that to these other sources that provide the same amount of vitamin C:  1 cup of Brussel sprouts (I know, they taste horrible and I cursed the Belgian city that they’re named after every time I was forced to eat them) at 40 calories; 7 strawberries at 40 calories; ½ stalk of broccoli at 25 calories; and ½ a red bell pepper at 20 calories.

Meat is bad.

brisket-saucedThis broad myth simply needs a qualifier: processed meat is bad.  Pork, beef and lamb offer complete proteins, as well as vitamin B12 which helps us build red blood cells and promotes healthy brain activity.  Studies have recently found that unprocessed lean cuts of meat present zero risk of heart disease or diabetes and in no way increase your risk of kidney disease unless you have a pre-existing condition.  So, to sum up, avoid processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, Slim Jims and deli meats such as bologna…my bologna has a first name…I’d never be able to spell it without that kid.  And consume lean cuts of meat such as eye of round and top sirloin (I dub thee Sir Loin of Beefshire) cuts of beef and pork tenderloin or loin chops.

Different types of alcohol cause a different type of “drunk.”

I swore off Southern Comfort way back in 1988 due to the fact that every time I consumed it I lost my mind (and memory) and usually woke up in a strange place with a strange person (or people) the next morning.  I was convinced that these varied humiliations had to do with neither the amount I consumed, nor the rate at which I consumed it.  It was simply the fact (myth) that Southern Comfort “…was some wicked stuff.”

As a former member of the United Kingdom’s Medical Council on Alcohol, Dr. Guy Ratcliffe, recently stated, “The effects of alcohol are similar, whichever form they come in.  Any difference is dependent on the rate at which it is drunk and the amount.”  Yes, by volume tequila contains more alcohol than red wine, but at crucial times we tend to forget that…usually to our lasting detriment.

So, don’t feel guilty about feeding frozen veggies to your kids, eat a yolk for God’s sake, realize there are other sources of vitamin C, enjoy some unprocessed red meat, and come to understand that the over indulgence of tequila or that fruity chardonnay can both cause you to awaken in a strange bath tub with all your clothes on backwards…but that’s another story for another time.

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