Food Fables

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Food Fables

Posted on 11th Jan 2019

Misconceptions about food have been around for centuries. For instance, it was once believed that the tomato was poisonous. We now know that the tomato contains many nutrients beneficial to health. What’s more, can you imagine pasta without marinara? Presently, some common myths include that a multivitamin is a healthy substitute for fruits and vegetables, combining certain foods can boost your metabolism and eggs raise your cholesterol. While some of these claims sound true enough, they rarely have any basis in fact. Separating truth from fiction can often be a challenge, and determining the best strategies for eating smart is no exception. The following may help to dispel some of these myths.


Myth 1: Multivitamins are a substitute for recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. A pill cannot take the place of food. Fruits and vegetables provide much more than just vitamins and minerals. They’re packed with phytochemicals (plant-based compounds that may help prevent chronic disease), and fiber which is good for heart health.


Myth 2: Combining certain foods in the same meal may boost your metabolism and increase weight loss. The idea is to eat protein and starch-containing-foods separately so that digestive enzymes work more efficiently to enhance nutrient absorption. However, no combination of foods will speed up a metabolism or burn fat. The body is designed to digest all types of foods, no matter when or how they are eaten. Healthy eating habits and regular exercise is the best combination for weight loss.


Myth 3: Eggs raise your cholesterol. Eggs are high in cholesterol, however, if your cholesterol levels are normal, you can safely eat up to three or four eggs a week, as recommended by the American Heart Association.


Myth 4: Beef is bad for you. While some cuts are high in saturated fat, two servings of lean beef a week can be healthy. Beef contains a highly absorbable form of iron needed for the production of red blood cells. Lean cuts, like those from the loin or round provide as few as 4 grams of fat in a 3 ounce serving.


Myth 5: Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier than canned or frozen. Actually, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables may have as much nutritional value as fresh, and some may have more. Canned and frozen produce is picked fully ripe and processed almost immediately, thus helping to preserve the nutrients. Remember though, that canned vegetables are higher in sodium and fruits packed in syrup often have more calories than fresh.


Myth 6: Carbohydrates make you fat. The truth is that eating extra calories can cause weight gain, whether it is from carbohydrates, protein or fat. Carbohydrates are the body’s fuel of choice, so excluding them from your diet may increase your risk of kidney disease, osteoporosis, fatigue and more. We recommend at least 50% of your daily calories should come from complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, rice, pasta and legumes (FOOD SPIRAL®’s may vary – this is true for Healthy).  


Myth 7: You can eat more low-fat and fat-free foods without gaining weight. Calorie to calorie, there is not a large difference in low-fat and full fat foods. Food manufacturers often replace the fat in these products with high-calorie fruit purees, sugar and salt to make up for the missing flavor. It is wise to read food labels and count calories.

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