The Real Truth Between Foods and Myths

Let’s talk about some truths and myths when it comes to food as there are a lot of differences in opinion about this.

1. Myth: Frozen Produce isn’t as Healthy as Fresh Produce

This seems pretty obvious, right?

Fact: The truth might not be as obvious as you might think. We tend to think that frozen fruits and vegetables are less nutritious than fresh. This comes from the fact that these frozen bags of produce are stored and sold in the same aisle as quick and easy junk food like TV dinners and pizza rolls.

This image has definitely tainted my mind, and I’m sure yours too, by correlating these as one and the same when that is not the case. Truth be told, these frozen fruits and veggies have been labeled with a bad rep and are just as nutritious as fresh and stay healthy longer.

Frozen produce is picked at just the right time, or at its peak, and is immediately frozen, keeping it fresh and locking in all the nutrients. This doesn’t mean that frozen is always the best choice.

Since they are packaged, that means they probably have been sealed with salt (veggies) and sugar (fruits). So, when you reach for that bag of strawberries, check out the ingredients list. The only ingredient should be that item.

Fresh produce can take up to two weeks to reach your grocery store from the farm, all the while losing vitamins and minerals (up to 45 percent!) as they’re exposed to the heat, light, and elements.

Research and study have shown that frozen produce and fresh produce fair the same, or very close, in nutritional value. When produce isn’t in season buy frozen, it will most likely have more of the vitamins locked in that you’re wanting. While they’re in season, buy fresh for the maximum nutritional value.

2. Myth: Food Cravings Indicate a Nutritional Deficiency

When the kiddos are all tucked in and the hubby and I are alone, my weakness is chipped. Not just any chips but plain chips with mayonnaise, lemon, hot sauce, and chili powder. I’m sure I’m missing some vitamin or something.

Fact: Do you ever wonder why food cravings are usually for sweets like chocolates or salty foods like potato chips? These nutrient-poor foods might be sending you a message, but probably not the one you think. If cravings indicated a nutritional deficiency, we’d all crave fruits and vegetables.

The fact that we want non-essential comfort foods is actually a sign that you aren’t lacking these nutrients, but your brain is actually wanting to release feel-good chemicals to fulfill its reward center. This is usually out of habit, stress or the restriction of food.

For instance, I am in the habit of eating chips every night. When I don’t, I get a bit fussy and feel so hungry. At least it feels like hunger. It’s easy to mistake a craving for hunger, or vice versa, but they are actually two entirely different needs.

Hunger is an automatic response from your stomach (survival) while cravings are controlled by your brain and is completely a psychological desire. There is, however, an exception. Pica is the craving for things with no nutritional value such as dirt, wood or sand. This is an indicator of an iron deficiency.

Cravings should not be brushed off though. If you completely restrict yourself from a craving, it is more likely that you’ll give in and over-indulge. The best route to take is to listen to your craving but cut back little by little.

3. Myth: Eating Late at Night Will Cause You to Gain Weight

Fact: Morning, afternoon or night, calories are calories. Morning isn’t some saving grace that gives a free pass of “light” calories. Your body processes food the same during the night as it does the day. It’s an uneven balance of calorie intake and exercise that affects your weight gain.

The problem arises when we overeat, at night, with high-calorie foods and snacks. This is where eating at night will cause you to add on a few extra pounds.

4. Myth: Salt Causes High Blood Pressure

Fact: Salt does not cause high blood pressure. It is true that you should watch your sodium intake if you already have high blood pressure, but there is no reason for people with normal blood pressure to limit their sodium intake.

Those with high blood pressure are more likely to be salt-sensitive where sodium causes hypertension. However, if you don’t want to limit your salt intake, you’ll need to increase your potassium intake to balance it out.

5. Oysters Make You Horny

Go for the Oysters

As far back as stories are told, in pretty much all cultures and every belief, certain foods have been known to increase libido and enhance our sex drives. What makes these foods so notorious for getting us “in the mood”? The jury is still out, scientifically, on the validity behind this myth. So, fact or fiction? I guess you’ll have to be the judge on that.

Oysters are probably the most heard of aphrodisiac, as Casanova reportedly had 50 oysters for breakfast every morning to increase stamina. How true is this? Well, studies have shown that the chemicals and minerals in oysters can increase testosterone and estrogen levels. However, it is not known if they will increase these levels enough to matter.

To many, it doesn’t matter what research may say, oysters will always be nature’s mild viagra. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared there to be no proof behind this very well known belief.