We sort fact from fiction, so you know what nutrition advice you should follow and what you should skip.
There is a lot of advice out there about how to eat healthy, but not all of it is good advice.
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but does it really matter how late you eat your last meal of the day?
To answer this and many other questions, we turned to our in-house dietitian, Caroline Pullen, to help us sort fact from fiction.
FACT OR FICTION?
Fat-free and low-fat foods are always better than the full-fat versions.
FICTION! While the food item may be lower in fat, other unhealthy ingredients like sugar and sodium are usually added to compensate for the taste. When it comes to dairy and meat products, lower fat products are usually the way to go, but don’t always equate low-fat with healthy.
You will gain weight if you eat after 7 p.m.
FICTION! A calorie is a calorie no matter what time it is consumed. Many people do tend to eat out of boredom and not hunger late at night. For those people, creating a cut off may be beneficial.
Food that contains gluten is just as healthy as food that is gluten-free.
FACT! Having a gluten-free diet is only beneficial for people who have Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity. For the rest of us, gluten is not the enemy and does not need to be restricted.
Organic produce has more nutrients than conventionally grown produce, making it healthier.
FICTION! This is a hot topic, but most research shows that there is very little nutritional difference between organic and conventionally grown produce. Nutritionally, they’re the same, but organic produce is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Each year the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list is announced, listing 12 foods with the highest pesticide residues. It may be beneficial to buy organic for those foods, but any others typically aren’t necessary.
Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as fresh ones.
FACT! Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are canned and frozen at the peak of ripeness, so they have just as many nutrients as fresh produce. They are cheap and a great option when you need a quick and healthy meal.
You should avoid high fat foods.
FICTION! Fats are an essential part of our diet. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats and foods high in these should be included in our diets. These are found in nuts, fish, avocados, and healthy oils like olive and canola oil. All fats are high in calories, so it is still important to watch portion size.