Unhealthy Food Myths


Over time some foods have become stigmatised, and often avoided. Here we try to de-mystify these foods.
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1. Tinned vegetables.

While some tinned vegetables are quite high in salt or sodium, rinsing them in a colander under water can soon resolve that problem.  They may be tinned but it doesn’t mean they don’t still contain a lot of the nutrients of fresh – and they’re cheaper, so a great fall-back if you run out of fresh or fancy a change.


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2. Red meat.

Unlike popular belief, red meat can be extremely nutritious and very healthy.  Extra lean minced sirloin, for example, is 96% fat free yet full of iron, B-Complex vitamins and zinc.  And don’t forget that it’s not only beef but also venison, rabbit, lean cuts of pork and lamb that are full of taste but low on fat content.


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3. Potatoes.

While most people believe these vegetables to be fattening, it’s only the way they’re cooked that makes them so.  The “low-carb” fad diets are almost over, and the best way to portion-control is to aim for one the size of your loosely clenched fist.  In reality, spuds are full of B vitamins, fibre and vitamin C, and baked potatoes are especially a great source of complex carbohydrates for energy (unless you’ve covered them in butter of course!).


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4. Avocados.

The bad reputation earned by the avocado is completely unfounded as its supposedly high-fat content is actually down to the heart-healthy unsaturated fats they hold.  With over 20 separate vitamins and minerals and just 50 calories per avocado, it’s worth adding them to a few meals per week.


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5. Dried fruit.

Although some brands of dried fruit do come with “glazing agents” or added sugar, it doesn’t mean that all dried fruits should be avoided.  They can be a great added source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, so aim for dried kiwi, pineapple, mango, apples, peaches, bananas and pears.


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6. Pizza.

Yes, you did read that right!  Given a makeover, even pizza can be a healthy, well balanced and simple meal.  Use a wholegrain base or wholegrain tortilla, spread on some tomato paste and then pile high with peppers, olives, onions, sweetcorn, mushrooms, courgettes and broccoli.  Top with low-fat mozzarella and dried oregano and basil, and there you have it.  Pizza without the guilty calories & heart-hurting saturated fat!


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7. Bananas.

For some mysterious reason, it’s a common myth that bananas are loaded with sugar and eating them can make you fat.  However, at only 105 calories per banana, they contain no fat, and many vitamins and minerals that can help keep your heart healthy, and your energy levels stable enough to make a great after-exercise boost.


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8. Eggs.

Most people believe these to be full of fat and cholesterol, but nothing could be further than the truth.  One egg per day will provide you with quality protein, unsaturated fats, and every vitamin and mineral in the book except vitamin C…what’s so bad about that?


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9. Shrimp.

This is another food brought down by the claim that it’s fattening – due to it being deep-fried!  A good source of protein, unsaturated fats, and many vitamins and minerals, it’s well worth throwing some in a vegetable stir fry or barbecued salad.


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10. Iceberg lettuce.

“It’s nothing but water”, people say.  True, but foods with a high water content can keep you feeling full for longer, slow the digestion rate down, and are extremely low in calories so you pile your plate high!  Two cups of shredded iceberg lettuce even contains calcium and folic acid too.


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