TheBUZZ: Top 10 Myths about Fruits & Veggies
WHAT WE KNOW
Fruits and vegetables have been universally recognized as the healthiest type of food there is! However, there are some things we commonly hear about fruits & veggies that have gained a wrongful foothold as fact but may not be entirely true. Many of these rumors started with the dangerous low-carb trend, which may have led you to believe that eating slabs of butter on grilled steaks is actually healthier than eating the natural “sugar” in fruit, or that potatoes are the menace behind gaining weight. We’re here to sort these myths out for you ….
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
Myth 1: Fresh is best
Myth 2: Juice should be avoided
Consuming 100% juice is nutritious for you and is certainly a convenient and tasty part of a healthy diet! However, drinking all of your fruits and veggies doesn’t cut it either. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends consuming 4-6 ounces of 100% juice per day for children 1-6 years old and 8-12 ounces per day for children 7-18 years old. For adults, 4-8 ounces per day as juice is a reasonable amount.
Myth 3: Pesticides cause behavioral issues in children
The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables outweigh any risk associated with consuming fruits and vegetables grown with pesticides. The right balance of nutrients is particularly critical for growing children, as certain areas of bodily development only get one chance to get it right … for life.
Myth 4: Organic is more nutritious
Myth 5: Potatoes and other starchy vegetables are fattening
When potatoes are drenched in butter, deep-fried, or oozing with bacon and high-fat cheeses, yes … over-the-top calories, fat, and cholesterol come into play, hence the negative connotations. In reality, a plain medium potato can actually aide in weight loss/maintenance. Potatoes are an excellent source for vitamins C and B6, a good source for fiber (which keeps your stomach satisfied longer) and manganese, AND are one of the best sources for potassium in the diet! Plus, each potato has only 110 calories, making it a great choice to maintain a healthy weight.
Myth 6: The more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the more nutritious it is
In general, this is a good rule to follow, but … the white color group has many appealing nutritional characteristics too! Cauliflower is full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and folate. Mushrooms provide vitamin D, unlike other produce items. Cabbage is chock-full of vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron and fiber. Eating a variety of fruits and veggies, each with their unique nutrient profile, is what is most important.
Myth 7: Vegetarian diets are not complete diets
Research on vegetarianism has shown populations that follow vegetarian diets and lifestyles maintain optimal health and have longer life expectancies. With any diet, vegan/vegetarian or not, variety is key to providing your body with a balanced amount of nutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Myth 8: Sugar in fruits is bad for you
Yes, fruits contain sugar, but this sugar is different from added sugar! Added sugar lacks the multiple health-promoting qualities of fruits provided by phenols, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Myth 9: Supplements are necessary
Fruits and vegetables contain hundreds of active compounds with a long list of health benefits! Plus, antioxidant qualities provided by the phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables are best acquired through whole food consumption, not as a pill or an extract. There is not a magic pill to protect you and your family from the development of several leading causes of death.
Myth 10: Fruit and veggies are too expensive
Fruits and vegetables can be a regular part of your diet … even on a budget. Careful planning and shopping and an open mind will help with juggling the food dollar. A new study released by the USDA found that in 2008, “an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (amounts and variety) at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per edible cup equivalent.”
When it comes to fruits and veggies … more matters, and inadequate consumption among Americans is a big concern. New experimental studies are emerging that demonstrate multiple effects of fruits and vegetables and their phytochemicals, suggesting that fruits and vegetables may have an even greater role to play in human health than the already positive results seen to date. So, enjoy your fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors and forms at each and every eating occasion!
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