10 common food myths - busted!

We’ve all heard the food facts (white lies) our mothers may have told us about carrots helping our eyesight, or that eating the crusts will give us curly hair, but in reality, a lot of these food myths disguised as interesting facts, just aren’t true. Here are 10 interesting food ‘facts’ that have proven to just be myths.

1. All carbs are bad

Let’s get this one out of the way… Carbs, or carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients found in food, the other two being protein and fat. Of course, not all carbs are created equal! They can be broken down into two main categories; simple vs complex. Basically ‘good’ vs ‘not so good’ (but so delicious).

Simple carbs are all the low fat goodies you should be eating like vegetables, fruit, legumes, potatoes and whole grains. While complex carbs include sugary drinks, pastries, white bread, white pasta and all the food products you want to be eating.

Basically, there’s no such thing as evil carbs, as long as you enjoy things in moderation (and you're not gluten free). In fact, studies on high-fibre carbohydrates, including vegetables, fruits and legumes have shown links to improved metabolic health and a lower risk of disease! Woo carbs!

food myths busted - carbs in bread

2. Microwaves kill the nutrients in food

If you’ve been avoiding your microwave after you read that it can kill every nutrient in sight, we have some good news - your microwave is not an evil killing machine!

Like any method of heating, microwaving can affect the nutrient content in food to a certain extent, however it does depend how long you cook your food for.

Simone Austin, accredited dietitian and spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia, told Huffington Post, lightly microwaving food can actually help retain some of the nutrients, because you don’t need to add a lot of water that can leach out those good vitamins and nutrients.

3. Carrots will give you perfect vision

If you thought munching down on carrot sticks was going to give you 20/20 vision, I’ve got some bad news for you… It’s not quite true. So, where did the myth come from?

It all started with the British Airforce during World War II. To diffuse any questioning about how exactly the Air Force managed to shoot down German aircrafts during the world war in the thick of darkness, the U.K. Ministry of Food was quick on their feet and blamed… the carrots, rather than outing their new fancy and ultra-top secret technology. The now-defunct agency rolled out a campaign illustrating the profound benefits of carrots, the pilot’s super-human sight and how this could all be yours by eating handfuls of the locally grown vegetable.

Although the crunchy snack does contain beta carotene that the body turns into vitamin A, which in turn can improve eyesight, they won’t give you radar detector strength eyes.

food myths busted - Carrots won't help with your vision

4. Oranges are the best source of vitamin C

If you’re looking for a super boost of vitamin C, it may be a habit to reach for a fresh juicy orange, but there are fruits that contain more of the vitamin!

Here’s a list of how much vitamin C is in per 100g of these popular fruits!

  • Pineapple: 47.8mg
  • Oranges: 52.3mg
  • Strawberries: 58.8mg
  • Lychee: 71.5mg
  • Kiwi fruit: 92.7mg

5. Chocolate is bad for you

While milk chocolate is still a treat that should be enjoyed in a small amount, dark chocolate food contains a bunch of good stuff! Most notably antioxidants which may reduce a person’s risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa or more, also contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties which help with ageing and reduce risk of disease. So if you’re after a ‘treat yourself moment,’ dark chocolate is the way to go.

Have some dark chocolate as an office snack

6. Adding salt to water will help it boil faster

Unfortunately, it does the opposite. Salting your water, although great for pasta, will not help it boil faster. It instead increases the water’s boiling point, so while your water may be getting hotter, it will still take longer to boil. This is a natural phenomenon called boiling point elevation, when a non-volatile solute, like salt, is added to a solvent, like water. In short; your cooking may taste great, but it’s not getting done any faster.

7. Raw fruit and vegetables are healthier

Eating your fruit and veg raw is sometimes the healthier option, but in a few cases, cooking them can improve the nutrient levels. Cooking carrots, asparagus and tomatoes can make it easier for the body to digest because the cooking process helps break down the plant cell walls, allowing us to absorb all the nutrients.

Many people now implement a raw-food diet, in which they don’t eat any processed or cooked foods. This means they mainly have fresh fruits, vegetables, fermented foods, sprouts, grains, nuts and seeds, with no meat, dairy products or processed foods. Although fresh, wholefoods are extremely good for you and have many health benefits, you don’t need to commit to a raw-food diet to get the best vitamins and minerals out of your dinner.

8. Skipping meals helps you lose weight

This is a common and popular myth associated with weight loss, but skipping meals actually leads to longer-term weight gain. When you restrict yourself, your body will begin to crave high-fat, high-sugar foods to make up for lost energy. It can also cause your metabolism to slow down, which ultimately leads to weight gain and makes it harder to lose weight. Short term effects of skipping meals causes your blood sugar to decease, causing irritability (hangriness), fatigue and you often lose the ability to think straight. There are endless debates about how often a person should eat, and how long the wait time between eating should be, but the general consensus is to not deny yourself good, healthy foods. Basically, the only way for successful weight loss, is good old-fashioned healthy eating.

This is especially important in the workplace as many will often forego a meal to work longer. A way to combat this is to order some corporate catering. Whether that’s a breakfast the whole team can enjoy, a staff lunch or even just some healthy office snacks for the kitchen, it is important to fuel our bodies throughout the working day and promote healthy eating habits.

Bonus tip: the best foods to eat to lose weight:

  • Leafy greens
  • Salmon
  • Broccoli and cauliflower 
  • Watermelon (one of the best fruits for weight loss)
  • Beans and legumes
  • Low fat and lean meats

Check out more of the best foods to lose weight here.

9. It takes 7 years to digest gum

One thing that can easily send any child (or adult) straight into panic mode is swallowing your gum and imaging it sitting inside your stomach for 7 entire years… But research shows that although the gum is indigestible in the traditional sense, it will still pass through your system just like anything else does. Enough said.

food myths busted - bubble gum

10. Milk gives you strong bones

While milk does contain calcium which is connected to bone health, research shows drinking too much milk is attributed to high bone fracture rates. While some milk every now and then isn’t a bad idea, excessive amounts (more than three cups a day) may be bad for your health in the long-term. A large-scale Harvard study followed over 70 thousand women for more than 2 decades, and found no evidence that drinking milk can prevent bone fractures or osteoporosis. Although, don’t fret if you like milk in your morning coffee in the office! You’re still getting a great calcium hit, without long-term health effects.

11. The 5 second rule

We all know this one… when someone drops food products on the floor and someone shouts “5 second rule!” And it’s apparently untouched by bacteria and completely safe to eat. As if in that time, the bacteria have held off and waited for the 5 seconds to pass… More often than not, food dropped on the ground for a short moment should be ok to eat, but it depends how clean the surface is. So, when you drop something on the ground, eat at your own risk.

12. Coffee stunts your growth

Lucky for all you coffee lovers, this one is not true. Although caffeine can cause a few other not so pleasant symptoms if you drink too much of the stuff, like anxiety, shakiness and insomnia. But, if you’re worried about how it will affect your height, don’t! You can still enjoy all your great coffee beans.

After some other fun food facts? Check out our blog on fun and weird facts about food here. Find out how the ice cream waffle cone was born, interesting facts about jelly beans, how peanut butter is good for you and more fun facts about food products.

Order-In does corporate catering best

It’s certainly no myth that Order-In is your best bet when it comes to corporate catering. Whether you need fresh and locally sourced milk and fruit box deliveries for the office, freh high-quality coffee beans or you have an upcoming working lunch or corporate event, we have it all covered. We can offer huge variety in special diet catering, including options for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and more. After a quote? No worries, jump on our website or get in touch with our awesome customer service team on 1300 851 900.

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