Smith: Time to dispel five food myths | Food and Cooking


The dietary guidelines represent the most current science-based advice on what and how to eat and drink for our best health. 

Like in most subject areas, there will always be myths, particularly when it comes to food and health. Here are five nutrition myths I am happy to debunk.

1. Carbs are bad for you. Carbohydrates serve as your body’s preferred source of energy for daily tasks and they provide fuel for the brain. Healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and dairy provide carbohydrate. Choose these carbs more often than refined carbs (white breads and pastas, pastries, sweets and sodas).

2. The body needs an occasional “cleanse.” Our body cleanses itself, and in fact, it’s quite amazing at eliminating unwanted products. That is literally what your kidneys and liver do! Maintaining a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, whole grains and adequate amounts of water will help keep these important organs functioning at their best.

3. Fresh produce is better than canned or frozen. The nutrient content of fresh produce compared to canned or frozen is quite similar. Manufacturers of frozen and canned fruits and vegetables generally use produce immediately after harvesting so there is very little nutrient loss up front. The canning and freezing process may yield some nutrient loss, depending on the type of nutrient, but it’s generally not a significant difference. Choose no-added-salt canned vegetables and fruits canned in their own juices to avoid added sodium and sugars. The main point is to simply eat more fruits and vegetables, no matter fresh, canned or frozen.