While nutritional science offers a wealth of research on eating right, it can also confuse you with its contradictory findings. For instance — while some studies claim that wine can kill harmful bacteria in teeth and gums, another claims that it can give you skin cancer. Periodically, there are diets/foods that are touted as the “next best thing for your health” (be it a fruit-based diet, dark chocolates or sea salt). But are they really good for you?We get nutritionists Karishma Chawla of Eat Rite 24×7 and Dr Rajeswari Shetty, Head-Dietetics, SL Raheja Hospital to bust myths about popular ‘health’ foods and help you make better food choices:
1) Myth: Dark chocolate is good for you.
Fact: Studies suggest that dark chocolate contains less sugar and is loaded with antioxidants which help protect the heart. “It still holds a significant amount of calories and must be eaten in moderation, just like other sweets,” says Chawla.
2) Myth: Multigrain bread and whole-wheat bread is better than white bread.
Fact: Keep in mind: any bread comprises sugar, transfats and some amount of refined flour, though wholewheat bread and multigrain bread are better options. “Wholewheat bread is better than white bread because of high fibre and vitamin content. However, multigrain bread may be a combination of low GI grains like oats, wheat along with maize and refined flour, which may not make it as healthy as wholewheat bread,” adds Chawla.
3) Myth: Nutrition bars are nutritious.
Fact: Nutrition bars are a healthier option to junk food but should be eaten in only in dire situations, since they could be high in sugar and fat, says Chawla.
4) Myth: Loading up on fruits keep you slim.
Fact: Fruits are an essential section of the food pyramid and contribute to natural vitamins and fibre required by the body. “Fruits contain fructose, therefore excess consumption of fruits may also lead to high sugar levels and fat gain. Also, the timing matters. It is best is to finish consuming fruits in the first half of the day unless you are on a muscle gain diet,” says Shetty.
5) Myth: Brown eggs are more nutritious than white ones.
Fact: The only thing that the colour of an eggshell indicates is the colour of the feathers of the bird it came from — white hens lay white eggs, and red hens lay brown eggs. “The reason that brown eggs cost more is because hens that lay brown eggs usually eat more, and are larger as compared to those who lay white eggs, and are thus expensive to maintain. The taste may be different, but it does not differ in quality or nutritional profile,” says Shetty.