Myths Busted

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Raw vegetables are always better than cooked vegetables

FALSE

Not so. The amount of nutrients you get from vegetables can differ for a number of reasons, such as how long you store them and how (or if) you cook them. Although cooking vegetables can lose nutrients, cooking can sometimes increase the amount of nutrients available to the body. An example of this is the antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes. Cooking tomatoes releases more lycopene than what is available in raw tomatoes.

Loss of nutrients can occur in cooking because some vitamins, like Vitamins B and C dissolve in water. Some can be lost if the vegetables are boiled for too long. Steaming or stir-frying helps retain the vitamins when you cook vegetables. The fact of the matter is vegetables are powerhouses of nutrition, no matter which way you eat them. Whether raw or cooked, three to five serves of vegetables a day are recommended for good nutrition.




If something is low in fat, I can eat more of it

FALSE

Focusing solely on a food's fat content is only telling half the story. That's because a low fat food might still differ in essential nutrients or be high in sugar, and therefore its calorie content. How much energy a food has might be higher than you expect.




Additives in food are harmful

FALSE

There are a small number of people who react to certain food additives, but this doesn't make them harmful for everyone. In fact, food additives play an extremely important role in food. They give structure, adds flavour, makes food last longer, improves appearance and texture and helps maintain quality. For example, antioxidants added to oil helps prevent it going rancid. Without additives, our food supply would be quite limited.




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