13 Food Facts
Sometimes it is difficult separating food facts from food myths. Vested interests profit by consumer ignorance. Here are 13 food facts with no strings attached.
1. Farm Raised Fish Can Be Environmentally Friendly
People are eating more seafood to reduce calories or up their omega-3 fat intake. For years this placed a great strain on ocean supplies.
Today, some seafood is farmed making the seafood supply more sustainable. Since most seafood is now imported, quality and safety can be an issue.
Many stores sell farm raised Atlantic salmon as an affordable alternative to Pacific/Alaskan salmon. Farmed Atlantic salmon can be high in BPA and colored with artificial colors to give it its bright red color.
2. Fruits and Vegetables Add To Your Daily Fluid Intake
For decades, we were told to drink 8 glasses of water per day for good health. What wasn’t mentioned is that fruits and vegetables contribute to your fluid intake. Many fruits are over 70 percent water. Water melon is over 90 percent water. Tomatoes are more that 80 percent water.
Other fruits and vegetables that are at least 85 percent water include, apricots, berries, melons, oranges, peaches, pineapple, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, lettuce, and eggplant.
3. Greek Yogurt Has Less Calcium Than Plain Yogurt
Greek yogurt is strained natural yogurt removing some of the whey. Straining double the protein in Greek yogurt, but reduces the amount of calcium by 50 percent. If you are eating dairy for its calcium, stick with unflavored natural yogurt.
4. Processed Foods Have More Salt Than Using Your Salt Shaker
American food manufactures believe everything must be loaded with sodium from multiple sources. It not only provides the flavor Americans love, it also increases shelf life.
Study’s show about 10 percent of salt intake comes from salt added at the table.
Fast foods, restaurant foods, canned soups, frozen entrees and dinners, and processed meats are high in sodium
5. Fresh Produce Is Not Necessarily Best
Fresh produce is usually picked immature to survive shipping, which also reduces nutrient content. Fresh produce also has a short shelf life at the store and at home.
Canned, frozen, and dried fruit and vegetables are picked at or near maturity.
When selecting out-of-season produce, frozen and canned varieties should taste better than produce shipped 1,000 or miles.
6. Low-Fat Isn’t Necessarily Healthier
The 1980s was the decade of low fat diets. Food manufacturers pumped out low-fat foods. Of course they were all processed foods. The problem with most low fat foods was that they weren’t lower in calories. People thinking they could eat more, were actually eating as many or more calories compared to full fat foods.
7. Gluten-free Diet Is Not A Weight Loss Diet
If you think going gluten-free will cause pounds to miraculous drop off. Think again. Like low-fat foods in Item 6, processed gluten-free foods have as many or more calories.
Substituting gluten-free muffins and cookies for regular muffins and cookies doesn’t guarantee less calories. If you are trying to lose weight, check the nutrition facts label before you buy.
8. Potatoes Are High In Vitamin C
If you link citrus with vitamin C, you have more options. The lovely potato can provide almost 50 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C for a person needing 2,000 calories per day. Potatoes are also high in heart healthy potassium.
Other vegetables providing more than 10 percent of your daily vitamin C include, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, peas, peppers, squash, radishes, and tomatoes.
9. Sardines and Herrings Are High In Omega-3 Fat
Salmon has the spotlight when it comes to omega-3 fat. But sardines and herring are also good sources of omega-3. If you eat the soft bones, you also get vitamin D and calcium.
10. Organic Doesn’t Equal Healthy
Organic fruits and vegetables eliminate your exposure to industrial pesticides and herbicides, but doesn’t completely eliminate eliminate them. Only approved, natural varieties can be used.
When you enter the realm of organic processed foods, all bets are off. The ingredients may be organic, but it doesn’t mean the products are good for you. Organic canned soups can be high in sodium, and organic potato chips and other snack foods high in calories.
When it comes to eating healthier, skip processed foods organic or not.
11. Herbs and Spices Are Good Antioxidants
Herbs and spices have antioxidant properties, but the quantities used are usually pretty small. Don’t rely on herbs and spices as antioxidants unless you used them in large quantities.
12. Sodium Is Almost Everywhere
Food manufactures can’t resist adding salt and other sodium containing products to processed foods. Some top sources of sodium in the American diet is breads, cereals, snack foods, canned soups, processed meats, and pizza.
One flour tortilla or sandwich roll can have up to 800 mg of sodium. Canned soups and beans 400 to 800 mg of sodium per serving.
13. Eggs Don’t Raise Cholesterol
Cholesterol rich eggs and seafood like shrimp are no longer the treats to higher blood cholesterol as once believed. Recent research shows dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on blood cholesterol. The problem is no the cholesterol in foods it’s the saturated fat.
Saturated fat has been linked to increased blood cholesterol. While the cholesterol in eggs may not be a problem, the saturated fat in eggs (found in the yolk) can be. Doctors are still recommending limited egg consumption.