Nutrition information is more available today than it has ever been before, but at times it may seem confusing and difficult to sort out fact from fiction. Below is the truth regarding some common nutrition myths:
Myth #1- Potatoes are bad for you- Potatoes are actually a healthy food, but it is how we top or cook them that can make these tasty tubers high in fat and calories. On their own, an average sized potato has about 90 calories and no fat. Potatoes, with the skin, are high in fiber, vitamin C and potassium. So don’t feel guilty about eating potatoes but just avoid the fried version and top them with healthy toppings like salsa, steamed broccoli, low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt or reduced-fat shredded cheese.
Myth #2- Brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs- Don’t judge an egg’s nutritional value by its color. The color of an eggs shell varies depending on the breed of hen, however brown or white, the nutrients it contains are the same. Eggs, when eaten in moderation, can fit into a heart healthy diet and include many nutrients such as protein, choline and riboflavin.
Myth #3- Vitamins or supplements can fix an unhealthy diet- Daily multivitamins or supplements can’t match the nutrient package found naturally in food. The only way to ensure your body gets the nutrition that it needs is to eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat or fat free dairy foods.
Myth #4- All organic foods are good for you- A cookie is a cookie and being made from organic ingredients doesn’t magically make it nutritious. Sweet treats like cookies can fit into a healthy diet in moderation, however whether you choose to buy organic or conventionally produced food, it is important to read the nutrition label and try to choose foods that are nutrient-rich and lower in saturated and trans fats, sodium and calories.
Myth #5- All beef is high in fat- When eaten in moderation, beef can fit into a heart healthy diet. There are 19 different cuts of beef that are considered “lean”, meeting the USDA’s strict guidelines for total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. To enjoy heart healthy meals with beef make sure to choose lean cuts, trim visible fat, choose low-fat cooking methods such as roasting, grilling or broiling, and watch your portion sizes (think a deck of cards). For a list of lean cuts, click here.
For a delicious and nutritious meal that incorporates lean beef, try this recipe for Asian Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry.