Eat better

confused shopper
Learn to sort the food truth from the lies

1. Eating carrots aids your eyesight

FACT: This tale may have started during WW2 when British Intelligence spread a rumour that their pilots had remarkable night vision because they ate lots of carrots - they didn’t want the Germans to know they were using radar. Carrots and many other orange vegetables contain a phytochemical called beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A. This is important for healthy eyes but eating more that the recommended daily allowance won’t improve vision.

Carrots can help beat ageing too

2. Brown eggs are healthier than white

FACT: The colour of the shell has nothing to do with the egg’s quality, flavour or nutritional value. The colour of the shell is determined by the breed of the hen.

Why we should all be cracking open an egg

3: Feed a cold, starve a fever

FACT: There’s no evidence to suggest that either will help you get better quicker – the best advice is to be guided by your appetite. The one thing that you must do if you have a fever, which is causing you to sweat, is increase your fluid intake as there’s a risk you’ll become dehydrated.

10 reasons to drink more water

3 ways to avoid the flu

4. Cut out bread, pasta and potatoes to lose weight

FACT: Some people think carbohydrates, like bread and potatoes, are fattening but gram for gram they contain fewer than half the calories of fat. Low-carb diets are no more likely to help you lose weight than a regular calorie-controlled diet. Bread, rice and pasta are an important part of a healthy balanced diet and provide several important vitamin and minerals including B group vitamins along with dietary fibre. Eating carbs before you exercise will help fuel your workout.

Eat wholefoods to avoid a bad mood

5. Spinach is the best source of iron

FACT: Although rich in iron, spinach also contains a substance called phytic acid which binds to the iron making it difficult for the body to absorb. It is, however, a good source of several other vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and folic acid – folic acid is particularly important for women as it plays a crucial role in early foetal development.

The health benefits of spinach

6. Raw vegetables are more nutritious than cooked

FACT: While it’s true that raw vegetables usually contain more vitamin C and B vitamins than cooked, cooking vegetables like carrots, tomatoes and sweetcorn actually increases the release of some of the phytochemicals like beta-carotene making it easier for the body to absorb them. So the answer is, it depends on the vegetable.

10 reasons to eat tomatoes

7. Red meat is bad for you

FACT: Red meat is a great source of iron. In the UK, around 40% of women aged 19 to 34 have iron intakes below a healthy minimum. Lean red meat is also a rich source of vitamin B1, which is vital for normal heart function & energy production.

Beef up your meal with healthy goulash

8. Microwaving vegetables destroys vitamins and minerals

FACT: When vegetables are boiled in a pan of water, some vitamin C and B leaks into the cooking water, which is usually thrown away. Cooking vegetables in the microwave needs only a very small amount of water which means that more vitamins are retained in the vegetables.

Make quinoa-stuffed aubergines

9. Frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh 

FACT: Frozen vegetables are convenient, quick and easy to use and ideal for busy people. They’re frozen at the height of their ripeness so they often contain higher levels of vitamins than fresh vegetables.

How to choose healthy ready meals

10. Skimmed milk contains less calcium than full fat  

FACT: Skimmed milk actually contains slightly more calcium than full-fat milk, because when the fat is removed the calcium is concentrated. 

Try these almond milk recipes

Worried about your vitamin intake? New Centrum Men and Women, multivitamins tailored to each gender, can help provide nutritional support.