Top 5 Food Myths: Debunked
Here are 5 common food myths as well as what the truth actual is.
1) Myth: The labels, ‘Organic’ and ‘All Natural’ mean the same thing.
Fact: Even though they sound very similar, they are quite different.
‘Organic’ is food that has been “grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.” 1 Also, if there is an organic label on the product, there are legal implications if the standards are not met.
‘Natural’ has been defined by the FDA as food that has nothing artificial or synthetic added to the food. However, there are no regulations on the production methods (such as the use of pesticides) or the food “processing or manufacturing methods, such as thermal technologies, pasteurization, or irradiation. The FDA also did not consider whether the term “natural” should describe any nutritional or other health benefit.” 2
2) Myth: Bacteria won’t contaminate food as long as the 5-second rule is followed.
Fact: Bacteria transfers almost instantly to food on contaminated surfaces.
From prevention.com, “In one study, Clemson University food scientist Paul Dawson, PhD, and the students contaminated several surfaces (ceramic tile, wood flooring, and carpet) with Salmonella. They then dropped pieces of bologna and slices of bread on the surfaces for as little as 5 seconds and as long as 60 seconds. After just 5 seconds, both food types had already picked up as many as 1,800 bacteria (more bad bugs adhered to the moisture-rich bologna than the bread); after a full minute, it was up to 10 times that amount.” 3
3) Myth: Salads always contain fewer calories.
Fact: Many salads contain more calories than people think.
A BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad from Wendy’s has 590 calories. The ¼ lb. single burger with cheese also has 590 calories (but the ¾ lb. triple burger with cheese has….you better sit down for this….1,110 calories!)
A Caesar Salad from McAlister’s Deli has 710 calories with no meat and 820 if you add grilled chicken. Their Southwest Cobb Salad has 540 calories. Their Turkey Melt has 530 calories, which is less than both those salads.
The dressing is what gives a salad the majority of its calories.
4) Myth: More dietary fiber is always better.
Fact: High amounts of dietary fiber, especially without enough water consumption, can cause health risks.
Dietary fiber is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, and grains and is an essential part of healthy digestion. Dietary fiber also makes you feel full longer and can prevent constipation.
But too much fiber can lead to cramping, diarrhea, intestinal gas, constipation (if you’re not drinking enough water along with the fiber), and intestinal blocking.
Recommended dietary fiber intake for older children, adolescents, and adults is 21-38 grams per day.
5) Myth: Energy drinks don’t contain as much sugar as soda.
Fact: As you can see from the chart below, energy drinks contain similar (and sometimes greater!) amounts of sugar when compared to soda beverages.
These 5 food myths may have surprised you but hopefully also informed you.
It’s so important we all know the different between food myths and facts so everyone can stay healthy!