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Hey, I am a med student who likes to write. Each week I provide a handful of tips that will help you in your quest to become healthier.

11 Widespread Food Statements Demystified

Written: 11/28/2007


Often used as commercial lines, the following statements are posed in such a way that different interpretations can be attached to them. Some are even false. To get noticed, many advertisers chance upon these powerful one liners to grab the attention of gullible customers. Well it is about time we shook things up a little for them…

  1. The Banana: A powerhouse of 9 vitamins.

    True but False:
    You may find this answer ambiguous but this is actually the case. In most health articles you will find people quoting such a vegetable or such a fruit as a powerhouse of vitamins. A banana has been claimed as such. A fruit in itself is not a powerhouse. You will find 9 vitamins in a banana but most are in trace amounts that they will not do such major benefits on your health. However bananas are rich in potassium, a nutrient which combats high blood pressure.

  2. Puree is the best way to digest potatoes.

    False: To gulp down potatoes in puree without mastication and impregnating it with saliva, it will not be digested correctly. So do not give too much puree to your child or old persons.

  3. Carrots ease the transit in case of diarrhea.

    True: This is due to a molecule known as pectin which absorbs water and gives less watery faeces but this vegetable does not have anti-infectious properties. Beware also of intolerance to carrots.

  4. Mushrooms are the "meats" of vegans.

    False: Mushrooms do not contain all essential amino acids (building blocks of proteins) found in meats. Also you must consume about 1 kg of mushrooms to get the equivalent amount of proteins in a beef steak. At most, you can consider them as protein complements.

  5. Consuming the cooking water of vegetables are beneficial for health.

    Actually there are two schools of thoughts on this particular nutrition fact which are totally divergent.

    True: The classic opinion is that you must collect the cooking water of vegetables because it is a concentrated solution of minerals and vitamins which have drained from the vegetables and it would be a total waste to throw it away.

    False: On the other hand, as well as vitamins and minerals, you will also be collecting the pesticides, insecticides and nitrates compounds found on the vegetables.

    For this, I'll say that if you are sure that the vegetables have not been sprayed by hazardous chemicals, then make a health drink from the cooking water of the vegetables.

  6. The automatic cooker is safe for the cooking of vegetables.

    False: If you do not know how to use an automatic cooker.

    True: If you respect the modes of use: cooking in a minimum amount of water, in a minimum amount of time and in an airtight condition. In a cooker, the vitamins are more vulnerable to the time of cooking than the actual temperature. So it is better to cook your vegetables at 120°C for 10 minutes than at 100°C for 30 minutes.

  7. Two bananas are the equivalent of a beefsteak.

    False: You need atleast 12 to 14 bananas to equate the proteic value of 100g of a beefsteak but it is more nutritious to eat 12 bananas than a beefsteak.

  8. Citrus juices acidify urine.

    False: The acidic salts in fruits undergo a transformation in the human body which turn them into carbonates alkalines, i.e. the acidic nature of the citrus fruits are cancelled by the human body. Most vegetables and fruits in general, rich in calcium, potassium and other metals, are alkaline. They are very important in a dish to balance the acidic nature of meats, eggs and fish.

  9. Dried plums are excellent against constipation.

    True: An excellent grandmother remedy, it is recommended for lazy intestines to eat, every morning 3 to 4 dried plums soaked 24 hours in water and to drink the water.

  10. Pulses can replace meats.

    True: But you must also complement your meals with other sources of proteins. Although more loaded with proteins than meats (20 to 24%), they lack some essential amino acids. The biggest inconvenience of eating pulses is the intestinal fermentations they provoke.

  11. Potatoes left to ripen in air are good for health.

    False: There has been some cases of intoxications with potatoes left to ripen in the air but if you take the necessary precautions to remove all the germs and the greenish patches on the potatoes, then there are no major health risks. The substance responsible for this is Solanine, a compound which develops under the skins of tubers on exposition to air, sun and humidity.


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