Top 5 health food myths busted

Eating well is difficult enough, especially when cheese platters are a thing that exist – but food myths often make the quest to eat well particularly challenging.

Food myths can make us think we are treating our bodies to healthy substances and habits, when we’re actually not doing them any real favours at all. On the contrary, they can mean we avoid certain foods or habits for no good reason.

So here are five of the most common health food myths, to help make eating well that little bit easier. It’s one less thing you can take off your plate!

1. Too many eggs means too much cholesterol

Eggs are a staple in Kiwi households, especially for easy Sunday dinners.

Whether you like them fried, poached, or made for cutting in half and dipping with toast ‘soldiers’, there’s a long-standing belief that too many of them can be bad news for your cholesterol.

But here’s the good news: that’s codswallop.

More recent studies have shown that even if you’re watching your cholesterol, you’re still fine to eat eggs regularly, even one or two per day.

2. Fruit is high in sugar

It’s hardly summer without gorging on sun-ripened berries and fruit, and despite the myths, fresh fruit is not overly laden with sugar.

While fresh fruit does contain sugar fructose, it’s not so much that you should be worried about reaching for that third apricot or devouring a punnet of blueberries in one sitting.

It’s fruit products, such as juices, dried fruit, and fruit snacks, that are usually packed with extra refined sugar, so keep it fresh and enjoy summer’s bounty.

3. White sugar alternatives are healthier

Baking these days is not what it used to be. Making a cake or cookies always meant piles of delicious white sugar, but now, we have all sorts of options, from agave to coconut sugar to date sugar.

These options can change the taste and texture to some degree, but keep in mind that they’re still sugars. That means plenty of calories but very little in the way of vitamins or minerals, so you’ll still need to keep an eye on how many cookies you eat.


4. Fresh fruits and vegetables are better for you than frozen

This one is good news – it’s a complete myth that fresh means better.

This myth has been circulating for a long time; that frozen produce loses some of its nutritional value, and therefore fresh fruits and vegetables are better for you.

Thanks to advances in technology, most frozen produce is snap frozen very soon after harvest, which means it retains its nutritional value all the way to your plate. So that means frozen berries and fruits in your smoothies, and frozen veggies are just as good as the fresh stuff - you don’t need to play the balancing game of keeping your fridge full of produce and trying to eat it all before it goes off. 

5. Potatoes are fattening

Well, potatoes can be fattening, but it all comes down to the way you cook them.

For example, fish’n’chips, mashed potatoes loaded with butter, or potato gratin smothered in cheese don’t exactly count as healthy foods. But that’s mostly to do with their preparation.

A nice potato baked in the oven is in fact a great source of fibre and vitamin B, so there’s plenty of nutrition and not much in the way of big scary carbs.

Of course, eating well is a fantastic goal, but living well also means enjoying a good slather of butter on that baked potato and a real cookie or three every now and then. At New Zealand Seniors, we’re all about living life to its fullest, seeking healthy lifestyles, but indulging in the occasional treat to live without regrets!

Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information purposes and shouldn’t be considered or relied upon as professional or personal advice. If you have health and nutrition questions, you should contact an appropriate medical professional.