Do you run away from foods like bananas, potatoes and rice? Are you worried they will make you fat, may raise your blood sugar levels or affect your health in some other way? Don’t avoid them completely. You might be depriving your body of some essential nutrients. We bust myths about foods that are most commonly considered unhealthy
Have you been conveniently throwing away egg yolks and having only the whites because you thought it is full of cholesterol? According to nutritionist Sushila Sharangdhar, the yolk is the most nutritious part of the egg. “Most of us don’t understand that our body needs a healthy amount of good cholesterol,” Sushila says. The yolks are also a good source of zinc phosphorus, Vitamins A, D, E, K, B6, B12 and folate
Rice is one of the most misunderstood foods. It is high in energy, and so it is a good idea to include it in your diet. “Rice when had for lunch, in the right quantity, is very healthy, says Mumbai-based nutritionist Tripti Gupta Bhandari. One does not have to avoid this low-fat, zero cholesterol cereal. But, if you are diabetic, keep a check on your rice intake.
Nuts are believed to be fattening by many. They are high in calories. But, can be a part of a healthy diet if the right quantity is consumed. “Nuts are a source of omega-3 fatty acids (the good fats), specially for vegetarians. They are also a good source of proteins and minerals and should be consumed in small portions,” says nutritionist Naini Setalvad. “A fistful of nuts, say about 15gms of nuts everyday won’t do you any harm” adds Tripti. So, include a few in your morning cereal or simply snack on a handful of them.
Red meat when eaten in large amounts can lead to health problems. But, one does not have to avoid it completely. It is a good source of minerals like iron, zinc and protein. “Red meat is a great source of iron and right amounts of it can help overcome anaemia,” says Tripti. While having red meat, choose cuts that are low in fat like lamb chops and beef steak. “People who have high cholesterol levels should stay away from red meat,” says dietician Sushila Sharangdhar.
Potatoes have been considered to be fattening by most of us. But again, if the right quantity is consumed, it is a good source of energy and protein. “They are a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamins B and C, Tripti says. The way you cook them makes a difference. “Opt for boiled or roasted potatoes over fried ones,” she says.
Most people on a weight loss diet avoid bananas because of its high sugar content. But again, they need not be avoided completely as they contain no fat and are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals and is a heart friendly food. “Bananas are high in potassium and are recommended for women going through menopause or to ease menstrual cramps. It serves as an excellent pre-work out meal and helps you replenish your energy. However, green bananas are best avoided if you are diabetic,” says Tripti
Ghee is considered to be bad for the heart as it is high in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. But, the good news is, that it is high in Vitamin A and are high in monounsaturated fatty acids which increases levels of good cholesterol. Ghee contains less fat than butter and therefore is a healthy alternative. “People tend to avoid ghee and oil because they are considered fattening. But, our body needs a healthy amount of fat. So, include 3-4 teaspoons of ghee in your diet everyday for the monounsaturated fats,” says nutritionist Sneha Trivedi
Include all foods in your diet in moderation for a healthy, balanced diet. Are there any food myths you know of? Leave us a comment and let us know.