- Potatoes count towards our 5 a day guideline – they don’t. Along with cassava, plantain and yam, they are classed as carbohydrate foods. Sweet potatoes do count, however, as they are rich in betacarotene
- Raw is better than cooked – not always. While some nutrients, like Vitamin C, are damaged by heat, others like the lycopene found in tomatoes actually gets released and made more bioavailable when cooked
- Organic isn’t worth the extra cost – while organic foods are not completely free from some toxins, they do contain up to 40% more antioxidants
- Baked beans don’t count – they do, but only as one portion regardless of how many you eat. However, remember that baked beans are high in both salt and sugar. Similarly, chickpeas, kidney beans and other pulses also count as one portion but are lower in antioxidant properties than other vegetables
- Eating 5 apples counts as 5 a day – your 5 a day minimum needs to be a variety of 5 different fruits and vegetables. Aim for a variety of different colours as a guideline
- Ready meals don’t count – they can, if the ingredients are there to start with and the nutrients haven’t been damaged by preservation and heating. However, remember that these options are usually high in salt, sugar and fat – eat them in moderation.
- Dietary supplements count – most supplements are made from synthetic ingredients and cannot replace real food. Even natural, high-quality supplements like the multivitamin and mineral I use and recommend should be used as an additional source of nutrients, not to replace fruit and vegetable intake.
Tag Archives: food myths