Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
10 Food Truths and Myths

10 Food Truths and Myths

  1. Cruciferous vegetables reduce the risk of cancer
  2. True. Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage will help prevent cancer. Here are a few quick ways to eat them: try Easy broccoli slaw, or this apple kale lime smoothie.

  1. You need to eat meat or poultry in order to get enough protein
  2. False. Beans are an excellent plant source of protein, and paired with rice or tortilla, the meal has all the essential amino acids you need. But you do need to consider carbohydrate over-load, so balance out your carbs! So, try this bean burrito for lunch. In a whole-wheat oat tortilla, layer refried beans, salsa, low-fat cheese, pre-chopped veggies or ready-made shredded broccoli. Use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream to boost the protein content. Get creative and fill with your favorites.

  1. The deeper the color yellow, orange, or green, the more nutritious a fruit or vegetable is
  2. True. The nutrient that gives produce its yellow or orange color is called beta-carotene. In fact, all fruits and vegetables with deep colors have antioxidants and phytonutrients prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease. See if you can find rainbow carrots in the grocery store, or search for different colors of cauliflower, like purple, yellow, or green.

  1. All milk-alternatives are alike
  2. False. Milk alternatives like almond milk and soy milk actually have vastly different nutrient profiles. Soy milk is actually the most similar to milk, since it is naturally high protein and is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Almond milk, on the other hand, is more like almond water. It doesn’t have much protein and isn’t usually fortified. There are so many brands and options now of different kinds of milk. Check the label for protein, vitamin and mineral content.

  1. Fiber is only important because it keeps your digestion regular
  2. False. Fiber does more than help you poop. It can decrease inflammation and lower cholesterol, both contributing factors for heart disease. A new study showed that for elderly adults, the amount of fiber they ate was the most important factor linked to how functional and healthy they were.1

  1. Broccoli, bok choy, kale mustard, and turnip greens provide calcium
  2. True. Dairy products aren’t the only place we can get calcium in our diets. These green veggies can be important sources of the mineral for those who avoid dairy, but you’ll have to eat a lot. For example, you’ll have to eat almost 5 cups of broccoli to equal the amount of calcium in 1 cup of milk. So if you’re avoiding dairy, make sure you’re getting enough calcium through fortified foods and supplements as well as loading up on these green, calcium-filled veggies.

  1. Coffee is bad for you
  2. False. Fun fact: coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in the American diet! Plus, some studies show that coffee has a variety of health benefits, including reducing the risk for heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancers. So don’t fear your daily brew. But stick to black coffee or add milk with no sugar. Definitely avoid the sugar- and fat-bomb blended or sweetened lattes.

  1. Taking a multivitamin means you can skimp on fruits and vegetables
  2. False. Although it might seem like your daily Flintstone’s gummy has you covered on the nutrition front, fruits and veggies are still key parts of your diet. First, produce provides essential fiber (see Myth #5) and volume in your diet. Second, the forms of vitamins and minerals present in vegetables are more readily absorbed than synthetic forms. Plus, the research is clear: people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables live longer, while those who simply take a multivitamin don’t.

  1. Honey is just as sugary as white sugar
  2. True. Honey may contain trace amounts of minerals and beneficial compounds, but it’s so little as to not have much effect on health. Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, and white sugar all have about the same amount of sugar and calories per teaspoon. So choose a sweetener based on taste preference, and always use in moderation!

  1. Detox tea can help you lose 20 lbs
  2. False. “Detox” teas may be popular on social media, but they are nothing more than a hoax. Most are simply laxatives, so any weight you lose will be from watery stools. Definitely not healthy! Plus, you’ll only lose a few pounds of water weight. For weight loss, stick to tried and true methods like portion control and exercise.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Gopinath B, Flood VM, Kifley A, Louie JCY, Michell P. Association between carbohydrate nutrition and successful aging over 10 years (2016). The Journals of Gerontology. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glw091