Nutrition Myths and Truths

A father and daughter washing fruits and vegetables Eating well doesn’t have to be hard! In honor of National Nutrition Month, we’re breaking down some of the biggest nutrition myths out there to help you and your family eat better.

Myth: Fresh fruits and vegetables are always healthier than canned and frozen varieties.

Truth: Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are nutritious and cost-effective options for meeting daily fruit and vegetable recommendations, according to research in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. However, some canned and frozen varieties may contain sneaky ingredients like added sugars, saturated fats and sodium. Be sure to read nutrition labels and choose products that keep those ingredients to a minimum.

Myth: Cooking meals at home is too time-consuming.

Truth: To save on time, keep your kitchen well-stocked with the essentials like spices and cooking oils, meal plan for the week, and choose recipes that are simple and can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, like Partnership for a Healthier America’s Buffalo Cauliflower Bites or Rainbow Noodle Salad. For more quick and easy recipes, check out PHA’s Recipe Hub. You can also cook extra large batches or freeze portions for future meals so weeknight dinners simply only need to be heated.

Myth: Healthy eating is too expensive.

Truth: While unhealthy food choices tend to be cheaper, eating healthy on a budget is possible. Some helpful tips and tricks include purchasing produce that’s in season, buying in bulk and practicing proper food storage, and stocking up on staples like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and dried beans and lentils. You can also consider purchasing frozen or canned vegetables as an alternative to fresh products to save on costs.

Myth: White potatoes are bad for you.

Truth: Potatoes have gotten a bad rap due to their high levels of carbohydrates. However, potatoes can be quite beneficial since they are rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and other nutrients, especially when consumed with the skin on. Make sure to watch your portions and prepare your potatoes in the healthiest way possible by either roasting, baking, boiling or air frying.

Myth: Drinking fruit juice is a good alternative to fruit in your diet.

Truth: Fruit juice is high in added sugar and lacks fiber. A 12-ounce cup of fruit juice contains roughly 10 teaspoons of sugar, the same amount found in a 12-ounce can of soda. To increase your fruit consumption, choose whole fruit. To quench your thirst, choose water.