What a “healthy diet” consists of is probably the most controversial topic in the world. There are so many myths and misconceptions! Did you know that crackers are more harmful to your teeth than sweets? Did you know that a chronic cough can be treated with chocolate and that humans have something in common with potatoes? Well, get ready to be amazed because we’re about to disprove some of the most common “healthy food” myths!
Bright Side has collected 24 amazing facts that will help you change your attitude to your favorite foods and set up your diet in a better way. At the end of the article, there is an interesting bonus that explains why some foods become tastier the next day after they were cooked.
1. Stickers on fruits and vegetables are edible.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends washing fruits and vegetables before consumption and it doesn’t prohibit eating the stickers on them. The stickers and the glue on them are approved by the FDA and they are safe to swallow. However, if you can, you should take them off before eating.
2. It’s better to eat a slice of pizza for breakfast than a bowl of cereal.
Registered dietitian Chelsey Amer conducted a study that proves that a slice of pizza is a more balanced breakfast than cereal because it contains much more protein and fresh ingredients, and it also has less sugar than cereal. Most of such breakfasts don’t contain enough protein and fats, but they do contain a lot of sugar.
3. Spicy foods lead to greater longevity.
A study from the Harvard School of Public Health showed that eating spicy foods at least once a day can lower the risk of death by 14%. “Some evidence from other studies suggests the bioactive ingredients in spicy foods such as capsaicin may lower “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides and improve inflammation,” says study author Dr. Lu Qi.
4. Canned fish is healthier than canned meat.
Canned food is not very healthy. This is mostly true for canned meat but not quite the same for canned fish. Fish, such as sardines and canned salmon, is a great source of calcium because it allows you to eat tiny bones that are too soft to notice but provide you with a great amount of calcium.
5. Tomatoes become less tasty in the fridge.
New research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science shows that the practice of chilling tomatoes below 54ºF (12ºC) inhibits their ability to generate substances that contribute to aroma and flavor. The cold temperature decreases the functionality of genes which are responsible for the flavor. This is why tomatoes are best stored in a dark room outside the fridge.
6. Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
A strawberry contains 40% sugar while a lemon has 30% more sugar content which is almost twice as much. It’s hard to notice that because there is a lot of citric acid which makes it taste much more sweet than sour. This huge amount of sugar in lemons can cause obesity if you eat them too often, but it’s unlikely that you will because of the acid.
7. The shelf life of milk has nothing to do with preservatives.
Many people think that the milk with a long shelf life contains a lot of preservatives. It’s not true. The secret is using special temperature technologies. Milk is heated up to 275°F and it’s then cooled down very quickly. So the “bad” bacteria die yet all the vitamins are preserved. Such milk can be stored for 120 days unless you open it, and for 4 days after the pack is opened.
8. Buttermilk helps with a hangover but not because it contains alcohol.
In fact, there is about 0.04%‒0.05% of ethanol in buttermilk. One ripe pear contains the same amount of alcohol as one bucket of buttermilk. But why does buttermilk help with a hangover? It’s all because of vitamin B, folic acid, and “good” bacteria which can rid your body of the alcohol. So it’s not because of the alcohol in buttermilk.
9. Microwaving vegetables is the best way to conserve all their minerals and nutrients.
The best way to conserve the healthy nutrients in food is to heat the food for as short of a time as possible with a small amount of liquid. A microwave oven can do this job the best. “When you cook food in a microwave, cover it tightly to create an efficient steam environment,” says registered dietician and certified food scientist Catherine Adams Hutt.
10. Grapes explode if you heat them in a microwave oven.
If you take a grape and cut it in half and then heat it up in a microwave oven, you will see a plasma. This is because a grape is too small and the electromagnetic waves are too concentrated. So if you happen to need to heat up a grape, don’t do it in a microwave oven.
11. Farm-grown salmon is white.
Wild salmon has its natural pinkish color because it consumes a lot of shrimp in the sea. When salmon is grown on a farm, it eats completely different food and that’s why it looks white or just a little bit pink. To make the color brighter, manufacturers use different color pigments.
12. Egg yolk contains more nutrients and minerals that egg whites.
Egg yolk contains all the useful vitamins and minerals necessary for a balanced diet. Of course, egg whites are much better for a diet, but if you need a lot of nutrients, the yolk is your choice. Yes, it contains more cholesterol than whites, but don’t forget that cholesterol is a necessary nutrient for your cells.
13. Too much nutmeg can cause hallucinations.
Nutmeg can cause hallucinations if you eat too much of it. You might experience nausea, dizziness, and concentration issues. The rule “the more, the better” can’t be applied to nutmeg — you should know exactly how much of it you can eat.
14. Wasabi is dyed horseradish.
If you like sushi with wasabi, you should know that wasabi is just dyed horseradish most of the time. The biggest part of wasabi served outside of Japan is horseradish with a color pigment. Even in Japan itself, the demand for wasabi is so high that you are more likely to find wasabi mixed with horseradish rather than a clean product.
15. Bell peppers contain more vitamin C that citrus fruits.
One medium-sized bell pepper contains around 0.005 oz of vitamin C which is 1.5 times more than an average orange. Green pepper has less vitamin C — around 0.004 oz, but because people need even less than that a day, any bell pepper is good.
16. The smell of chocolate reduces stress and calms you down.
Eating a bar of chocolate may cheer you up, but sniffing it calms you down,
says a British psychologist. But it’s only true for real chocolate. He conducted a study with a group of volunteers and came to the conclusion that the chocolate flavor has a calming effect on the nervous system and relieves tension much better than the flavor of any other product.
17. Chocolate is an effective cure for a chronic cough.
A new UK study showed that the cocoa-derived compound can be a great cure for a chronic cough. The UK-based research also showed that the cocoa-derived compound had none of the side effects associated with standard drug treatments for persistent coughs.
18. Scientists can make diamonds out of peanut butter.
Dan Frost and his team of scientists from Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany have found out that peanut butter contains enough carbon to try to turn it into diamonds. In order to do this, they need to get rid of all the oxygen in the product and then put it under great pressure. Because all products (and any biological material) contain carbon, in the future, this study might be used to make diamonds using different things. But, of course, the natural diamonds will still be more valuable.
19. Red products most likely contain carmine which is extracted from bugs.
Сarmine is a natural food coloring extracted from Cochineal bugs. It is found in different candy and other products and even in cosmetics. Many companies are looking for a substitute of carmine, but not because it’s harmful, but because vegetarians refuse to eat it.
20. Crackers are more harmful to your teeth than candy.
We are not going to try to convince you that candy is not harmful to your teeth. But you should know that there are many other products that are much more harmful to your teeth than candy. For example, crackers. The thing is, it’s not the sugar that destroys the teeth – it’s the acid. When crackers stick to the teeth, they create a great environment for acid-producing bacteria.
21. Sea salt is absolutely the same as regular table salt.
Despite the fact that sea salt is thought to be more healthy and useful, it is exactly the same as regular table salt. It contains just as much sodium. And not only that, but table salt often contains iodine, added for thyroid help.
The difference is only in the way it is acquired – sea salt is produced by vaporizing sea or ocean water, and table salt is obtained from underground salt depositions.
22. Potatoes absorb the Wi-Fi signal.
Research conducted by the Boeing company showed that we have something in common with potatoes. – the ability to absorb and reflect radio waves. Because there is a lot of water in potatoes, it can absorb Wi-Fi signals. Using potato sacks instead of passengers on planes helped the company find and eliminate the weak spots in wireless signals during the flight.
23. All the bananas in the world are clones.
There are more than 1,000 different kinds of bananas but all of them are genetic copies of one kind — the Cavendish. They are cloned because there are no seeds for production. Such genetic homogeneity is very dangerous because if some disease of parasite attacks the bananas, all of them will be affected, leading to their extinction.
24. Energy drinks give you short-lived energy.
Many people believe that energy drinks help them keep going when they are having a difficult day. They do, but not in the long run. The high sugar and caffeine content gives you a slight rush increased by the placebo effect. But a 4-year study carried out by experts from Camilo José Cela University (UCJC) showed that energy drinks cause insomnia and nervousness. The scientists evaluated the rush that the drinks give and determined that it boosts your performance by 3% to 7% which is definitely not worth the risks.
Bonus: some foods become better when you eat them the day after they’re cooked.
Many people have noticed that some foods seem tastier the next day after they were cooked. And there are many reasons for that. The food may become tastier because it absorbs the sauce more and the spices mix up and create a different taste. There are lists of foods which are tastier the next day. Lasagna, pasta, and meatballs are on the list.
Which of these facts amazed you the most? Do you know of any others? Tell us in the comment section below!