Popular Misconceptions About Veggies
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Popular Misconceptions About Veggies

Fresh or frozen? Cooked or raw? This article explores some of the misconceptions people have concerning vegetables.

Misconceptions surrounding vegetables are numerous. Many are confused as to whether to eat veggies raw or cook them. Are frozen carrots less nutritious than fresh or canned? Are potatoes really that fattening? The answers may be surprising.

The Lettuce Lie

Many people are under the impression that iceberg lettuce contains no nutrients making it a waste of time to eat it and a waste of money to buy it. While it is true that iceberg lettuce is mostly water, it also contains protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. One cup of this classic salad favorite delivers a significant dose of vitamins K - a nutrient commonly found deficient in the modern diet. Iceberg lettuce is also a good source for vitamin A which is essential for eyesight health.

The Carrot Conspiracy

Are carrots really so high in sugar that they should be avoided? Many people on diets such as the famed high protein diet avoid carrots because they believe that they are too high in sugar. Carrots are a nutrient dense, low calorie food that also contains heart healthy fiber. One cup of carrots contains a scant 52 calories as well as 12 grams of complex carbohydrates. Carrots also contain an important phytochemical called falcarinol which has been studied for its positive protective properties against colon cancer. So while it is true that carrots contain some natural sugar, the pros of eating carrots far out way the cons in most cases.

Is Frozen as Good?

Many people are surprised to find out that some frozen foods are more nutrient rich than fresh. Vegetables begin the process of breaking down nutrients as soon as they are picked. Flash freezing is a process which works to preserve the nutrients in many veggies.

To Cook or Not to Cook

It is true that cooking destroys certain nutrients in some vegetables but it is also true that the heat produced by cooking releases other nutrients making them more bioavailable. Some of the nutrients affected by the cooking process include folic acid and vitamin C. Nutrients such as lycopene which is a powerful cancer fighting antioxidant found in tomatoes and tomato products are made more potent by the cooking process. Steaming or roasting is preferred over boiling because it is less destructive to vitamins.

The Potato Myth

The spud is not to blame for the calories and fat contained in a loaded baked potato. There are only about 150 calories and approximately three grams of filling fiber in a small baked potato. This low calorie, low fat food is a perfect choice for dieters. Potatoes also contain a flavenoid called quercetin which has been proven to boost the immune system. In addition, potatoes contain significant amounts of potassium which is known for its ability to lower blood pressure.

Understanding the misconceptions and half truths surrounding vegetable myths can help you eat a more balanced and nutritious diet.


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Comments (1)

I'm proud to be a veggie. Wonderful article.