Food Taboos

By Copper Williams

Not all foods are created equal, or so we’ve learned in recent years. And although our best friends, relatives, and the internet in general may try to swing some foodie life hacks our way, not all of them are true. We’ve tracked down some of the most common food myths around, and have assessed whether they really can help your body—or do more harm than good.

 

Frozen fruits & veggies are less healthy than fresh
FALSE
Because they are flash-frozen at the peak of their growing season, fruits and vegetables you purchase frozen can sometimes prove more nutritional than those you buy fresh that have been harvested before they’re fully ripened and transported cross-country.

 

Sugar can be as addictive as some drugs
TRUE
When you eat sugar, your body releases dopamine and opioids into your system. This is very similar to what happens when certain types of drugs are used, which triggers the brain’s pleasure centers. As time goes by and you continue to indulge, you will need to up your sugar levels to continue to receive that same type of “high”.

 

Eating turkey can make you sleepy
FALSE
You may want to take a nap after digging into Thanksgiving dinner, but the amount of Tryptophan in turkey, which helps to create serotonin, which helps to make melatonin, which helps you to sleep, is lower than in most kinds of poultry we eat. As much as you think that second helping of turkey is causing you to doze, it’s likely something else entirely.

 

Toast can help cure a hangover
Mostly TRUE
The trick to curing a hangover is to prevent it from happening at all. And that means, the moment you get home after a long night at the club, you need to pop some bread in the toaster and guzzle down some water. Keeping hydrated, and food in your system, helps to dissipate rising alcohol blood levels.

 

Drinking alcohol before bed helps you sleep
FALSE
Drinking alcohol may help you get to sleep at first, but will trip up your sleep pattern, causing you to lose out on the different stages of sleep and, thus, make you even more tired the next day.

 

Eating carrots, yams, and sweet potatoes can turn you orange!
TRUE
Known as carotenosis, the color change is caused by excessive levels of carotene intake, especially in young children. But don’t worry! It’s completely reversible; just take a break from certain fruits and veggies!

 

Sub It Out

There are plenty of great substitutions out there that are far better for your body than what your recipe might call for. Try our choices below!

Use: Olive Oil

Instead Of: Butter or Margarine

 

Use: Greek Yogurt

Instead Of: Sour Cream

 

Use: Ground Turkey

Instead Of: Ground Beef

 

Use: Coconut Oil

Instead Of: Vegetable Oil

 

Use: Cocoa Nibs

Instead Of: Chocolate Chips

 

Use: Coconut Milk

Instead Of: Cream

 

Use: Mashed Avocado

Instead Of: Mayonnaise

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