Carrots help you to see in the dark, oranges are the best source of vitamin C and avoiding fruit in the evening are food ‘facts’ we get completely wrong, according to experts.
A study of 2,000 adults has revealed many are mistakenly believing commonly-held beliefs when it comes to the food and drinks they consume.
But now, nutritionists have shed some light on the truth.
While more than a fifth of adults think juicing your fruit is as nutritious as eating it whole, registered public health nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire, who is working with Love Fresh Berries, said vital fibres and nutrients are removed in the juicing process.
And although nearly half believe eating too much fruit rots your teeth, Dr Derbyshire confirmed most sugar found in fruits will not do this.
She said: “We are in the information era yet it seems that ‘over’ information could be confusing the lay public.
“We must remember to utilise information that is evidence-based rather than trusting ‘popular’ followers.
“With social media, people’s views on food are now openly public.
“When it comes to fruit there are many myths but we should not let these impact what we eat.
“The benefits of fresh fruits far outweigh any mythological drawbacks.”
Nicholas Marston, chairman of Love Fresh Berries, added: “There are so many food myths and misinformation around that it’s sometimes hard to know what is actually good for you and what we should be eating.
“Often the difference between truth and a myth can be somewhat unclear so it’s important to distinguish between them and get information from reputable sources, not hearsay.”
The study also found 32 per cent mistakenly believe organic fruit is much healthier than a non-organic counterpart, when in fact there is a negligible nutritional difference between the two types of fruit.
And more than a third of Brits also subscribe to the old wives’ tale about celery taking more calories to eat than it gives you, although it isn’t true.
It also emerged nearly half of Brits have believed something about food which later turned out to be untrue, according to the OnePoll research.
Despite this, 50 per cent of the nation think they are ‘knowledgeable’ about food.
Forty-four per cent of Brits don’t bother sourcing nutritional information but the majority that do use websites to do so.
Brits are also more likely to seek nutrition knowledge from TV than they are a medical professional or nutritionist.
Another quarter will decide whether something is good or bad to eat after searching through social media.
Nicholas Marston added: “There’s so much information online, it’s often hard to tell what’s true and what isn’t.
“With the growth of social media we have seen a huge rise in unqualified influencers giving nutritional advice to followers, even telling them not to eat fruit or berries because of high sugar content, or because they’ll rot your teeth when in fact, berries are nutritional powerhouses which have many health benefits.”
Myths Brits believe – and why they are wrong
‘Oranges are the best natural source of vitamin C’
Strawberries actually contain more Vitamin C than oranges (57mg/100g compared to 42mg/100g for easy peeler oranges). Just seven strawberries provide the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C which contributes to the normal function of the immune system along with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
‘Cooking fruit and vegetables reduces its nutritional value’
Cooking does destroy some heat sensitive vitamins such as folate and Vitamin C. The longer that fruit or vegetables are exposed to heat, the more nutritional value they lose. However in some instances, health benefits are unlocked through cooking.
‘Too much of any fruit rots your teeth’
Fruits which have a high acid content can damage the enamel of your teeth if eaten excessively. However, the sugar in most fruits will not rot your teeth.
‘ Carrots help you to see in the dark’
This is a myth but carrots do contain Vitamin A which is important for good vision.
‘Eating celery burns more calories than you gain by eating it’
In reality there are no negative-calorie foods. Even though celery has low calories, high water density and high fibre, your body still doesn’t use as many calories to process it as there are in a celery stick.
‘Organic fruit is healthiest’
There is a negligible nutritional difference between organic and non-organic fruit.
‘Chocolate is an aphrodisiac’
There is limited evidence that chocolate is an aphrodisiac as there are such small amounts of the substances which have an effect on desire in chocolate.
‘Drinking fruit juice is as nutritious as eating whole fruit’
Whole fruit contains vital fibres and nutrients that are removed when juicing.
‘Dried fruit and fresh fruit have equal nutrition’
The heat used in drying fruit can decrease the amount of some heat-sensitive nutrients like Vitamin C. However, one piece of dried fruit does contain similar nutrients as fresh fruit, just in a smaller portion.
‘It takes seven years to digest chewing gum’
While your stomach doesn’t digest gum the same way as other foods, it still makes its way through your system the same way.
‘Fruit shouldn’t be eaten after 2pm’
Fruit is healthy at any time of day.
‘Fruit should only be eaten on an empty stomach’
There is no scientific evidence to suggest negative side effects of eating fruit before other food.