More and more, grocery shopping is becoming a stressful chore given the flood of information and misinformation that leaves us dithering over choices. Here are five popular myths that only make life harder, so be sure not to fall for them.
1. Fresh produce is best. Not necessarily – and it’s often more expensive than the frozen, packaged kind. Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at prime ripening time so that the nutrients are preserved. Rinse canned vegetables and fruit to get rid of added sugar and salt.
2. Organic is better. Though there’s a big hype about it, there’s no actual evidence that organic food is more nutritious. It just might contain fewer pesticides. If you decide to spend more on organic produce, pick fruits like apples and peaches, and leafy green vegetables, which may have pesticide residue, rather than oranges, bananas and others whose skin you will discard anyway.
3. ‘Low Fat’ translates as ‘Healthy’. That’s not true of all food that is labelled as such. What you need to do is read the ‘Nutrition Facts’ panel on the packaging which will give you the true picture. If the levels of sodium, sugar, trans-fats and calories are high, put it back on the shelf.
4. Stay away from juice. You only need to steer clear of cartons labelled ‘fruit juice drink’, as these are loaded with sugar and calories. Go for the 100% juice carton, and if you’re calorie-conscious, pick juices naturally low in sugar like pomegranate and grapefruit.
5. Red Meat is harmful for health. Taken in moderation, red meat is a rich source of protein, iron and zinc, all healthy nutrients. Pick lean meat, and use it as a side rather than a main ingredient, complementing it with vegetables.