The never-ending debate about what foods should or should not be part of a healthy diet will go on and on, but here’s some facts that may come as a surprise regarding the benefits or otherwise of these ‘A-listers’.

Whole grains and cereals are supposed to be good for you. But they would be useful only if the producers of those attractive cereal boxes didn’t get them refined, polished, sugar, fat and colour coated. If the back of the box mentions any of this in encrypted lingo, put it back on the shelf, and ask ammi to get you some desi ‘dalia’ from somewhere.

‘Fresh is better than frozen’ is what we hear all the time, but that’s not always the case. Flash-frozen food retains the nutrients that are often lost in transporting the produce over long distances, in hot weather especially.

Eating nuts will cause the skin to breakout, right? Wrong! There is no scientific evidence to back that myth. Nuts may cause allergic reactions in some people and sure, some of them may even die, but they are in no way connected to acne. They’re high in nutritional value, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and the much-touted Omega-3. Combine half a cupful with raisins and yoghurt and it makes for a helluva power-lunch.

Speaking of yoghurt – frozen and processed yoghurt is not a healthy snack. It’s packed with sugar and high in carbs. Sweetened yoghurt spikes your body glucose and leads to insulin resistance, a sure recipe for fat storage in your body. Better stick to the ‘doodh ki dukaan dahi’, which is actually packed with healthy probiotics.

Take a pause if you’re happily chowing down on a ‘brown bread sandwich’. It may have no more nutritional value than white bread. You may be imbibing nothing but food color treated slices. Whole wheat ideally has selenium, potassium and magnesium, but only when it’s un-refined. The caramel coloring and minor sprinklings of husk that popular brown breads have make it just that and nothing more – brown bread because of the color, brown.