11/22/2012 12:33 EST | Updated 01/22/2013 05:12 EST

Six Food and Nutrition Myths Debunked

an open jar of peanut butter with spoon

With all the latest studies on nutrition it's difficult to know what's relevant and what's not. Let's look at some of the most recent myths that might be confusing your food choices:


Five Food Myths

Bananas are the number one source of potassium

Not true. Potassium helps to regulate the effect of sodium on your blood pressure. Daily we need around 4,700 mg. A banana has about 420 mg potassium. Here's the interesting news: orange and grapefruit juice has 500 mg per cup; one cup of beets has 700 mg; one cup of lentils has 730 mg and a baked potato has 900 mg.

Corn syrup is worse than sugar

Not necessarily. Both have the same amount of fructose and glucose, but corn syrup is much less expensive which is why it's added to so many foods. Studies show that high fructose corn syrup may increase your triglycerides, blood pressure and risk of certain cancers.

Chocolate is bad for you

Not always. The darker the chocolate the more cocoa it contains. Cocoa contains antioxidants called flavonoids which can increase your HDL, the good cholesterol in your blood. Stick to 60 per cent or greater when selecting chocolate. The higher the percentage the less sugar content. Milk and white chocolate contain more sugar and don't have the same health benefits.

Oranges are the best source of vitamin C

Not the best. For a long time we've thought of oranges as our number one food with respect to Vitamin C, especially when we get sick in order to improve our immune system. Women should get 75 mg and men 90 mg a day. A medium orange (about 1 cup) has 70 mg of vitamin C. One cup of strawberries has 104 mg; 1 cup of red bell peppers has 300 mg; and one cup of cooked broccoli has 104 mg!

Late night snacking causes weight gain

It doesn't have to. Eating at any time of the day in excess will cause weight gain, not just at night. The problem at night is that often we eat poor nutrient, high caloric foods to pass the time. We eat mindlessly while watching TV or sitting at the computer. Eat a healthy filling dinner and limit your late night snacking to no more than 250 calories such as fruit, yogurt or home popped popcorn.

It's difficult to eat all the fruits and vegetable daily according to Canada's Food Guide

It's actually simple. You need about seven to eight servings daily of fruits and vegetables. Sounds like a lot? But one serving is very small. Half a cup is one serving. For example one apple, one cup of broccoli, one banana and a salad would be more than your daily requirement. Not difficult at all.