Top 5 Big Little Lies told about food

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Too often we get carried away believing everything we are told. Inspired by NEON and SoHo’s upcoming show, Big Little Lies - starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley I’ve picked out five Big Little Lies in health and nutrition to expose for you guys! With all the diet and nutrition information out there, it’s not always clear how to distinguish fact from fiction.

It’s healthier to eat egg whites rather than whole eggs.

For years, experts believed eggs were unhealthy due to their high cholesterol levels, which is found in the yolk.  Dietary cholesterol was once thought to be the cause of unhealthy cholesterol levels so many people stuck to eating egg whites. Research has found that cholesterol in food is not the enemy, and that trans fats have a much greater effect on blood cholesterol. Eggs are a rich source of protein and nutrients including iron, zinc and vitamin D, which are all found in the yolk.

Margarine is better for you than butter.

There has been so much debate about which is better for us, margarine or butter. During the low fat era, experts believed butter was bad for our health and recommended margarine as the healthier alternative.  Since then, it’s been suggested that margarine is less healthier than butter due to it being processed and having a base of vegetable oil, compared to butter which is a dairy based product. Butter and margarine contain almost the same amount of calories and grams of fat per tablespoon. The main difference between the two is the type of fat, which is found in them. Margarine contains trans fats, which has adverse effects on cholesterol and heart health compared to butter, which contains saturated fat. If you do use margarine, look for trans-fat free brands.

Fresh always beats frozen.

Many people believe frozen fruit and vegetables aren’t as nutritious as fresh fruit and vegetables. The truth is that frozen produce has just as many nutrients as fresh produce. Frozen produce is flash frozen shortly after being picked, this means that is retains more nutrients than if it has to travel. Fresh vegetables have often had a long journey from the moment they were picked to the time they arrive in the stores. This means they have lost some of their nutrients.

Buying frozen fruit and vegetables means that you can enjoy these foods all year round and if you’re struggling to get your daily intake of fruit and vegetables, don’t be scared to purchase frozen fruit and vegetables to add to your meals.

Low fat versions are better than the originals.

This is a very common myth and labelling foods “low fat” has found to be a very successful marketing tool. People who want to lose weight often opt for the “low fat” foods, unaware of the damage they are doing to themselves. Fat is flavour and when that is taken out of the food, it needs to be replaced by something else, manufacturers often replace this with extra sugars and sweeteners to make the food tasty. Some low fat products aren’t all bad for you but you should always read the labels when you are buying low fat products. Make sure they aren’t heavily processed or full of additives.

Eating fat will make you fat.

From a caloric standpoint, it makes sense that eating fat will make you fat, however this is not true. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram.  Many people avoid fat to try and lose weight but recent studies have found that high fat (and low carbohydrate) diets lead to more weight loss than low-fat diets.

Some fats are better for you than others, choose mono-saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts and fish. The fats to avoid are trans-fat which is found in processed food, fried fast food and packaged goods, these increase the risk of heart disease. if you eat a meal rich in healthy fats such as salmon, eggs and avocado, you will feel fuller faster and longer and won’t overeat. These healthy fats will help absorb vitamins A, D, E and K.

The New Zealand premiere of Big Little Lies is on SoHo on SKY 8.30pm Sunday 26 February, and it’s also available express on NEON from 27 February – if you don’t have NEON already, get started with a 30 day free trial here. 

J&L x