Nutritious diet and healthy living go hand-in-hand – which is why most of us pay extra attention to what we eat on a daily basis. In fact, we try to keep ourselves updated with all the health- and diet-related news available on the internet. But so much information often leaves us confused and wondering what is actually good for our health. Subsequently, we end up believing some incorrect information or some false claims; and further start following those without doing a fact check. Hence, to make it easier for all, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently took to Twitter to debunk some of the most common myths that have been doing the rounds for years. Let’s take a look:

Also Read: 5 Tips To Keep Fruits And Vegetables Clean According To FSSAI

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Here Are 7 Common Myths About Food And Nutrition:

Myth 1: Eating low calorie diets and skipping meals is the only way to weight loss.

Fact: A balanced diet, eating small portions at defined regular intervals and regular exercise is the key to weight loss. By low calorie diets/skipping meals you may be missing out on essential nutrients.

Myth 2: If a food label indicates ‘DIET FOODS’, then it is healthy.

Fact: Foods claiming to be LOW FAT may be high in sugar, salt and even invisible fat. It is thus advisable to read the ingredient list to find out any hidden sources of salt, sugar or fat.

Myth 3: Plant based diets are deficient in protein.

Fact: Plant-based rich sources of protein like legumes, nuts, seeds, soy-products, millets and some vegetables are also high in fiber and low in fat. The quality of protein can also be increased when cereals and pulses are consumed in combination.

Myth 4: Cooked food can’t cause food-borne illness and can be kept at room temperature.

Fact: There are plenty of ways that cooked food can become contaminated after cooking, making it just as unsafe to eat. This can happen when-

  • Food isn’t stored properly. All cooked and leftover foods need to be refrigerated (below 5degree Celsius) within 2 hours.
  • Food is prepared on a contaminated surface or equipment or stored in non-food grade utensil.
  • Food handlers don’t practice good personal hygiene.
  • Cross-contamination with raw food.

Myth 5: Oil provides empty calories with no nutrients.

Fact: Human body cannot synthesize prime Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, which are called Essential Fatty Acids: Omega 3 (m-3) and Omega 6 (n-6) fatty acids and hence they have to be obtained from the diet. Essential fatty acids reduce risk of heart disease, improve cognition, and reduce inflammation and joint pain. To reap maximum benefits right combination of cooking oils should be used.

Myth 6: Children can eat high-calories, high sugar foods as much as they want.

Fact: Nutrient requirements are high during the growing years. Good nutrition improves the child’s physical well-being as well as cognitive development. Excess sugar consumption at a young age has been associated with the risk of obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. We need to encourage intake of a balanced diet with all food groups in appropriate amounts.

Myth 7: If it looks fine and smells fine, it’s probably safe to eat.

Fact: Although a bad smell or taste are signs that food has ‘gone off’, these signs often are not caused by bacteria that give you food poisoning. Always check use by/best before/expiry dates, storage instructions and temperature on the packet.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.