The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Unfortunately, the food sector is plagued by a great deal of erroneous and even contradictory information. It’s time to boost your nutritional quotient by debunking some myths regarding fruits and vegetables!

1. Bananas are rich in protein.
Myth. A banana equals a steak. Does this saying sound familiar? This belief is a total myth given that fruits and vegetables contain very little or no protein at all. Protein is found in dairy products, meats and meat substitutes (e.g., eggs, legumes, fish). For example, one banana contains 1 g of protein compared to an average of 28 g of protein per 100 g of meat. A banana is a very nutritious fruit that provides high-quality carbohydrates, potassium, folate, vitamin C, etc.

2. To digest better, it’s better to eat fruit before meals.
Myth. No scientific studies of healthy people have shown that eating fruit before meals leads to better digestion. Human digestive enzymes are powerful enough to digest many types of foods at the same time. When fruit is eaten during meals is also culturally predicated. In Europe, fruit is eaten before meals (e.g., prosciutto and melon), in Morocco, with the main course (e.g., tajine with dried fruits) and in Canada, as dessert (e.g., fruit salad).

3. Eating grapefruit burns fat.
Myth. If this myth were true, everyone who eats grapefruit would be slim! Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Grapefruit is a stellar “health” ally because it contains fewer than 100 calories per fruit and provides 100% of the daily allowance of vitamin C.

4. Potatoes aren’t very nutritious.
Myth. This is a persistent myth that must be debunked once and for all! Potatoes are nutritious and versatile vegetables that fit in perfectly with a healthy and balanced diet. For example, a medium-sized baked potato with its peel contains as much vitamin C as two apples, twice as much potassium as a banana, as much fibre as six prunes, more iron than a cup of raw spinach and fewer calories than a cup of long-grain white rice. However, be careful when it comes to adding butter and cream to them!

5. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of pesticides.
Myth. The levels of pesticides found in fruits and vegetables—and by extension, those tolerated by Health Canada—are far lower than those that can pose a threat to health. Nevertheless, it’s still important to wash fruits and vegetables well, brushing those with a thick peel (e.g., potatoes, carrots, parsnips, citrus) and discarding the outer leaves of lettuces. The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables have been proven time and time again and far exceed the disadvantages of any pesticide residue they may contain.