Food Myths and Truths

Do we need 8 glasses of water daily?

More of a fluid myth than food myths, the amount of fluid we need has been debated for along time. Actually we do need around 8 glasses of 2-3 litres of total fluid daily but foods with a high water content such as fruits, vegetables and other foods like yoghurt also count towards total fluid intake so this may mean 5-6 glasses of actual fluid daily (including milk, juice, diet soft drinks etc) Coffee and teas are included in this (some speculate that the diuretic effect counteracts the fluid contribution but significant dieresis doesn’t start until you have drunk a lot of caffeine)



Does eating celery give you “negative kilojoules”?

This is one of the common myths and is around because celery is such a low calorie food (15 kilojoules per stick) that requires a lot of chewing and digesting, So it is theorised that the calories taken to digest and absorb celery is greater than the calorie content of this food= negative kilojoules are created so you burn fat to digest it.

Reality: it doesn’t create a calorie deficit but studies have shown that that a diet high in low kilojoule plant foods such as celery are more successful in promoting long term weight loss so it isn’t entirely a food myth.

Bottom line: don’t eat celery all day as variety within the vegetable group is just as important as quantity, but include it, and other low kilojoule foods such as tomato, mushrooms, capsicum, carrots and lettuce, regularly in your diet to give you lower kilojoule meals and reduce your overall kilojoule intake.


Spinach will make you strong?

200 years ago, spinach was portrayed as a high iron food, due to a scientific error in measuring iron content. Spinach has still stuck as a food that gives you strength but is it one of the many food myths?

Well iron promotes oxygen delivery around the blood but won’t actually make you physically stronger. It can prevent anaemia which makes you feel weak and lethargic. Spinach is a source of non-haem iron, which unlike foods high in haem iron (i.e from animals like beef and shellfish) doesn’t get absorbed as well.

So spinach is not packed with iron but is still considered a “superfood” due to the fibre, folate, vitamin K and antioxidant content which, if consumed regularly can reduce risk of diseases. More food myths to come so make sure to check later!….