Choice research busts food myths

REDUCED fat does not necessarily mean low fat, raspberry flavoured yoghurt may not contain raspberries at all, and Popeye was wrong ? spinach isn't a good source of iron.

These are some of the food myths busted by the Australian Consumers' Association in a Choice Online publication.

The internet booklet focuses on food, diet and food labelling.

Choice Online spokeswoman Clare Hughes said just because a food was described as fresh or natural it did not mean it was healthier than some other foods.

"A claim that a product is baked not fried does not mean the product is lower in fat," she said.

"Baked products may contain just as much fat as food cooked in fat if they contained lots of fat to start with.

"Also fat-free foods are not necessarily the best choice if you are trying to loose weight because fat free does not necessarily mean kilojoule free."

Choice Online says there is no legal definition that foods described as fresh or natural are healthier choices.

And, there is debate over whether or not frozen vegetables are as nutritious as fresh vegetables.

Choice Online says because frozen vegetables are picked in their prime and snap-frozen, they are potentially better quality than fresh fruit and veg because you don't know how long ago it was since they were harvested.

Weight gain occurs when you consume more energy than your body expends, so it doesn't matter what time of day you eat.

And avocados are not full of fat and cholesterol. They mostly contain monosaturated fat and, in moderation, this is a good inclusion in a healthy diet.

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