Popular food expert, Sabita Radhakrishna shares her food wisdom and decodes myths that often haunt our kitchen.
Potato: Most loved and most consumed food product in the world is believed to cause heart ailments and arthritis flare ups while eaten excessively. Sabita disabuses this myth saying, “My grandfather consumed potatoes every day and he did not suffer from any heart disease or joint pains. It is a nutrient dense vegetable and can be consumed (boiled and not fried) frequently.”
Carrot: This orange colored vegetable helps in improving eye-sight. “Carrot has beta-carotene that helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function smoothly. However, for improved vision, apart from this, other vitamins and minerals are also essential.”
Tomato: Poor man’s apple, this delicious fruit is said to cause kidney stones when consumed. “Consuming tomatoes does increase the oxalate level (a main component of calcium stones), but only by 10%. The rest is naturally produced by the body. Tomato has lycopene, which is instrumental in preventing cancer.”
Papaya: Men and women alike do not prefer eating this fruit as they consider it to be ‘heat inducing’. “It is a very healthy fruit and good for the skin. It helps in cleansing the body from inside as well as outside. This fruit has myriad health benefits and can be used as a facial pack as well.”
Dal: Consuming horse gram and Bengal gram causes flatulence, but Sabita says, “Eating dal in small quantities will not cause gas, it is a good source of protein and fiber and must not be avoided in a person’s diet. It is necessary for a person to consume one cup of dal every day.”
Coconut: It is one of those ingredients that seem to be oscillating between the good and bad food category. “Every part of a coconut is healthy, including coconut oil. Our ancestors used to cook in coconut oil and they lived long and healthy. Though coconut oil is high in saturated fats, it is good for the body.”
Ghee: Though the smell and the flavor are mouth-watering, consuming too much ghee will cause adverse effects on health. “It is a common misconception that ghee helps in digesting food. It may be if used in small quantities, however, it does not mean that you can fry your food in ghee. That will increase the cholesterol in your body and ultimately affect your heart.”
Before following such baseless myths, it is imperative to consult a nutritionist or a health practitioner to cross-check the various illnesses or health benefits that a food product is said to hold.
OTHER COOKING MYTHS
- Seeds make tomato sauce bitter.
- Cold water boils faster than hot water!
- Warm lemon produces more juice than a cold lemon.
- Searing meat seals in the moisture.
- Cooking in microwave destroys nutrients.