Nutrition For Seniors – Vegetable Myths – Part Two

Choice HomecareSenior Nutrition

In a previous post we discussed the importance of ensuring that seniors are getting enough vegetables, and pointed out some of the most popular myths about vegetables. Here are a few more myths and a few facts …

The more colourful a vegetable is, the more nutritious it is.

White cabbage is one of the most vitamin and nutrient rich vegetables out there. It contains vitamins A, B, C and K, as well as iron, calcium and fibre. Cauliflower is rich in anti-oxidants. Pale green celery contains both protein and calcium (and is close to calorie-free). Colourful red and pink pinto beans have nothing extra that the white variety lacks.

Avocados are too full of fat to be healthy.

A healthy diet has reduced amounts of saturated fat. But avocados contain mono-unsaturated fat, a “good fat” which has a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels. Of course, eating too much of anything (even vegetables) can cause weight gain. Avocados are also the primary ingredient in guacamole, which can lead to an increased consumption of tortilla chips!

Potato chips are a vegetable.

Potatoes are in the vegetable group of the food pyramid. Potato chips are not. Potato chips are deep fried in oil and are extremely high in fat. They are not considered to be a vegetable.

Broccoli cures ulcers.

There is no proof that broccoli cures stomach ulcers.

Salads consisting entirely of greens are the healthiest.

While greens are extremely healthy, adding a variety of other colourful ingredients to your salad is healthier than having greens alone. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a nutrient linked to lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Purple vegetables like eggplant contain powerful antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve brain function. Radishes contain indoles, which have been shown to prevent the metastases of breast cancer.

You can burn all the calories in celery just by eating it.

Celery has six calories per stalk. The body does not expend more calories than that to chew and digest it. Nevertheless, it is still a diet-friendly food and a healthy choice. Celery is also a good source of fibre that can help fill you up. But watch out for those high calorie dips.

Becoming a vegetarian will make you lose weight.

Research shows that vegetarians do eat fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians. A diet plan with a lower fat content can definitely be helpful for weight loss. However, it is possible to be a strict vegetarian and still consume lots of high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar foods. French fries, cheeses, breads, desserts, candy, etc. All of which can cause weight gain.