Saturday, July 05, 2008

Vegetable Myths

Myth #1: White potatoes make you fat. Nope. The truth is – one medium baked potato is only 161 calories, but has four grams of stomach-filling fiber. Cooked, then chilled potatoes are packed with resistant starch, which can help you lose weight – because they pass right through you. Studies also show that the chemicals in potatoes improve heart health, boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and protect against cancer. Just leave off the high-fat toppings, like butter, sour cream, and bacon bits - and eat your potato – skin and all - with salsa instead.
Myth #2: Carrots are full of sugar. Not exactly. One cup of chopped raw carrots contains just 52 calories, and 12 grams of carbs - fewer than you’d get from a cup of milk, or a medium size piece of fruit. Half of the “carrot carbs” are complex carbs, which help you feel full longer. The other half come from natural sugar, which is better than the processed sugar in candy bars. Carrots are also packed with fiber and vitamins, which boost blood sugar control and colon health.
Myth #3: Iceberg lettuce has zero nutrients. Not true. Iceberg has lots of good-for-you chemicals, like vision-boosting vitamin A, and bone-healthy vitamin K. In fact, studies show that adults who eat one serving a day of any type of lettuce have the lowest rates of hip fracture.
Myth #4: Corn is nothing more than carbs. Yes, corn’s got carbs, but they’re the best kind: high-quality complex carbs. The plant also has little in common with high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener made from corn that has all the nutrition and fiber processed out of it. In fact, corn does double-duty as both a veggie and a whole grain, so it’s loaded with fiber. Corn also helps your heart, and helps prevent age-related macular degeneration.

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