One learns his eating habits and practices from those around him. While a person may know the kinds of foods needed for health, he avoids these for one reason or another. A person’s ideas about food may mean the difference between good and poor nutrition.
This article was written to correct some prevailing misinformation in the nutrition education campaign. It starts with a quiz on some common beliefs about foods. Find out how well you know food and nutrition – test yourself!
The truth about each one is presented to help you promote sound nutrition information. Knowing the right facts about food leads to good nutrition.
Simply answer the following statements with true or false.
- Milk and cheese cause constipation.
- A sour fruit if eaten with milk causes stomach upset.
- Tomatoes and other seeded fruits cause appendicitis.
- Chicken and squash cause leprosy.
- Vitamin preparations are a daily must for good health.
- Kalamansi is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C.
- Skipping breakfast is a good practice when reducing.
- Eating toast instead of fresh bread helps in cutting down weight.
- Kalamansi juice or any sour fruit, when take first thing in the morning, is a sure reducing formula.
- Milk is fattening.
- Drinking water will make one fat.
- When a reducing diet fails, one should use reducing pills.
- Powdered whole milk has a lower value than liquid whole milk.
- Margarine contains more calories than butter.
- Raw eggs contain more energy than cooked eggs.
- Eating eggplant during pregnancy causes beriberi in the newborn.
- To deliver twin babies, eat twin bananas.
- Unsatisfied craving for food during pregnancy results in abortion.
- Introduction of solid foods causes indigestion, gas pain and/or itchiness when given infants below 6 months.
- Condensed milk is a good substitute for mother’s milk in infant feeding.
- Fish when given to infants cause worms.
- Raw egg is more digestible than cooked egg.
- A brown-shelled egg is more nourishing than a white-shelled egg.
- Raw eggs are more nutritious than cooked eggs.
- Balut has more food value than ordinary duck’s egg.
How did you make out?
All these items are false. A score of 20-25 puts you in the category, of a well-informed individual. Congratulations! A score of 15-19 means that your food choices can be swayed by some wrong ideas about nutrition. If you scored 11-14, watch out! You might be taking your food and nutrition facts for granted. And if you scored 0-10, it’s about time you learn more about food and nutrition.
To start you off, here are the FACTS
you can offer your audience!
Health and Disease
1. Constipation may be due to inadequate intake of fruits, vegetables and water. Contrary to common belief, milk and cheese can cause frequent elimination for some.
2. Sour fruits and milk taken together cannot cause stomach upset unless you are very sensitive. Digestive juices in the stomach, which are acidic like sour fruits, curdle milk as a first step to digestion.
3. Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix (a slender outgrowth joined to the large intestines) due to bacteria not to tomato seeds. However, large seeds can be trapped and later cause inflammation.
4. Leprosy is caused by bacteria, not by eating a combination of chicken and squash. Chicken, like fish and dried beans is a very good source of protein, the body-building nutrient. Squash contains vitamin A, the nutrient that promotes normal vision.
5. Natural foods contain nutrients our body needs for good health, including vitamins and minerals. Eating a good variety of foods in the right amounts can assure you of getting all the nutrients your body needs. Take vitamin supplement only to treat deficiencies or to supply increased demands for specific nutrients during recovery from illness and upon doctor’s advice.
6. Kalamansi is a poor source of vitamin C. An adult needs 34 pieces of kalamansi to meet his daily need for vitamin C.
7. An adequate breakfast is important to start the day right. It checks overeating during lunch. The best way to reduce is to eat the right kind and amount of food always.
8. Toasting bread removes moisture, and does not lessen calories.
9. Kalamansi or any other sour fruit juice does not have special reducing properties.
10. All energy foods particularly rice, corn, butter, and margarine are fattening if taken in large amounts and more than the recommended amount for the individual. Everyone needs milk especially children, pregnant and nursing mothers, and it should be included in the meal whenever possible.
11. Water cannot make one fat because it has no energy value. Any excess will be eliminated. However, a person with cardiac disease and is overweight should avoid salty foods because salt holds water in tissues and increases weight.
Energy Value of Food
12. Before starting self-treatment consult your physician, nutritionist or dietitian. Some reducing pills need a physician’s guidance. Still, the best way to reduce is to eat the right kind and amount of food.
13. Powdered whole milk, when properly mixed with water, has the same food value as liquid whole milk.
14. Margarine and butter have the same energy value.
15. The energy value of cooked and raw eggs is practically the same.
16. Beri-Beri is due to lack of vitamin B1(thiamine) in the mother’s meal, not because of eating eggplants.
17. Eating twin bananas has no scientific bearing on delivering twin babies.
18. Food cravings during pregnancy are not reliable guides to baby’s needs. Neither do they miscarriage if not satisfied. Such cravings may be used to advantage by the pregnant woman, if she knows her food needs during pregnancy.
19. By the fourth month, start giving the baby mashed fruits, cooked vegetables and lugaw
from the usual family dishes to familiarize him with other foods. This will prepare the baby to eat other foods he needs in addition to breast milk by the sixth month. To avoid indigestion, diarrhea and other discomforts;
- Handle foods properly (wash hands with soap and water before handling baby’s foods)
- Puree, strain, mash or chop foods.
- Don’t feed baby between meals
- Avoid overfeeding the baby.
20. Mother’s milk is the best for infant feeding. Condensed milk is a very poor substitute because it has very little protein, the body-building nutrient your baby needs.
21. Fish does not cause worms in infants. Make sure to wash hands before preparing fish. Dirty fingernails carry eggs of worms which can lead to worm infestation in children.
22. Cooked eggs are more digestible than raw eggs. Hard cooked eggs are more digestible than soft-cooked eggs.
23. Egg shell color is related to the hen’s breed, not to its food value.
24. Raw and cooked eggs have the same food value. However, it is better to cook eggs because raw egg white contains a substance called “avidin” which prevents absorption of thiamine, one of he B vitamins.
25. Balut and ordinary duck’s egg have comparable food value except for a higher vitamin A and calcium content in balut due to the fertilized egg.
Remember . . . You are what you eat! Eat right and discover good nutrition!
Some Tips for Good Nutrition
- Choose a variety of foods every day. No single food can supply all the nutrients the body needs.
- Make sure you serve the right amount of foods to your family.
- Wash hands with soap and water before cooking and eating and after using the toilet.
- Serve more often one-dish meals like sinigang, linaga, munggo guissado, bulanglang, etc.
- Raise some poultry for eggs, hogs for meat and cows, carabaos or goats for fresh milk and extra income.
- Grow foods your family needs, such as tubers (kamote, cassava, gabi), legumes (munggo, patani, kadyos), green leafy and yellow vegetables (malunggay, kangkong, kamote tops, alugbati, petsay, saluyot and squash), and fruits (banana, papaya, guava, etc.)
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