If we hear it from a friend, a magazine or a food label screaming at us in BIG BOLD LETTERS, it’s got to be true, right? Alas, as much as we would love to believe that that organic kale is from the foothills of Nepal, and that eating celery actually uses up more calories than we consume, it’s time for us to admit that we’re being taken for a bit of a mug.
Chances are you’re pretty savvy when it comes to knowing just what lies corporations are feeding you. But even the wisest gastronomer and ardent picnicker could be forgiven for not knowing the truths about the following 10 food lies…
1. You’re Being Served Vinegar at Fish and Chip Shops
If we can’t trust our beloved local chippie, who can we trust? Sadly, YouTuber Tom Scott recently revealed to us all that the vinegar we use in fish and chip shops isn’t actually vinegar. Instead, it’s a ‘non-brewed condiment’ made out of water, ethanoic acid, flavorings and food colorings, designed to be cheaper and less time-consuming to brew.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like the very fabric of our society has been destroyed.
2. Carrots and Hummus Is Healthy
You dipped some carrots in some hummus today? Slow down. You are a holy god of nutrition. #blessed
Sorry to break up any casual relationship you’ve got going on with hummus, but a new report by Consensus Action on Salt and Health has found that it often contains as much salt as four packages of potato chips. The same applies to other dips, including guacamole, so don’t think you’re getting out of it that way.
3. You’re Getting a Full Bag of Potato Chips
A heartbreaking survey commissioned by the British Government has ruled that approximately 96% of British chip eaters have been victims of bags that are more air than chips. Amongst the worst culprits, according to artist Henry Hargreaves, are Doritos Nacho Cheese, which are made up of 86% air and 14% actual chips. That’s daylight robbery.
4. We Need Our Five-a-Day of Fruit and Vegetables
How many of you have been nagged to death for years about eating your five-a-day worth of fruit and vegetables? Well, it’s all one big stinking lie. The bad news is that it should actually be a lot higher – nearer ten-a-day, in fact. If you’re after more of an incentive to eat up, consider the fact that those who eat at least seven portions of fruit and veggies a day are 42% less likely to die early.
5. Diet Soft Drinks Are Better Than Regular Soft Drinks
This one truly pains us. As much as we’d like to think that downing a can of Diet Coke is better for us than a regular Coke, chances are we’re not actually doing ourselves that many favors.
In fact, a 14-year study showed that diet drinks raise the risk of diabetes more than their sugar-sweetened counterparts. On top of that, diet drinks slow down your metabolism and make you crave sugar and carbs, so we might as well basically just all eat chocolate and Coke and be done with it.
6. Vitamin C Can Stop You From Catching a Cold
Unless you’re a marathoner, skier or a soldier on sub-Arctic exercises (we’re guessing you won’t be all three, but you never know), vitamin C has almost zero effect on banishing those dreaded colds. That’s according to a 14-year study of the vitamin’s effect on the common cold, anyway.
7. Chocolate is Bad For You
While we wouldn’t recommend three-course meals of chocolate day-in day-out (at the weekends is fine though), chocolate needn’t be something to avoid. In fact, dark chocolate that’s at least 85% cocoa bursts forth with a glut of delicious nutrients.
8. Double-Stuf Oreos Feature Double the White Cream Filling
You may think you’re getting double the Oreo innards when you buy a packet of Double Stuf. But that’s a huge, horrendous, heartbreaking lie. It is, in fact, only 1.89x the usual amount of creamy white filling. What is life?
9. Baby Carrots Are Just Tiny Carrots
Chomping down on baby carrots, imagining they’re growing in a baby-sized window garden somewhere? Not always the case. You have to read the label as some that are sold as baby carrots are actually fully grown carrots which have been chopped in half and molded into finger-sized snacks. Make sure to read the label! I need to lie down.
10. Dark Bread Is Better for You Than White
Don’t be fooled by the color of your bread. Just because it’s got a faint brown tint doesn’t always mean it’s healthier than its white counterparts. It could just mean it contains some caramel coloring, or just the tiniest amount of whole wheat. Instead, make sure you look for whole wheat bread which contains higher amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins B1, B2, and much more.