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avoadoThere are plenty of myths about food and nutrition that we hear all the time. In the honor of April Fool’s Day, we are going to do a little bit of “myth-busting” for these food and nutrition “facts.”

MYTH: Popcorn is an unhealthy snack.

FACT: Popcorn is a whole grain, which means it has fiber. So air-popped popcorn by itself–NOT drenched in butter and salt or coated with caramel–can be a very healthy snack.  Luckily, there are many delicious alternatives to traditional popcorn that are both healthy and tasty. Instead of butter and salt, use a little cooking spray and sprinkle your popcorn with garlic powder, onion powder, oregano or basil for a flavorful treat without the fat or sugar.

MYTH: Low-fat peanut butter is healthier than regular peanut butter.

FACT: Not all fats are created equal! While saturated fats (such as the ones found in butter and red meat) can contribute to heart disease, the types of fats found in peanut butter are healthier for us. In addition, reduced-fat peanut butter is often higher in sugar than regular peanut butter. While peanut butter is high in calories and should be consumed in moderation, it‘s a great snack, especially when spread on apples or whole grain crackers.  

MYTH: Fresh vegetables are the most nutritious.

FACT: Frozen and canned vegetables can be just as nutritious as the fresh varieties, because they still contain the same vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In some cases, frozen veggies may have more nutrients than fresh vegetables, because they are often frozen right after they are picked, which is when they are richest in nutrients. Fresh, frozen, or canned–you can’t go wrong!

MYTH: Avocados are fattening.

FACT: Like peanut butter, avocados are a great source of healthy fats that are good for your heart! They are high in calories, but they can be enjoyed in moderation. Put a few avocado slices on a fresh salad or turkey sandwich for a little different texture and flavor.

MYTH: A vegetarian diet will not provide you with enough protein

FACT: There are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein, such as beans, tofu, eggs, nuts, and dairy. By eating a variety of these foods, people who follow vegetarian diets can get adequate protein to keep them healthy.

Now that you know the truth about these myths, there will be no fooling you!

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