Morning Rounds: Busting five top food claims

Norfolk, VA - News 3 is taking action for your health by breaking down common food conceptions.

Dr. Ryan Light examined five well known claims about food and health.

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

Yes, apples can help you avoid the doctor. Apples are extremely rich antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber.  Apples can help reduce the risk of developing:

·     Some cancer

·     Hypertension

·     Diabetes

·     Heart disease

Does eating carrots really improve your eyesight?

Yes.  Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is an essential precursor for vitamin A.  Deficiencies in vitamin A are the leading causes of blindness in the developing world.  Lack of vitamin A can also lead to:

·     Cataracts

·     Macular degeneration

·     Dry eyes

Does spinach really give you strong muscles/bones?

Spinach is high in nitrates and minerals, which have been shown to increase muscle mass and endurance.  It is also high in Vitamin K and Calcium, which contribute to bone health (an increase in bone density).

Are low -at packaged foods always better for you?

No.   Before eating a fat-free food, make sure the product isn't loaded with sugar or additives, and that it's actually lower in calories than the regular version.

Is red wine really good for your heart?

Various studies have shown that moderate amounts of all types of alcohol benefit your heart, not just alcohol found in red wine. It's thought that alcohol:

·     Raises HDL (healthy) cholesterol

·     Reduces the formation of blood clots

·     Helps prevent artery damage caused by high levels of LDL (harmful) cholesterol

·     May improve the function of the layer of cells that line your blood vessels (endothelium)