Student Health: Food Myths

It seems that we are constantly bombarded with messages about foods we can’t eat or conversely foods that we think are healthy for us but are actually detrimental to our health. This edition I’m going to debunk some food myths and bring some seemingly unhealthy foods back onto your plate.

Red Meat

Red meat is often valued for its high protein content however many cheap cuts are high in fat, cancelling the health benefits provided. Kangaroo is the leanest red meat available, containing high levels of protein, iron and virtually no fat. Many people may cringe at the thought of eating an Australian icon but cheap cuts can in fact often be found at wholesalers.

Peanut Butter

Although peanut butter is high in fat it is a healthy spread in moderation. For every 10g of spread, 9g is constituted of monounsaturated fat (often described as good fats necessary for organ cushioning, joint lubrication and body insulation) and 1g of saturated fat (commonly referred to as bad fat, found in McDonalds and KFC).


A lot of people think that reducing carbs is the first thing they must do in order to lose weight, going protein crazy instead. This is probably due to the success of the Dukan diet. However, carbohydrates are our body’s first point of call for energy. Excess carbohydrate is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Whilst exercising, your body attains glycogen from different body storages. Eating carbohydrates low in glycaemic index (GI) such as wholemeal breads & pastas, couscous and quinoa enables blood glucose to remain relatively stable, ensuring that your body does not start seeking foods high in sugar.


Cocoa is high in antioxidants and has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory. However, we often consume milk chocolate which is laden with excess fat, sugar, nuts and nought (if you’re anything like me!). A good tip is to melt some75% dark chocolate (85% is really nice) and mix in almonds and sultanas. Then place small spoon fulls onto a piece of baking paper and place it in the fridge to set… mmmm.

At the end of the day, you should enjoy what you eat. We are often so busy during the week that we eat on the run, in our car or in front of the computer. Next weekend, take some time to prepare something beautiful and enjoy it in the company of friends and family

Cat Poiani-Cordella

The author Cat Poiani-Cordella

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