ST's new e-book tackles common food myths

ST's new e-book tackles common food myths
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Is sea salt healthier than refined? Should women take supplements daily throughout their pregnancy? Does eating a big meal before drinking alcohol help keep you sober?

The answers to these questions, and more, can be found in The Straits Times' latest e-book, 50 Food Myths Busted.

The book taps experts to set the record straight on common misconceptions and popular beliefs about food.

Available today on The Straits Times Star E-books mobile app, it is free to download from the Apple App Store for iPad tablets, and from Google Play for Android smartphones and tablets. Or go to

The e-book offers advice on a wide range of topics, from the types of food for weight loss to what to eat during cancer treatment.

Readers can also find answers to diet conundrums related to beverages like coffee, sports nutrition and pregnancy.

It was conceptualised and written by journalists at Mind & Body, the weekly health features section of the newspaper, and was prompted by readers' interest in nutrition topics.

The digital format helps readers to access the information easily and at any time, said Mind & Body editor Poon Chian Hui.

"Also, the myths are tackled by local dietitians and doctors to ensure they are relevant to the Singapore diet," she added.

The healthcare experts from the public and private sectors give their take on each myth, as well as tips on how best to address the issue, be it weight loss or what to eat to boost exercise performance.

For instance, it is a popular belief that brown sugar, honey or agave syrup are healthier than plain white sugar.

Or that collagen-rich drinks can give you better skin.

But neither is true. For instance, experts say that the various sugar products and substitutes may have different colours and flavours, but there is little difference between them in terms of nutritional value.

They also say the protein in collagen supplements or collagen-enriched food, when eaten, is simply digested, making it no different from any other food.

The myths are organised into five chapters: The Daily Diet, What We Drink, Fuel Your Workout, In Times Of Sickness and Pregnancy And Baby.

Food is something that everyone can relate to, but it also divides people over what is good or bad, said Ms Poon. "We hope that this e-book dispels niggling questions that people may have," she said.

There is no perfect diet, but people can choose to make informed choices based on current research or consensus, she added.

This article was first published on November 14, 2015.
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