10 Nutrition Myths

We’re debunking common food myths about sugar, fat—even deep-fried food—and more so you can feel good about enjoying the foods you love.

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Healthy recipes: Green Beans with Orange and Hazelnuts
Photo: Randy Mayor

Myth 5: Adding salt to the pot adds sodium to the food.

Truth Salt added to boiling water may actually make vegetables more nutritious.

Public health messages encouraging us to shake our salt-in-everything habits are, in general, good; sodium is a potential problem even for non-hypertensive people. But it’s easy to overlook how sodium can actually help in recipes.

“Salt in the cooking water reduces the leaching of nutrients from vegetables into the water,” says Harold McGee, author of On Food & Cooking. That means your blanched broccoli, green beans, or asparagus likely retains more nutrients. “It also speeds up the cooking process so you don’t lose as many nutrients from overcooking.” McGee recommends using about 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of water. The amount of sodium absorbed by the food is minuscule.

View myth-buster recipe: Green Beans with Orange and Hazelnuts

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