Nutrition facts: True or false?

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Nutrition facts: True or false?

Spinach is a better source of iron than meat

FALSE: Although usually portrayed as the richest source of iron, spinach is actually a good source but not the best source:

– 100g of spinach contains 2.7 mg of iron
– 100g of red meat contains 2.6 mg of iron

Although spinach technically contains more iron than meat the nuance is in the detail: iron from animal foods has a higher absorption rate in the body than that from plant and vegetables sources. Hence, spinach contains a good amount of iron however in a form less absorbable than the iron in meat.

The good news is that you can enhance iron absorption from spinach and other green leafy vegetables by eating them with vitamin-C rich foods, such as tomatoes, bell pepper, oranges, melons, or strawberries which aid the absorption process.

Eggs increase blood cholesterol

FALSE: Cholesterol from eggs does not automatically raise blood cholesterol. When we eat a high cholesterol food, the excess dietary cholesterol is removed from the body through the liver which also regulates the production of cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is essential to making estrogen, testosterone, vitamin D, and other vital compounds.

Keep in mind that “saturated fats” found in animal products like butter, ghee, fatty meats and full fat dairy, have a more significant effect on blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol itself, making it a bigger threat to heart health.

Those with a high risk of heart disease should do the following:

– Limit the number of eggs consumed to 2-3 per week
– Choose lean cuts of meat and low fat versions of dairy

Although it is true that egg yolks contain cholesterol, fat and saturated fat, they also contain plenty of nutrients. These include fat-soluble vitamins including Vitamin A and D, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, and carotenoids, as well as plenty other nutrients.

By Ayla Coussa
Clinical Dietitian
Fakih IVF

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