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7 surprising nutrition facts about food

Greek yogurt usually has less calcium than other ones. It is popular due to its high protein, lower sugar profile, but it delivers 20 percent of your daily calcium quota compared to 50 percent daily value with traditional types.

March 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Most experts say that a diet of lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats and lots of produce is the way to go, yet there are some little bits of nutrition nuggets that may surprise you.

Take Greek yogurt, for example. It's popular due to its high protein, lower sugar profile, but it delivers 20 percent of your daily calcium quota compared to 50 percent daily value with traditional types.

Then there's produce. Fresh is best, right? Sure, if you pick at a farm and eat right away, you've got the right idea. But if you buy off season or something not locally grown, the nutrients diminish by the day. You don't always know when the produce got to your market and how far it traveled to get there. Frozen and canned can be a better choice, as they're mostly picked and processed immediately.

Another unknown fruit and veggie fact: Servings of produce can count as part of your fluid intake due to liquid content, with many made up of at least 85 percent water.

Low fat doesn't always mean healthy. A low or no-fat product stripped of whole grains with salt or sugar added doesn't beat a higher fat choice like nuts, seeds or higher fat whole-grain goods.

Of course, gluten-free food is necessary for many who are intolerant, but lack of gluten isn't necessarily better for the general population because gluten-free foods can lack vitamins, minerals and fiber of whole grains, such as wheat.

Organic also doesn't necessarily mean better for you, with many confusing organic with lower fat, lower calorie and more nutritious. Organic applies to growing practices, meaning absence of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, additives and genetically-modified ingredients. Organic candy, cookies and cakes aren't exactly healthy food.

Finally, farm-raised fish can be both health and eco-friendly. Many farms are now practicing environmental and sustainable practices that produce fish rich in omega-3s and low in chemicals known as PCBs.

See these surprising food facts through photos.


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