Tags: Produce Guide, Produce Myths Debunked, produce myths

Produce Myths Debunked

Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team

Don’t let anything be a barrier to getting enough fruits and vegetables in your meals.

There are many myths about fruits and vegetables ranging from how they’re grown to what you should and should not consume. What do you believe?

Myth #1: Organic produce is more nutritious.

Organic foods do not appear to be more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. The primary distinction is how they’re grown. Organics are grown without the use of herbicides, antibiotics and synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. While conventional produce farmers use synthetic pesticides, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to support that the amount found on produce poses no risk to human health.


Myth #2: Fresh produce is more nutritious than frozen and canned varieties.

Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh produce. There may be slight differences between each form, such as the number of nutrients like vitamin C or plant compounds like lycopene, but they are minimal and truly irrelevant when part of a varied meal plan.


Myth #3: Fruit has too much sugar.

There are two types of sugar: naturally occurring and added. Sugars found naturally in fruits have not been shown to have adverse impacts on overall health, whereas overconsuming sugars added during cooking or preparation, such as cane sugar, honey, agave nectar and high fructose corn syrup, may impact overall calorie intake and displace nutrient‍-‍rich foods. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2020‍–‍2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans[1] recommend limiting the intake of added sugars to no more than 10% of daily calories. Have a sweet tooth? Reach for fruit!


Myth #4: Some fruits and vegetables are fattening.

Produce items such as potatoes and avocados have been unjustly labeled as fattening. Not true! Potatoes are low in calories and contain fiber, potassium and vitamins C and B6. Avocados provide heart‍-‍healthy fats, folate and vitamins B6 and E. As you can see, these two foods pack a big nutrient bang bite‍-‍per‍-‍bite.

Now that you’re in the know, don’t miss out on fruits and vegetables. In the end, dietitians know the best decision you can make for your overall nutrition is to Have a Plant® ‍…‍any plant!

[1] U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.

Published 5/5/2021