There is so much hype out there in the media about what is healthy and what isn’t. The newest study can sway reporters to make fantastic claims. Sadly, these claims, which are really just hypotheses, can catch on quickly in public perception and make them seem like law. We’re here today to tackle ten of these claims and set the record straight. Ready?
Saturated Fat is Bad
For decades, people have been led to believe that eating saturated fat leads to heart disease. This ‘truth’ is the basis of much mainstream nutrition recommendations.
Studies in the past twenty years have been increasingly showing that saturated fat is harmless. Fats like butter, coconut oil, and those found in meat actually raise HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind) and changes LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) to a more benign form.
Eggs Are Bad For You
While we’re discussing fats, you’ve surely heard the hype that eggs contain massive levels of cholesterol, and are therefore bad for your heart. The truth is that eggs are packed with nutrients. Think about it – there is enough nutrition in them to turn a single cell into a baby chicken! Despite the fact that eggs are high in cholesterol, they don’t actually raise LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Studies now show that eggs are not associated with heart disease. They are, in fact, full of protien, healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
All Calories Are the Same
When viewed from a narrow perspective, it could be said that for weight loss, calories taken in = calories out. But our bodies are complex mechanisms, and the types of food we eat are metabolized in different ways. Our food can also affect our hormones, which in turn, affects the way our body burns calories. For example, eating lean protein can boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and increase muscle mass. Eating the same amount of calories in carbohydrates does not affect the body the same way.
Meat Damages Your Heart
Humans have been eating meat for countless years. Now, some researchers claim that meat can cause heart disease and type 2 diabetes – diseases that are relatively new in human history.
Good quality meat contains hefty amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and other lesser known nutrients that benefit the body and brain. Notice we stated good quality meat. It is true that processed meat full of sodium, fillers, and nitrates have been proven to hurt the body. Unprocessed meat, especially grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and wild caught fish are great sources of nutrition without the harmful effects.
Low-Fat, High-Carb is Healthy
In 1977, US health authorities began to recommend a low-fat diet rich in grains. Breads, rice, and pasta were the basis of the eating plan. Vegetables and fruits, meat and legumes took a back seat. In time, research has proven that this diet does not effectively reduce cardiovascular disease or result in weight loss and overall health. Instead, a diet with a wide amount of colorful vegetables along with selections of lean protein, naturally sweet fruits, and healthy fats has been shown to aid in overall health – and reduce disease.
Refined Vegetable Oils Are Heart-Healthy
Let’s talk fat. It’s true that studies have shown that polyunsaturated fats can lower your risk of heart disease. Because of this, we began to hear that we should increase our intake of vegetable oil like soybean, sunflower, corn and canola. It’s important to realize that there are several different types of polyunsaturated fats: Omega-3, 6, and 9. We need to get these types of Omega fats in a proper balance. Most people are eating too little Omega-3 and 9 and too much Omega-6. We’re learning now that too many Omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation in the body, which can cause many problems. To lower your risk of disease, increase your intake of naturally occurring oils like those in organic butter, fish and beef, as well as unrefined plant oils like coconut oil.
Sugar is Bad Because it Makes You Fat
You’ve heard of the “empty calorie”? Of course you have. We all know that snack cakes, candy bars, soda are empty calories. When people think of refined sugar, they mainly worry that it adds weight. However, the danger of sugar is not so much in it’s ability to create excess fat in the body, but the actual damage it causes. Sugar leads to insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and increased LDL in as little as 10 weeks. Sugar also does not lower our hunger hormone, which means we can eat and eat and eat sugar and never really feel satisfied. Added sugar is actively associated with the risk of obesity, yes, but also heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. If you’re going to eliminate refined sugar (and you should) do it, not to make your thighs thinner, but to live a longer, healthier life.
Everyone Should Eat Whole Wheat
Organic whole wheat can absolutely be a part of many diets. However, it’s increasingly noticed in today’s world that people are sensitive to the gluten contained in whole wheat (and other common grains like barley and rye). Those who are mild to severe allergies to gluten can show symptoms like diarrhea, pain, bloating, stool inconsistency, fatigue, eczema, psoriasis, and candida overgrowth. Many have benefited from participating in an elimination diet to see if their particular health problems improve when whole wheat is taken out of their diet.
Fat Makes You Fat
It seems to make sense: eat fat and get fat. But evidence shows that even though fat has more calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates, a high-fat diet does not equal weight gain. A diet high in carbohydrates and fat will cause weight gain, but this is not because of the fat. Studies are increasingly proving that diets higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates cause more weight loss than the opposite.
High Protein is Bad For Your Health
In the wake of low-carbohydrate, higher protein diets, the media has popularized a backlash that protein is bad for your overall health. For certain people, like those with kidney disease, reducing protein intake is the right thing to do. However, eating a higher protein diet can increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Keep in mind though, a balanced diet is what is important. More protein and more nutrient-rich vegetables will benefit your body.
The best way to start taking great care of your body is to pay attention to what you eat. To that end, a clean-eating diet is strongly recommended. How do you eat clean? Eliminate processed foods and eat a diet rich in whole foods. We’re excited to share with you a free ebook that will give you some great ideas to get started.