What if the ‘experts’ were wrong? Is it any surprise that a lot of ‘new’ science is showing that many of our commonly held beliefs about food are completely wrong. Common sense should be the big one in regards to if food is healthy or not. Did our ancestors eat it? Would our grandparents regard it as ‘food’? Has this item been on the face of the planet for 10,000 years or more?
When it comes to our food choices, I can safely say that many of us try to make the smartest decision to put healthy and nutritious foods on our plate. But when we are given so many choices, it’s hard to know exactly what we should be eating. And with clever marketing shoving so many ideas and notions and adverts down our throats, it can be enough to make us sick. Literally.
Here are the 7 biggest lies, myths and misconceptions told to us by mainstream nutrition.
EGGS ARE UNHEALTHY
Eggs get the bad rep of being linked to heart disease. The Harvard School of Public disproved this and actually claims that regular consumption of eggs helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. Eggs are incredibly healthy for you. The best source is from a local farmer that allows their chickens to eat naturally. (Organic certification doesn’t necessarily mean the best treated chicken or nutritious eggs. Your best bet is ‘pasture raised’ from a local farmer.) They run around in the barnyard scratching in the dirt, eating insects, and essentially being a normal chicken. The eggs produced from these chickens are high in a variety of nutrients; they are full of antioxidants (carotenoids) to protect our eyes and actually have been shown to prevent weight loss. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and all 9 essential amino acids. And did you know, eggs are the only food source containing naturally occurring vitamin D? I put raw eggs in my smoothies, and have recently learned that the shells are safe to consume (once again, from a good source) as a means of bio-available calcium to the body.
SATURATED FAT IS BAD FOR YOU
A few decades ago, a couple flawed studies showed that eating too much fat was the reason for health disease. The idea that fat, and saturated fat at that, causes heart disease is an unproven theory that somehow became conventional wisdom. While you may want to watch the quantity and quality of saturated fat you consume, the bottom line is that there is no scientific correlation between heart disease and saturated fat. Natural foods, like coconut oil and ghee, are high in saturated fat and actually are good for you.
GRAINS ARE HEART-HEALTHY AND FOR EVERYBODY
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years, you’ve probably heard a bit about gluten-intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and celiac disease. Grains, especially wheat, can cause a host of health problems including IBS, leaky gut, allergies, bloating, constipation, weight-gain, and more. Grains are high in a substance called phytic acid, which binds to essential minerals in the intestine and prevents them from being absorbed. Many people have reported that their digestion is better and stools are easier to pass simply by removing gluten from their diet. I personally was experiencing break-outs a couple of years ago that never seemed to go away, until I removed gluten from my diet.
LOW-FAT FOODS ARE GOOD FOR YOU
Whenever I see ‘low-fat’ on a package, I think ‘chemical sh*t-storm.’ Regular food that has been processed to remove the fat tastes like cardboard. Food manufacturers know this and add other things to compensate for the lack of fat. Usually these are sweeteners like sugar, high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. Other additives include iodine salt, MSG, and chemicals I cannot pronounce. These highly processed low-fat foods are linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Stick with full-fat, all-natural foods.
EATING MANY SMALL MEALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY IS GOOD FOR YOU
It’s not natural for the human body to always be in a eating and digesting state. Fasting and/or not eating from time to time is good for you. Also, when one is eating throughout the day, the previous meal tends to not be digested. The stomach clears out the partially digested matter to make room for the new food being put in. This old food is left to rot as it’s traveling through the intestines. Or worse yet, it sits in the stomach interfering with the digestion of the new food put in. I highly suggest you practice proper food combining rules when eating. Also, eat consciously and stop when you’re full.
HIGH OMEGA-6 VEGETABLE OILS ARE GOOD FOR YOU
Polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy because some studies show that they lower your risk of heart disease. But there are many types of polyunsaturated fats and not all are created equal. Many Americans have way too much Omega-6 in their diet due to a diet rich in processed foods. Chips, fried foods and processed foods are all loaded with vegetable oils like soybean, corn, sunflower and canola. The correct ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 should be roughly 1:1. Some Americans get up to 32 times that, a ratio of 1:32. The bottom line is that you should aim to REMOVE processed vegetable oils from your diet in all the forms. Eat instead health Omega-3 rich foods like cod fish liver oil, flaxseed oil, salmon, and certain nuts like walnuts. Always cook with coconut oil and ghee, and avoid most of the processed vegetable oils.
LOW CARB DIETS ARE DANGEROUS
So many clients I have worked with have shown drastic health improvements when they reduce or eliminate many carbohydrates from their diet. Americans eat too many carbs and generally in the form of bread. Low carb diets have been linked to reduced body fat, lower blood pressure, and lower blood sugar. I’m NOT suggesting an Atkins style diet. A ketogenic diet is NOT healthy. However, you can easily reduce the carbohydrate load and enjoy the benefits. Switch out your carbs for larger portions of vegetables and high-quality meat and fish.
There are plenty more lies out there. I encourage you to do your own research whenever you find yourself going along with something because ‘everyone else is doing it.’ Use your intuition. Eat what makes your body feel good. You’re the only one who can know what exactly works best for you. That’s the beauty of being an individual.
Emyrald Sinclaire is a Certified Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (CNHP; CHNP) She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Ermyrald is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. For more information, visit PureRadiantSelf.com.