Don’t be brainwashed into believing these common healthy eating myths
June 28th, 2013
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By Jonathan Benson
Formulating a healthy eating plan that is both balanced and nutritious can be difficult in today’s world, especially when the guidelines pertaining to what constitutes healthy food vary dramatically depending on who you ask. Consequently, there are several healthy eating myths of which you will want to be aware, particularly if you are in the process of trying to reformulate your dietary habits. These myths include:
1) ‘Low-fat’ is good for you. Modern society has largely been indoctrinated into the mindset that fat clogs your arteries and makes you fat, and should thus be avoided. But nothing could be further from the truth. Tropical oils like coconut and palm, as well as grass-fed butter and meat fat is actually quite healthy for you. These saturated fats help promote healthy brain function and regulate proper hormone production. Popular vegetable oils, on the other hand, which oftentimes are hydrogenated and morphed into trans fats, are a primary cause of heart disease and other illness, and should be avoided.
2) You need to eat less salt for better health. This claim assumes that most people are consuming high amounts of synthetic, refined table salt, which is highly toxic and responsible for causing widespread cellular inflammation, hence the many warnings about salt intake. But what most people do not know is that unrefined, all-natural sea and mineral salts are completely different, as they are packed with health-promoting minerals, electrolytes, and other important nutrients. Eating lots of sea and mineral salt, in other words, is actually good for your health.
3) Replacing refined sugar with agave, honey is better for you. In most cases, switching out that table sugar for honey or agave nectar in the name of improving health is a misnomer, as these popular sugar substitutes are sometimes just as refined and unhealthy as regular sugar. Agave, for instance, contains high levels of fructose, which is metabolized directly by the liver and turned into fat. And unless your honey is raw, unprocessed, and locally sourced, it is also a toxic offender when consumed liberally.
4) Eating eggs raises your cholesterol. The medical system has gone back and forth on this one, but the truth about eggs will always remain the same – pasture-raised eggs from healthy chickens are an excellent source of both protein and cholesterol, and are not in and of themselves a cause of heart disease. And removing egg yolks and eating only the whites, as many people now do, can actually be detrimental to your health, as eggs should be eaten in complete form for optimal nutrition.
5) Organic produce is no better than conventional produce. There are many who would have you believe that conventional produce grown on factory farms is no different than organic produce grown without synthetic interventions. But as evidenced by numerous studies over the years, including a 1993 study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, organic foods are higher in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and are far less contaminated with toxic pesticide and herbicide residues compared to conventional produce.
6) All red meat is unhealthy. The mainstream media loves to target red meat these days, but the problem with telling people to limit their consumption of red meat in order to avoid heart disease is that not all red meat is the same. In fact, red meat from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle is actually just as healthy as, and potentially even healthier than, wild-caught salmon. This contrasts sharply with factory-farmed red meat which is high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. It is all about how the animals are raised and what they are eating that determines the nutritional profile of meat in general, which is why it is always best to choose meat from local, naturally-raised sources.
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