Photo by Susan von Struensee, licensed under Creative Commons
We may never reach a consensus on whether Lady Gaga rivals Madonna in shock value or what the best cure really is for the common cold. But we can agree on one thing: Not everything you read on the internet or in magazines is true, and that goes quadruple for food related thoughts. Let’s bust open the Top 10 Biggest Misconceptions of Mainstream Nutrition.
1. Don’t Crack on Eggs
Hate to break it to you, but eggs aren’t evil incarnate. Nope, they don’t raise “bad” cholesterol. On the contrary, due to their crazy-amounts of nutrients and protein, eggs for breakfast are proven to help you lose weight. Yes, even when you leave in the yolks. One of my favorite breakfasts in fact are eggs scrambled with spinach and mushroom – or spinach and salsa. It’s a great way to add more iron into your diet!
2. Everything in Moderation: Even Saturated Fat
No joke – saturated fat is fine in moderation. In fact, in 2010 it was uncovered there is no association between saturated fats and heart disease. Indulge responsibly!
3. Pass the Grains. Really, Pass On ‘Em
Unless you’re a vegetarian zombie who is craving some GRAIIIIINS, wheat and gluten needn’t be high on your shopping list (if at all). Gluten is being shown to raise your risk of many health problems: physical, psychological and general discomfort. That “Food Pyramid” we were all raised with is built on a faulty foundation. In fact, if I were given to conspiracy theories, I would say the grain-loving processed food manufacturers had a hand in coming up with that pyramid.
4. Protein Doesn’t Adversely Affect Your Bones or Kidneys
In fact, a high protein diet can help steel your body against osteoporosis and kidney failure. Go forth and eat beans! Then go lift weights, because lifting weights has also proven to help strengthen bones – not just muscle!
5. Low-Fat = Good for You. Not.
When natural fats are removed from foods in order to make them “low-fat” or “non-fat,” those foods have the flavor of sawdust. So manufacturers resort to additives like high fructose corn syrup and other harmful flavor enhancers to make a sale. And don’t even get me started on artificial sweeteners – use agave nectar instead!
6. Quality Over Quantity: Skip the Many Small Meals Already
You’ve surely heard to eat six small meals instead of three squares, but the many meals myth may be doing more harm than good. In fact, there seems to be an increased risk of colon cancer and obesity when eating four meals a day. Try a juice cleanse for a healthier experience.
7. Carbs + You ≠ Love
Nix those mental images of the olde fashioned food pyramid with a strip of carbs at the bottom. For most people, that diet plan won’t work – studies consistently favor a low-carb, high-fat diet over a high-carb, low-fat diet. The health benefits for a low carb diet are endless.
8. Seed and Veggie Oils Don’t Protect You
Unless by protection you mean an increased risk of heart disease, because that’s all you get when you eat Omega 6s. Stick to the Omega 3s you know and love, like cod fish liver oil. Better yet, replace butter with avocado (and it’s a lot easier to spread!).
9. Sugar Has Been More Than Naughty – It’s Been Very, Very Bad
Often blamed for being full of “empty calories,” it’s easy to forget there are other reasons to avoid sugar. Like how it wigs out your metabolism, sets us up for unhealthy weight gain, and makes us susceptible for diabetes. If you haven’t tried that agave nectar yet, give it a go – it’s much less likely to spike your blood sugar (which makes you crave more sugary and high-carb foods).
10. High Fat Foods Don’t Have to Make You Fat
Sure, high fat foods aren’t amazing for you when consumed in entire galloons of ice cream. But high fat foods in moderation are fat. Remember, high fat, low carb diets are known for being more healthy, not less. Moderation is key.
Now you know, and it’s time to hit the grocery store with this in mind. Enjoy!