Common Myth about Eating Healthy
Many of us who are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat healthful foods may have heard some of these myths about what it means to eat healthy. In this edition of the Wellness Wagon News, I provide some information to help you make informed decisions about your food choices.
Myth #1: Milk Does Your Body Good
Many of us grew of knowing that milk is very nutritious and has many health benefits, especially for our bones and teeth, particularly in children. I remember getting our milk fresh daily in a glass jar, which was often still warm from being freshly expressed. But, is that the case today? Well, most of our milk supply has been altered over the years, which changes many its previous benefits. However, the dairy industry would vehemently disagree.
Majority of the milk today is pasteurized and contains growth hormones and antibiotics, which are known to cause many health problems. During pasteurization, vital enzymes such as lactase are destroyed, which results in many people not being able to digest milk. In addition, vitamins (e.g. A, C, B6 and B12) are diminished and certain milk proteins are radically transformed from health nurturing to unnatural amino acid configurations that can have a negative impact on your health. Many beneficial bacteria are also lost during pasteurization and results in promoting pathogens rather than protecting you from them.
According to Dr. Mercola, dairy products from cows that are treated with genetically engineered growth hormone, which could increase the risk of cancer and other diseases, especially in children. He also indicated that some of these hormones were banned in most industrialized nations, however, they are approved in the United States on the backs of fired whistleblowers, manipulated research, and a corporate takeover at the FDA.
What is the alternative? Organic raw milk is recommended as a healthy alternative. Raw milk contains lots of nutrients with beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamins and enzymes, and of course is a good source of calcium.
Please note that if you have insulin issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or high cholesterol it is recommended that you restrict your dairy to organic butter as the carbohydrate content, lactose, could be contribute to insulin and leptin resistance. Fermented organic raw dairy would eliminate the lactose issue and would be better tolerated.
Myth #2: Lunch Meats are Healthy and Nutritious
Cold cuts are probably one of the most widely used foods for lunches for both children and adults. Cold cuts fall into the category of processed meats, which are not considered healthy foods. Processed meats include hot dogs, bacon, and pepperoni. If you are concerned about your health, these should be avoided. Most processed meat products contain dangerous substances that should be avoided. Some of these substances include:
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which is a carcinogen.
Sodium nitrate, a common preservative.
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), which can build up in your body and cause oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
It should be noted that The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has done research that supports the above.
Many studies have also found that processed meats may increase your risk of many different types of cancers (colon, stomach, pancreatic, etc.). It also increases your risk of diabetes by 50%, and lower your lung function and increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
However, if you choose to indulge once in a while in hot dogs or other processed meats, here are few tips:
Choose meats that are "uncured" and nitrate free.
Choose 100% beef, 100% chicken, etc. This is the only way to know that the meat is from a single species and does not include byproducts (like chicken skin or chicken fat or other parts).
Avoid any meat that contains MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavor or artificial color.
If possible, purchase sausages and other processed meats from a small, local farmer who can tell you exactly what's in their products.
Myth #3: Consuming Fats will Cause Heart Disease
According to experts, the low-fat myth may be the culprit that has caused harm to the health of millions of people. The low fat craze has been linked to increased consumption of trans-fats, which we now know increases your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Over the years, this subject has been a very controversial one, with many different authorities indicating that saturated fats have no known benefits and are not required in your diet. However, recent studies have revealed that saturated fats are in fact good for you.
Research shows that saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for cell membranes and many hormones and hormone-like substances, which your body needs in order to function efficiently. They carry important fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. These fats are also needed for converting carotene to Vitamin A for mineral absorption, and many other biological processes.
Some examples of healthy fats include avocados, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, coconuts, coconut oil, whole eggs, etc.
Myth #4: Artificial Sweeteners are Safe
Many studies that have been done show that there is a large number of health dangers associated with artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame. For example, cellular effects on the brain, headache, mood alterations (anxiety, agitation, irritability, or depression), insomnia, dizziness, and fatigue.
Most people who are trying to lose weight, turn to artificial sweeteners as a safe replacement for sugar. The irony is that nearly all the studies that have analyzed their effectiveness show that those who use artificial sweeteners actually gain more weight than those who consume caloric sweeteners.
Myth # 5 Eggs are Unhealthy
While egg yolks contain cholesterol, which is often demonized and associated with higher risks of heart disease, they are one of the healthiest foods to eat, and they do not have a negative impact on cholesterol levels. Eating an egg or two a day doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease in healthy people.
Myth # 6: Soy is a Health Food
Soy has been brilliantly touted as a "health food" by marketers. However, unfermented soy products are not healthy. On the contrary, many studies have revealed that unfermented soy has been linked to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility. Additionally, more than 90% of American soy crops are genetically modified (GMO), which has many health risks. With that said, organic and fermented soy does have health benefits. Good fermented options are tempeh and miso.
Sources: Dr. Mercola.com and Dr. Axe.com