As I think back to when I was in my early 20’s I thought I was SOOOO healthy! I would make sure to stock up on Lean Cuisines when they were on sale at the various grocery stores, I tried to limit my butter and salt intake and would only consume low or non-fat milk. My grandmother used to tell me not to eat the chicken skin (my favorite part) because it would give me high cholesterol. With obesity, diabetes and heart disease on the rise how is it possible that so many people are unhealthy despite all of this nutritional health knowledge? Could it be that many dietary recommendations are untrue and responsible for misleading the general public? In this article I will share common diet myths that could be ruining your health!
Before I begin my post, please note that I am not a doctor and this post should not be construed as medical advice. With that being said, I have learned some things over the past few years that I wanted to share and hope that it will be beneficial to my readers.
Common Diet Myths That Could Be Ruining Your Health
Myth: Salt is unhealthy!
For years salt has been demonized by so-called experts recommending that people limit their salt intake to increase health, claiming it can lead to high blood pressure. Recent studies actually show that a low salt diet is associated with many overall negative impacts on our health such as insulin resistance and a higher risk of stroke and heart attack. Adequate salt intake supports hydration, especially during exercise. A few teaspoons of good salt (This is my favorite!) replenishes the necessary minerals and electrolytes within the body. It has also shown to help cope with stress by speeding up cortisol clearance from the blood. Now again, this doesn’t mean it’s healthy to consume those super salty fast food French Fries (GROSS!) You need to ditch the conventional iodized table salt and pickup some good sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. Health benefits of Himalayan sea salt include promoting bone strength, healthy PH in cells (particularly brain cells), regulating sleep and supporting your libido just to name a few. Over the years this new found knowledge has led me to add a little dash of salt (pink salt) to almost everything! It’s the perfect way to include nutrients while also flavoring foods- including sweet foods. A pinch of salt helps to enhance the flavor whether sweet or savory.
Myth: Butter is Bad for you!
Ugh! Remember Margarine? Hopefully it is not still a regular staple in your diet. It’s just plain gross. It is made out of hydrogenated oils which are high in trans fat and has horrible effects on the body. It increases bad cholesterol, while decreasing good cholesterol and has been linked to diabetes and heart disease. Butter on the other hand; and I mean good, organic, grass-fed butter, is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It contains Vitamins A, D, E and K while also being high in iron, zinc, selenium and many more. Grass-fed can contain high levels of CLA, a compound that can offer protection against cancer and helps to store muscle in the body rather than fat. Butter, also contains a hormone like substance that can prevent stiffness in the joints. Consuming good butter into your diet can help to boost fertility, protect against tooth decay and protect against GI infections just to name a few. Organic Grass fed butter is very easy to make yourself with my homemade butter method.
Myth Avoid Fat!
Low fat or nonfat is the healthier alternative, right? WRONG! For years dietary advice recommended low fat or nonfat but experts are now arguing that full fat dairy products are much healthier. Many researchers agree that organic, raw dairy is superior, but even in pasteurized dairy full fat offers the most benefits. Consuming full fat dairy may help to reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Full fat dairy products also help to regulate healthy body weight with women consuming one cup a day gaining 30% less weight than those who consumed only low, or nonfat dairy. Raw milk is high in vitamins and enzymes that are virtually destroyed during pasteurization; which makes milk harder to digest. Many people who are lactose intolerant may notice their symptoms going away when consuming raw milk products.
Myth: Food companies care about our health!
Many commercial brands use words like “healthy” or “lean” while marketing, while their ingredients are anything but. High in sodium, MSG, hydrogenated oils and nitrates, these meals are highly processed. Not to mention the fact that they are usually packaged in BPA containers and cooked up in the microwave (which zaps any nutrients-if there are any!) Simple homemade lunches are a much healthier alternative. Diet, low fat, non-fat, low sugar, sugar free, fat free- when you see those labels, think to substitute with the phrase “Chemical Shit Storm!” Because that is exactly what it is! Over processed and nutrient void foods masquerading as a healthy lunch or dinner option.
When choosing foods, read the ingredients. The less ingredients, the less processed the food is. Avoid high fructose, fructose, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), aspartame, natural flavorings and hard to pronounce ingredients.
So there you have it! No more avoiding all the rich flavors of these healthy foods in the name of health. Forget dieting, counting points and restricting foods that are actually good for you! You can relish in the fact that these whole foods are the real deal and offer tons of health benefits. For me this true understanding of health foods was liberating. I got the satisfaction of eating all those things I loved with the peace of mind that they were actually nutritious and providing myself and my family with the vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
How do you eat? Is this information eye opening for you? I would love for you to share your thoughts and experiences!