“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic….” - John F. Kennedy
I think we’re all in the same boat. You finally get this food thing figured out and then “new research” tells you you’re wrong….again. Take, for example, eggs. We’ve been told for years that egg yolks increase our cholesterol, so we shouldn’t eat them very often. Hello egg white omelets. Blech! As it turns out, egg yolks don’t increase our cholesterol and most of us can handle an egg per day. AND eggs are known to shut down hunger hormones so eating eggs at breakfast may help your appetite later in the morning.
But be honest, you still wonder if the “new research” is true.
Part of the problem is that Nutrition is the only science that is usually true, even when it seems like it contradicts itself. The reason is, Bio-individuality: what works for one person, may not work for another. One person’s food is another person’s poison. There are, however, some food myths that have been debunked. Let’s take a look at a few.
Myth: I won’t gain weight if I drink diet soda.
Truth: Diet soda can actually cause you to GAIN weight. When you drink a diet soda (or pop….as I called it growing up), initially your body thinks it’s getting sugar. Your pancreas gets the message to release insulin in order to get the “sugar” into your cells for energy. However, sugar is not available and insulin in a sense “demands” sugar. Your brain then responds by signaling that you’re hungry, in order to get some sugar. Bottom line…you overeat when you drink diet soda.
Before I go any further I want to say hello to the women I met at the McLean County Employee Wellness Fair in April. Welcome to Your Food Fight Newsletter. I enjoyed meeting you and talking about all things health!
Ok, back to our next myth.
Myth: Eating fat will make me fat.
Truth: This myth really took root in the '80s and '90s. We were told that we should eat a low-fat diet. So we avoided it like the plague and ramped up fat-free options of all our favorites. Little did we know that when you take the fat out of our fav foods, you increase the sugar (and salt). And now we know....sugar is inflammatory and inflammation drives all chronic illness-heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, depression, etc. The truth is that eating healthy fats; avocados, flax, walnuts and their oils along with extra virgin olive oil, while limiting carbs and reducing/omitting sugar is key to health. You'll stay full longer and keep your blood sugar balanced. This is good news!
All this talk about sugar may make the savvy among you concerned about your microbiome-the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. You may be tempted to consume some yogurt to balance things out. But take a look at this:
Myth: Yogurt is good for your gut.
Truth: Sure, some yogurt has some probiotic in it. Check the label for Lactobacillus, that’s what you want. But while you’re looking at that label, check out the amount of sugar in a serving of that yogurt. Herein lies the problem. Yes, you may get some probiotic, but the sugar is going to do more damage than the probiotic is going to help you. Still worried about your gut bacteria? Make your own sauerkraut (you only need cabbage and salt!), make your own pickles (cucumbers, water, salt, dill, garlic) or eat some kimchi. These fermented foods are the real deal. Your gut will love you!
Myth: Bananas are the best source of Potassium.
Truth: Brussels sprouts and broccoli have more Potassium per serving. Here are some other reasons to eat broccoli…every day.
Lots of vitamins and minerals
Contains powerful antioxidants to protect against chronic diseases
Two of those antioxidants are lutein and zeaxanthin- powerful
Protection against Macular Degeneration
May protect against cancer (breast, kidney, colon, prostate)
High in fiber which may stabilize blood sugar
High in Vitamin C helps support the immune system
High in Vitamin K and Calcium for strong bones and teeth
Myth: Our food doesn’t contain Trans Fat anymore
Truth: The FDA allows manufacturers to claim “zero trans fat,” even though there may be up to 0.5 g of trans fat preserving. The WHO says for heart health the maximum amount of trans fat you can safely consume is 1 gram in a 2000 calorie diet. That would be only 2 servings of a product that has 0.5 g/serving. The problem is that the label says “0”. Here’s your work around-read the ingredients. If partially hydrogenated oil (code for trans fat) is listed, don’t consume it.
And the final myth has more to do with food preparation than actual food.
Myth: Wood cutting boards aren’t safe to use.
Truth: So sorry if you threw out your wood cutting boards when this information surfaced. Or, maybe you’ve been hesitant to use that wood cutting board you’ve had since the ‘80s. Well, the truth is that the bacteria sink down beneath the surface of the cutting board and they don’t multiply and eventually die off. Go ahead, slice your next roast on your good ol' wood cutting board!
Stick with me kid! I won't dupe you and will always work hard to bring you the truth. Wondering what else I know? Want to figure out why you crave that sugar? Wondering why you eat from the time you get home from work until the time you go to bed? Desperate to feel better and reduce pain? Stumped by why you're not sleeping well? Struggling under the weight of stress?
Head to my website: www.yourfoodfight.com to contact me.
Let's set up your FREE health history consultation.
My dear reader, Spring may feel like a myth this year, but it really is here!