Certain nutrition myths just never seem to die. We’ve been brainwashed into believing them by conventional medicine, and sometimes even our own government, and despite stacks of evidence exposing them as false they still persist.
Today we’re going to debunk the top three nutrition lies you should stop believing TODAY.
Lie #1 – Eggs are unhealthy and raise your cholesterol:
Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for mainstream medicine to abruptly begin blaming an ancient food for a modern health problem. Eggs became the victim of this blame game starting in the 1970s.
That’s when the nearly perfect egg was suddenly blamed for causing cholesterol to rise to dangerously high levels. The once beloved breakfast staple became enemy number one.
We were warned to cut way back on eggs. And we were even encouraged to toss out the nutrient-packed egg yolks and eat only the egg whites. A terrible bit of advice!
Research has revealed that for around 70 percent of us eating eggs will have essentially no effect on our cholesterol.1 And the remaining 30 percent will typically only have a minor, temporary, bump.
The truth is while egg yolks are relatively high in cholesterol they won’t drive your cholesterol levels significantly higher.2,3 You see, your body is designed to process the cholesterol you eat because, despite conventional medicine’s insistence on painting cholesterol as bad, your body needs it to survive.
In fact your body even manufactures its own cholesterol. Then when you eat a cholesterol-rich food it simply compensates by producing a bit less.4,5 Dietary cholesterol simply isn’t the threat we’ve been led to believe. Which is why studies haven’t found a connection between eating eggs and heart disease.6
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. So go ahead and put them back on your menu starting today.
Lie #2 – Low fat or skim milk is healthier:
I cringe whenever I see a carton of one percent or skim milk in someone’s refrigerator. The notion that these low-fat versions are somehow healthier for you because they contain less fat is, frankly, hogwash. And worse, it could even be causing harm.
I get it, you want to make the healthiest choice for you and your family. But those watery excuses for milk aren’t it. Because despite being led to believe that sticking to low fat will automatically help you lower your risks for obesity, diabetes and heart disease, a growing number of studies have found the opposite may be true.
For example, a study published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood found that skim and one percent fans were more likely to be overweight or obese than their whole milk drinking peers.7 Another found that the folks with higher levels of three different full-fat dairy byproducts in their blood had an impressive 46 percent lower risk of diabetes.8
And there’s no real evidence that saturated fats harms your heart either. (See Lie #3 below for more on this.) In fact, a comprehensive meta-analysis of 21 different studies was unable to find a significant link.9
While skim milk is lower in fat and calories it’s actually higher on the glycemic index. The reason is simple. Fat takes longer to digest so the glucose in skim milk hits your bloodstream more quickly driving your blood sugar up.
The fix? Pour the skim and low fat milk down the drain and buy some whole milk instead.
Lie #3 – Refined vegetable oils are heart healthy:
This harmful lie, unfortunately, has some real staying power. For many years conventional medicine, and even our government, shoved so-called heart-healthy refined vegetable oils down our throats.
They insisted saturated fats were bad for our hearts. We were told to give up good old-fashioned butter for manufactured margarine, swap out whole milk for skim and slash the red meats from our diet or suffer the consequences. And we were strongly encouraged to make the switch to vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower and canola.
And we did it in droves. The result? Skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The truth is omega-6-heavy vegetable oils are a terrible choice for anyone who want to be healthy. They’re highly inflammatory and unstable. And while we do need omega-6s, the typical Western diet has far too few omega-3s to balance them out. And it’s that imbalance that leads lead to disease.
On the other hand, a growing stack of research has revealed that saturated fats, which were turned into bogeymen by conventional medicine, don’t harm your heart as we had been told.9,10,11
Although saturated fats can raise LDL cholesterol it’s the large LDL variety which doesn’t have the same association with heart disease as the smaller, dense LDL.12,13 But at the same time they raise your heart-healthy HDL.14,15
Drop the refined vegetable oils and make the switch back to traditional fats such as organic, extra virgin olive and coconut oils. And go ahead and eat plenty of grass-fed meats and butter, nuts, avocados and fatty fish without the guilt.
1. “Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations,” Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006 Jan;9(1):8-12
2.”Serum cholesterol response to changes in the die,” Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, July 1965, Volume 14, Issue 7, Pages 759–765
3. “Rethinking dietary cholesterol,” Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Mar;15(2):117-21
4. “Dietary Cholesterol Feeding Suppresses Human Cholesterol Synthesis Measured by Deuterium Incorporation and Urinary Mevalonic Acid Levels,” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 1996; 16: 1222-1228
5. “Cholesterol feeding reduces nuclear forms of sterol regulatory element binding proteins in hamster liver,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Nov 11; 94(23): 12354–12359
6. “Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies,” BMJ 2013; 346
7. “Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumed and weight status in preschoolers,” Arch Dis Child 2013;98:335-340
8. “Circulating Biomarkers of Dairy Fat and Risk of Incident Diabetes Mellitus Among US Men and Women in Two Large Prospective Cohorts,” Circulation. 2016; CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018410
9. “Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease,” Am J Clin Nutr, January 13, 2010, ajcn.27725
10. “The questionable role of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease,” J Clin Epidemiol. 1998 Jun;51(6):443-60
11. “A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease,” Arch Intern Med. 2009 Apr 13;169(7):659-69
12. “Change in dietary saturated fat intake is correlated with change in mass of large low-density-lipoprotein particles in men,” Am J Clin Nutr May 1998, vol. 67 no. 5 828-836
13. “Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease,” Am J Clin Nutr March 2010, vol. 91 no. 3 502-509
14. “Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials,” Am J Clin Nutr May 2003, vol. 77 no. 5 1146-1155
15. “Effect of dietary fatty acids on serum lipids and lipoproteins. A meta-analysis of 27 trials,” Arterioscler Thromb. 1992 Aug;12(8):911-9
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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