Some misguided health notions are harmless, but others are very dangerous and can lead you down the road of chronic health problems and may even trim years off your life.
I get the feeling that those who propagate these dangerous myths, mostly for pecuniary gains, but some from pure ignorance must have adapted Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Goebbels’ dictum that if you keep repeating the same lies over and over again, the public will soon start believing them as true.
Slowly, however, the truth seems to be reaching mainstream audiences.
Let’s take a look at these destructive nutrition lies, one-by-one.
Lie # 1: Breakfast is the Healthiest Meal of the Day, and You Should Eat Many Small Meals a Day
Recall my post dated April 24, 2015 on “Intermittent Fasting”. When you skip breakfast you are actually doing intermittent fasting.
Let alone being bad for you, skipping breakfast can:
- Boost your Human Growth Hormone production by as much as 1,200 percent in women and 2,000 in men;
- Reduce insulin resistance;
- Reduce inflammation;
- Reduce blood pressure:
- Increase lean body mass; and
- Increase levels of BDNF, a protein that protects your brain cells from the changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
As for “eating six small meals per day”, it seems that the logic behind it is there (portion control, keeping your energy up, stabilize blood sugar, etc.), but in reality, eating this way has not been shown to provide these benefits.
For me, the worst thing about this suggested eating style is that instead of your body producing insulin 2-3 times a day, you are forcing it to do this 6 times a day. Does that say anything about insulin resistance?
Lie # 2: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease
This very dangerous recommendation arose from an unproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s, and has been harming people’s health for 40 years.
It is quite unbelievable that some authorities are still pushing this dangerous advice today.
Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally.
Fats also serve as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and are required for converting carotene into vitamin A, absorbing minerals and other important biological processes. Saturated fat is also the preferred fuel for your heart (coconut oil).
So, it is suggested that people will benefit from a diet where 50-85 percent of daily calories are derived from healthy fats, like the ones listed below:
- Coconuts and coconut oil
- Butter made from grass fed organic milk
- Unheated organic nuts and nut oils
- Free range chicken eggs
Lie # 3: High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good for You
Of all the health-destroying foods on the market, those made with highly processed vegetable and seed oils are the worst.
Ideally your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio should be 1:1. People into processed foods, and this is a huge percentage of the population, are getting 20 to 50 times more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats.
What does excessive omega-6 fats from processed foods do? It will significantly increase your risk for
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- And more
Lie # 4: Artificial Sweeteners Are Safe Sugar Replacements for Diabetics, and Help Promote WEIGHT LOSS
Most users of artificial sweeteners are either diabetic or people who want to lose weight. The irony is that nearly all studies to date show that artificial sweeteners cause even MORE weight gain than regular sugar. Similar results were found for diabetics.
Since artificial sweeteners have ZERO calories, why such results?
- Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content
- Artificial sweeteners appear to perpetuate a craving for sweets
- Artificial sweeteners may also disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories”
Besides not helping you lose weight or cut back sugar consumption, the health risks associated with artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame continues to expand.
I have a question for you all: “Have you ever seen an artificial sweetener user, who is slim/fit?”
Lie # 5: Soy Is a Health Food
Many studies have linked soy to a number of health problems. More than 90 % of the global soy crops are genetically engineered, which only compounds the risk
Some of you may recall that I particularly suggested that men abstain from consuming soy, as there were chemicals that “mimicked” women’s hormones in it. Well, nobody should consume it. The only exception is fermented soy products.
The following is a list of health effects science has linked to unfermented soy:
- Breast cancer
- Thyroid disorders
- Food allergies
- Brain damage
- Kidney stones
- Heart disease
- Immune dysfunction
- Digestive problems
The list goes on, but I think you get the message.
Lie # 6: Whole Grains Are Good for Everyone
As most of my readers know, I am against the consumption of grains. I will not repeat the reasons. However, keep in mind that ALL grains can elevate your insulin and leptin levels (See my Insulin and Leptin posts of March 16, 2016 and March 30, 2016).
Insulin and leptin resistance can lead to diabetes, heart disease, dementia and cancer. This also goes for whole grains and grains not containing GMOs.
Another aspect of consuming grains is that the gluten content may lead to allergies and sensitivities and eventually to celiac disease.
Lie # 7: Genetically Engineered Foods Are Safe to Consume
GMO containing foods may be the most dangerous aspect of the world’s food supply today. More than 90 % of the corn and 95 % of the soy grown in the US are Genetically Engineered (GE). You can be certain that the terrible processed foods that you buy at the supermarket contain GMOs.
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of GE crops is that they are saturated with one of the most dangerous herbicides on the market, glyphosate. This toxic chemical can’t be washed off as it becomes integrated into nearly every cell of the plant, and then gets transferred into your body.
No one knows exactly what will be the ultimate impact of these foods on your health, particularly over the long term. Animal studies have pointed to increased disease, infertility, and birth defects as the top contenders.
Be aware of the following crops, as they are most probably GE, unless otherwise labeled:
- Canola (oil)
- Sugar from sugar beets
- Hawaiian papaya
Lie # 8: Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart
I won’t even dwell on this lie, which came along with all the lies and myths connected to cholesterol and heart health. See my Cholesterol Part I and Part II posts, dated April 29, 2016 and May 5, 2016.
A famous heart surgeon in Turkey even apologized publicly for having misled the public on the dangers of egg consumption.
They are a great food and I consume at least 6-9 eggs per week.
Some of the nutritional benefits are:
- A great source of protein and amino acids
- Vitamin D
- Lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health
- Many other vitamins and minerals
Lie # 9: Low-Fat Foods Prevent Obesity and Heart Disease
Even though it is now an established fact that most people need between 50 to 85 percent of their calories from “good” fats, some “nutritionists”, cardiologists and the like are still pushing this blatant lie.
Lie # 10: Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories
A diet high in non-fiber carbohydrates – particularly processed grains and sugar – leads directly to insulin and leptin resistance. When you’re highest percentage of calories come from healthful fats, these problems just don’t exist.
When fat was removed from foods, to increase shelf life, something had to be added back to make foods more palatable – and that something was sugar. One that stands out, of course, is High Fructose Corn Syrup, which spells metabolic disaster for your body.
Now for the # 1 Truth
The more you eat like your ancestors, the better – fresh whole foods, locally and sustainably raised, and foods that are minimally processed or not processed at all.
See you all next week.