There are a lot of misconceptions that float around about food! Some foods you think are bad for you and you’ve learned to avoid actually offer up some good nutritious values you need as part of a healthy diet. Here are 3 food misconceptions debunked by with the latest scientific research!
Myth #1: Margarine is Better than Butter
Because of its high content of saturated fat, “the culprit of heart disease”, the food industry used advertising campaigns to successfully lie about the urgent and proven need to replace “unhealthy” butter with “healthy” margarine. Margarine was then created to replace “unhealthy” butter. Margarine is a highly processed food which primary ingredient is vegetable oil along with emulsifiers, colorants and various artificial ingredients. Vegetable oil is usually liquid at room temperature, which is why margarine is often hydrogenated to make its texture harder and to extend its shelf life. In the process of hydrogenation, some of the vegetable oils turn into trans fats, the bad fats, excessive intake can lower good cholesterol, and raise bad cholesterol, primary cause of heart disease.
In contrast, churning the fatty portion of cow’s milk until it turns into the final product makes butter. And that’s it! And don’t worry about its saturated fat content. As just mentioned, saturated fat intakes are not associated with any heart disease.
Replace your margarine with butter and even better by organic, grass fed butter. Grass fed dairy is high in vitamin K2, important for heart and bone health, and is a good source of vitamins A, D, and E. It’s also an excellent vehicle for their assimilation in your body. On top of that it contains 4% butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, fighting against inflammation, the leading cause of heart disease and cancers.
Myth #2: Eggs Raise Your Cholesterol
Egg yolks are believed to raise blood cholesterol levels because of their high cholesterol content and we’ve learnt to consume only the egg whites. New research found that whole egg intakes did not increase blood cholesterol and were not associated with any heart disease. High cholesterol is caused by many other factors related to poor dietary habits like eating a lot of fried and processed food as well as increased sugar consumption!
In fact, when you eat too much sugar, your blood sugar levels become elevated, your body releases insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating your blood sugar levels. Insulin takes the extra sugar and stores it as fat. In the continued presence of high blood sugar and therefore insulin, your body becomes resistant to insulin, meaning that your body cells are not able to use insulin effectively… so both your sugar and insulin levels remain high in blood creating inflammation. Your body then recognizes something is wrong and initiates a stress response, which raises your cholesterol levels since it is needed to make the stress hormone cortisol.
So, don’t be afraid of eggs, eggs are nutritious! They are among the best protein sources available providing all 9 essential amino acids! Also, egg yolks are the most nutrient-dense part of the egg. They provide vitamin D, folate, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium! On top of that egg yolks are the richest source of choline, a B-Vitamin essential for a healthy brain, it helps improve memory and attention-holding capacity!
Myth #3: Red Meat Consumption Causes Cancer and Heart Disease
We’ve learned to restrict red meat consumption believing it causes cancer and heart problems. It is true that red meat consumption has been linked to colorectal cancer, yet this evidence is specific to processed meat only – that is anything with a casing or in sausage form, smoked or cured like bologna, hot dogs and sausages. Regular intake of red processed meat intake has been associated with significant increase of colorectal, colon and rectal cancer.
On top of that, red meat is believed to increase the risk of heart disease due to its saturated fat content. Recent scientific research showed no association between saturated fat intakes and heart disease. In contrast some type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides found in organic full fat dairy and coconut oil are good for you! Unlike other fats, these are easily absorbed, metabolized in liver and can be used as energy!
The main cause of heart disease is high blood cholesterol levels and inflammation related to excessive sugar intakes. As mentioned previously, eating a lot of sugar creates inflammation that raises your cholesterol levels. In the continued presence of insulin related to excessive sugar intakes, the linings of your arteries starts proliferating; creating the plaque that will narrow or block your blood vessels.
Red meat in moderation is nutritious! It is an excellent source of protein, creatine, iron and B-Vitamins and considered one of the richest sources of zinc, necessary for a strong immune system and healthy skin! Opt for grass fed rather than grain fed meat. Grass fed is more nutritious providing higher amounts of omega-3, important to maintain healthy joints, brain and heart and minerals like potassium, iron, zinc and phosphorus.
Poortmans, Jacques R., and Olivier Dellalieux. “Do regular high protein diets have potential health risks on kidney function in athletes?.” International Journal of Sport Nutrition 10.1 (2000): 28-38.
Friedman, Allon N., et al. “Comparative effects of low-carbohydrate high-protein versus low-fat diets on the kidney.” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 7.7 (2012): 1103-1111.
Siri-Tarino, Patty W., et al. “Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease.” The American journal of clinical nutrition (2010): ajcn-27725.