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Many Common Nutrition “Facts” are Actually Nonsense

eggs and bacon
photo from Flickr via Business Insider

Unfortunately, false nutrition information has spread widely into public knowledge over recent decades, and most of the conventional wisdom regarding nutrition in the USA is wrong. An informative article in the Business Insider describes just 13 of the nutrition mis-facts that are commonly believed to be facts. Here is my summary of the article:

EGGS are among the most healthy foods for humans. Eggs raise your “good” cholesterol and do not promote heart disease. The fat content of eggs promotes weight loss.  Eggs are unique in that they contain plenty of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a good source of choline which is needed by the brain. Eating eggs for breakfast can eliminate the craving for sweet sugary food in the afternoon and evening.

COFFEE is a very healthy substance. It’s loaded with more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables combined. Caffeine boosts metabolism and improves brain function including memory, reaction time, and mood, Coffee greatly lowers the risk of Type II diabetes, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

WHOLE WHEAT is the greatest source of gluten in the American diet.  In many people, gluten causes gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and fatigue. It can damage the lining of your intestines. Gluten can also contribute to autism and schizophrenia.

SODIUM does not lead to heart disease. Restricting sodium in your diet does not reduce your risk for heart disease. Too little sodium in your diet can lead to high “bad” LDL cholesterol, high triglycerides,  insulin resistance, and Type II diabetes,

LOW-FAT, HIGH-CARB diet does not cause you to lose weight, and it can be harmful in people who are overweight or have diabetes.

HIGH-FAT, LOW-CARB diet promotes weight loss.

LOW-CARB diet is very beneficial. It lowers blood pressure, raises “good” HDL cholesterol, and lowers triglycerides. A low carb diet (which is much easier to maintain than a low fat diet) can greatly lower blood sugar and reduce the need for medication in Type II diabetes patients. Low carb diet can prevent obesity, metabolic syndrome, and Type II diabetes.

FATS do not make you fat. Context is key. A diet that is high in both fats and carbs can cause weight gain but it is not from the fats. A diet too low in fats can cause overeating and can cause degenerative diseases. It is best to eat healthy fats everyday. Healthy fats are polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (EFA) found in foods such as salmon, halibut, trout, sardines, flax, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and grass-fed meat. EFAs are a major source of energy, they promote healthy skin and hair, reduce inflammation, prevent arthritis, cancer and heart disease. They lower triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

SATURATED FATS do not contribute to heart disease. They are completely unrelated to heart disease. They reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol

CALORIES are not created equally. Different types of food are broken down and absorbed via  different metabolic pathways in the body. A calorie of protein will boost metabolism and muscle mass and reduce appetite much more that a calorie of carbs or fat would. Calories of  fructose (cane SUGAR often added to foods) will increase your appetite, causing you to eat more food and gain weight rapidly. It sets you up for metabolic disease.  Excess fructose leads to high cholesterol, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, and obesity in as little as 10 weeks. It causes heart disease, Type II diabetes, and cancer,  Thus, sugar is not “empty calories”. Conversely, the same amount of calories of glucose (natural sugar found in fruit) lowers your appetite, helping you to feel full and eat less.

PROTEIN increases bone density to lower your risk of broken bones in your older years. In healthy people, protein increases your muscle mass, reduces body fat, lowers your risk for heart disease and diabetes,

For more detailed information about what I’ve written here, see the full Business Insider article:  13 Nutrition Lies That Made The World Sick And Fat

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