#1: “Saturated Fat is Bad For You and Causes Heart Disease”
This recommendation arose from an unproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s. The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for cell membranes, mineral absorption, carriers for the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and converts carotene to vitamin A. Saturated fat contains 9 separate fatty acids. Some of them have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-dental cavity and anti-plaque properties.
# 2: “Eating Fat Makes You Gain Weight”
Eating fat will not necessarily make you fat. The primary cause of weight gain and the numerous chronic diseases associated with it is the consumption of too much added sugar and too many grains, which rapidly convert to sugar in your body. Reducing sugar and grain consumption, including bread, flour, pasta, rice, etc., often results in significant weight loss.
# 3: “Artificial Sweeteners are Safe Sugar-Replacements and Help Promote Weight Loss”
Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight or because they are diabetic and need to avoid sugar. Artificial sweeteners further stimulate the craving for sweets because the “sweet reward” does not register in the brain. Therefore, the person ends up eating more sugar and overeating at meals. Nearly all of the studies to date show those who use artificial sweeteners actually gain more weight than those who consume regular sugar. As far as safety, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (Nutrasweet), have been associated with approximately 40 diseases, including cancer!
#4: “Soy is a Healthy Food”
This is only true if it is organic and fermented. Examples of fermented soy products include tempeh, miso and natto. Tofu is only fermented if it is pickled. It is also called tofu cheese. Most tofu and other soy products, on the other hand, are not fermented. Unfermented soy products, such as soy milk, soy protein and other soy byproducts are common ingredients in processed food and livestock feed. Numerous studies have linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, infertility, cancer and heart disease. Not only that, but more than 90 percent of American soybeans are genetically modified (GMOs), which potentially carries its own set of health risks.
#5: “Eating Too Many Eggs Will Raise Your Cholesterol”
This is probably the biggest food myth around. The fact is, eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are a great source of protein and contain many important vitamins and minerals. Even though egg yolks contain some cholesterol, several studies have shown they do not raise blood cholesterol levels. In fact, one study found eating three eggs a day lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol and raised HDL (good) cholesterol.
#6: “Whole Grains Are a Healthy Food”
Grains, even whole grains, are not good for us, especially in large quantities. They are a big reason why the majority of Americans are overweight, inflamed and have chronic disease. Some grains, including wheat, rye, barley and oats (due to cross-contamination) contain gluten. Gluten causes intestinal damage, auto-immune diseases, thyroid and brain damage, systemic inflammation and a myriad of other diseases. Grains also contain phytates, which prevent the absorption of minerals. Reducing grain consumption and eliminating “gluten grains” is a good disease treatment and prevention strategy.
#7: “Milk Does a Body Good”
Conventional, homogenized and pasteurized milk has very few health benefits and may in fact be harmful to your health. Pasteurization kills all the beneficial microorganisms, and homogenization artificially modifies dairy fats in a way that can potentially harm the cardiovascular system. Processed milk is also taken from dairy cows injected with antibiotics and rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone). Milk and dairy consumption can also cause systemic inflammation. A healthier milk substitute is almond milk or coconut milk.
#8: “Genetically Engineered Foods are Safe and Comparable to Conventional Foods”
Genetically engineered (GE) foods, or GMOs, may be one of the most dangerous aspects of our food supply today. We strongly recommend avoiding all GMO foods. Since approximately 90 percent of all corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are GMO, virtually every processed food you find at your local supermarket that does not bear the “USDA Organic” label likely contains one or more GMO components. The most common GMO foods are corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sugar derived from sugar beets, and alfalfa. Zucchini, crookneck squash and Hawaiian papaya are also commonly genetically modified. Unless you are buying all organic food, including meat, eggs and poultry, or grow your own vegetables, chances are you are consuming GE foods every day. The ultimate impact these foods will have on our health is still unknown, but increased disease, infertility and birth defects appear to top the list of the most likely side effects. The first-ever lifetime feeding study also showed a dramatic increase in organ damage, cancer, and reduced lifespan.
For more information on GMOs and how to avoid them.
- Song WO, Kerver JM. Nutritional contribution of eggs to American diets. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:556S-62S.