I am a beauty aficionado who is also fascinated by health and nutrition... you might say those are my second loves.
One of my favorite things to do is to listen to podcasts from The Underground Wellness Show, which is a 'Blog Talk Radio program' focusing on alternative health. I have learned so much from listening to these podcasts on my way to and from work. It's a blessing to have them archived in iTunes. This allows me to put them on my iPod and I can listen to them anytime or anywhere.
One of the interviews I thoroughly enjoyed was with Dr. David Getoff, a naturopathic doctor whose interview was called, "Debunking Diet and Health Myths." That podcast is the inspiration for this post. I hope you enjoy it and if you have any feedback or questions for me, please leave a comment below and be sure to visit me on Toxic Beauty Blog :-)
Health and Nutrition Myths Most People Believe
1. High cholesterol is bad for you. Did you know that high cholesterol was never correlated with heart disease? That's right. This misinformation was promoted by researchers in the 1950s and served a purpose. Who benefits from stating high cholesterol is bad and leads to heart attacks? The food and drug industries! Doctors push statins, or cholesterol lowering drugs, on people and the drug companies rake in the cash. Ideal cholesterol used to be 240, then it was lowered to 220 and finally under 200. The lower your cholesterol should be, the more money "they" make. In addition, eating cholesterol has no effect on your blood cholesterol level. Cholesterol is a very important substance in the human body. Your brain is made up of cholesterol and it's also a major component of hormones. LDL cholesterol may even help protect us against cancer, see here! More recent research shows the higher your cholesterol level, the longer you'll live and the lower your cholesterol, the higher your mortality rate. What makes this more frightening is many elderly people are put on statin drugs, which raises their chance of dying early. Dr. Getoff summed cholesterol up perfectly - "Whatever your cholesterol is right now is what it should be!" (except if you are a cholesterol lowering drug, of course.)
2. Saturated fats are unhealthy. This is related a bit to health myth #1. Back in the 50's, researchers studied fats and their effects on the body and heart disease. Ancel Keys was one of these researchers. Despite the fact that the research was quite flawed and actually never proved that saturated fats caused heart disease, this hypothesis became the accepted norm. This in turn caused a wave of non-fat, low-fat and high carbohydrate diets. You'd think that if saturated fats were so bad, heart disease rates would have gone down when they were cut out the diet. This didn't happen... in fact, in the 20th century, heart disease rates skyrocketed with each decade. The reason for this was because saturated fats were replaced with hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are the real culprits of heart disease. Saturated fats, such as coconut oil, butter, and animal fat actually protect you from heart disease and have a host of other benefits. I'm reading the book, Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallen and Mary Enig right now. It's quite eye opening about how the lie that saturated fats are bad came to be and how you can finally lose weight and get healthier by eating fat!
3. A balanced diet should include plenty of "healthy whole grains." If you follow the "Food Plate" (the former Food Guide Pyramid) you probably think you're eating healthy... but you're sorely mistaken. When I read the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, my mind was blown. It turns out the wheat of today is a far cry from the "amber waves of grain" of our predecessors. The wheat of today has been highly processed and modified so much, it barely resembles the wheat of yesteryear. Due to this distortion, may people have developed an sensitivity or intolerance to wheat. Even those who don't have a sensitivity to wheat would benefit from deleting it from their diet. Wheat and grains in general make you gain weight. Two slices of wheat bread raises your blood sugar more than if you were to eat two tablespoons of white sugar! So grains are really the bad guy when it comes to weight loss. Grain consumption has also been linked to a number of health problems such as: neurological problems, arthritis, IBS, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. So years ago, when researchers erroneously demonized dietary fat and cholesterol, they should have been pinpointing grains.
4. If you reduce your calories in and ramp up exercise (burn extra calories), you will lose weight. To lose weight, all you need to do is restrict your calories. Eat nuts, seeds, and berries. And don't forget to go to the gym and stay on the treadmill for 1-2 hours each day! Then you are burning off the calories you ate and that extra fat on your hips too! Wrong! There is so much more involved in the fat loss equation than calories in, or calories out (also the title of a great book by Gary Taubes, by the way.) This concept also doesn't take into account muscle mass and lean tissue. When you lose weight rapidly, you're very likely losing muscle mass. Also, if you're cutting calories too drastically, the body will go into starvation mode in which it will cling to fat in an effort to sustain itself. This is the opposite of what most people want when dieting. There are all sorts of other health issues to consider when losing weight. The key is to get healthy first and weight loss will certainly follow. It is never as easy as eating less and burning more calories.
5. Soy is a fantastic health food. According to the Organic Consumers, 90% of soy is GM (Genetically Modified). Long term lab tests have not yet been performed to discover what these "frankenfoods" can do to our bodies. Soy is also highly processed with hexane, which is a petroleum derived solvent not fit for human consumption! And to make it even worse, soy is one of the top crops heavily sprayed with pesticides. If you are still not convinced as to why you should avoid soy at all costs, check this out from an article entitled "This Miracle Health Food Has Been Linked to Brain Damage and Breast Cancer " by Dr. Joseph Mercola:
"Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story, points out thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility - even cancer and heart disease."
Soy has been portrayed as a heath food when in actuality it's a damaging "food". Soy is oestrogenic, meaning it acts as oestrogen in the body. Excess oestrogen is linked to many diseases, such as infertility, endocrine disorder, and breast cancer. No one should be drinking soy milk, whether it be a woman, man, or child.
About the Author: Robin Adler is a beauty blogger specialising in exposing toxic ingredients in beauty products and shedding light on safer, organic cosmetics. Please visit her blog to download the special report Label Lies: Secrets of Organic Cosmetics.
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