Hear a claim ten times from different sources, and we start believing in its validity. Our health community is heavily infiltrated with such claims that are nothing more than nonsense, and have no science backing it up. In this article we are going to look at 7 such glorified myths that unfortunately have fooled many naïve individuals:
Myth 1: Fat makes you fat
This statement is a generalization and the notion of associating fat with weight gain is very wrong. For many years, fat has been treated as poison, and people have been repeatedly told how it clogs arteries and causes heart attacks. But in reality, fat is not only good for you, but it is an absolute necessity for your well-being. Saturated fat, for example, is good to enhance the functioning of liver. Also the saturated fats contained in coconut fortifies the ability of white blood cells to identify the evading bacteria and viruses.
Saturated fat is very stable because all of the hydrogen atoms occupy all the spaces available from the carbon atom chain. Thus making it unlikely to oxidize when exposed to oxygen or heat. This is why it is recommended to cook with coconut oil. Hydrogenated fat, however, is bad for you. It is a chemical process through which hydrogen atoms are forced to bond with the carbon atom. This hydrogenation process can instigate the creation of trans fat, which can cause our LDL levels to go up and increase our risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Fat does not make you fat. It helps make many vitamins such as A,D,E and K bioavailable for us. It makes us feel full and provides our body with a healthy source of fuel.
All fats are not bad for you. The key is to choose the right one.
Myth 2: High protein diet can be dangerous
This myth originated back in 1983, when scientists found that eating a lot of protein increased your glomerular filtration rate, which is the amount of blood the kidney filters every minute. From this they derived the conclusion that high protein stresses the kidneys. Subsequent research shows that while high protein did increase GFR, it has no significant impact on the kidneys functioning. That said, if you already have weak kidneys, then you should limit your protein intake. But otherwise healthy individuals should not have any problem digesting protein.
Protein is very important in keeping you full. Not just that, it is very important in the synthesizing of enzymes and hormones as well as blood, bones, muscles, cartilages and skin. In a nutshell, it is an important building block of life.
Myth 3: You should skip the yolk
It is now time to unscramble the yolk and cholesterol myth. Egg yolk does contain cholesterol- 184 mg– all in the yolk. But it is dietary cholesterol not unhealthy blood cholesterol. Your body itself makes dietary cholesterol. For example, you liver produces 1-2 grams of cholesterol every day, almost 2-3 times more than egg. The point is that dietary cholesterol is very important in the production of Vitamin D, bile and steroid hormones like testosterone. It is also a crucial component of our cell membrane.
Along with fat, the yolk of the egg contains many vitamins such a Vitamin A, D and E. It contains twice the amount of protein than what you would get from just eating the whites.
Still concerned? In a Harvard research study, the researchers looked at the dietary habits of 100,000 participants, and concluded that daily egg consumption didn’t increase the risk of heart disease among healthy individuals.
So, have no fear and enjoy the whole egg!
Myth 4: Sugar is bad because it has no calories
The fact that sugar has no nutritional value is just one reason why it is unhealthy for you. There are many eviler reasons why sugar should be limited as much as possible from your diet. Sugar is very bad for your teeth. They stimulate the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid, and promotes tooth decay.
Too much fructose can stress our liver, since it is the only organ that can metabolize it. Plus, usually fructose gets converted to glycogen and is stored in our liver until we need it for fuel. But if liver is already filled with glycogen, the excess fructose will be stored as fat. This situation does not apply to the fructose found in fruit, because it is almost impossible to get high amounts of fructose from fruits. Sugar can also mess up our metabolic balance by causing insulin resistance. Along with metabolic syndrome, sugar is also responsible for many major killers such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases… cholesterol… and diabetes. Plus, sugar is highly addictive just as drugs. It makes us hungrier and crave even sweeter things to curb our sweet tooth.
Myth 5: Red Meat causes Cancer
Along with cancer, red meat has been blamed for diabetes and heart disease as well. But research results show something different. Studies show that it is the consumption of processed red meat that increases your risk of diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease.
So don’t be afraid of eating red meat. Just trim off the excess fat, and the parts that are overcooked or burned, because the dark crust that forms outside the meat can contain cancer forming compounds called HCA. Charred parts should be avoided.
Myth 6: Salt should be avoided because it causes blood pressure
If you already have high blood pressure, then you are salt sensitive and need to limit your sodium intake. But normal healthy individuals don’t need to limit their salt intake. Also, if you think that lowering salt will help ward heart disease and stroke, then know that research has found no link between them.
So, don’t be afraid of adding a flavorful to your food with salt. But do avoid those canned foods loaded with sodium. Those, everyone should stay away from.
Myth 7: Low fat foods are so much better for you
If fat makes you fat, then why not switch to low fat alternatives? Seems sensible right? Sadly it doesn’t work that way. Once the fat gets stripped from the food item, so does its taste and texture. Manufacturers then use sugar and other horrible additives to bring back the flavor of the food item. The resulting product is actually worse than the original.
Fat is not always bad for you, unless we are looking at the ones in processed items. So stop looking for low fat alternatives.
I hope this article helped blast some of the common misconceptions plaguing our health community. Always remember to research before taking every claim as a fact.
In the comments below, please tell us: what is one of the most ridiculous health claim you have ever head of?