Don't Swallow These Food Myths
We all want to eat a healthy diet, but the conflicting information you hear in the media can be confusing. Is soy the new wonder food or is it a deadly toxin? What are some of the most common misconceptions about foods and what is the real truth? Unless you are a scientist yourself, the answers can be difficult to uncover. But we’ve done the research for you and we’re ready to separate the myths from the science.
Milk is necessary for a healthy diet
Milk is the perfect food, but only for the animal it was designed for. That’s why human infants thrive on breast milk and baby cows thrive on cow’s milk. Humans can drink cow’s milk, but it is not the superfood that we grew up believing it to be. Did you know that 75 percent of adult humans have difficulty digesting milk? Pasteurization and homogenization, as well as the hormones and antibiotics in processed cow’s milk, make it difficult for humans to digest and may lead to a variety of chronic health problems such as breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you want to boost your calcium intake, try powering up your diet with leafy green veggies like kale and collard greens, whole grains, sardines, salmon, almonds, oranges and molasses.
Eggs are bad for you
While it’s true that egg yolks contain cholesterol, the misconception that this dietary cholesterol leads to high blood cholesterol is misguided. Low in saturated fat, eggs are jam-packed with vitamins, carotenoids and essential fatty acids. They also contain choline, which is an important nutrient that helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Concerned about heart health? Try limiting the saturated fats in your diet and eating more of these cholesterol-fighting foods – oatmeal, oat bran, barley, eggplant, okra, beans, apples, strawberries, grapes, fish, walnuts and almonds.
High fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar
This myth sounds true, but is not proven by science. In fact, according to Michael Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, "The special harmfulness of high-fructose corn syrup has become one of those urban myths that sounds right, but is basically wrong. Nutritionally, high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose may be identical." Now, this doesn’t mean you should go on a high fructose corn syrup bender. In fact, the American population consumes far too much sugar in general. Looking for a healthy sweet treat? Try whole fruits. They are naturally sweet and loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
Coconut is unhealthy
It’s hard to imagine how coconut got such a bad rap because it truly is a superfood. Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, coconut is not just a health food, it possesses impressive healing properties. Along with grapeseed and safflower, coconut oil is one of the best oils to cook with and has been linked to diabetes management, lowered risk for heart disease, weight loss, stress relief, increased immunity, proper digestion and improved bone strength.
Soy will make you grow man boobs
While it has been widely debated that too much unfermented soy can cause health problems, soy is not inherently dangerous and will not cause you to grow a pair of milky man teats. Soy does contain hormones called phytoestrogens — but many other healthy plants including flaxseeds, sesame seeds, hummus, garlic and peanuts also contain them. This hormone is not the same as estrogen and has not been proven to cause men to grow breasts, have lowered sperm count or suffer from any other hormonal imbalances.
United Soybean spokesperson Dr. Mark Messina explains, "A meta-analysis examined the relationship between soy/isoflavone intake and reproductive hormone levels in men. The study included 36 treatment groups and found no effects on total and free testosterone levels. By the way, three clinical studies also show no effects on sperm or semen."