Health agencies, both government and private companies, have driven health myths that are harmful to the public. Let’s step around where the fault lies and discuss them to expose the health myths that people have heard for years which has lead many to believe the wrong things about what is healthy to eat and what is not. Here are 8 health myths that need busted asap.
Health Myth #1: We have been taught to steer clear of saturated fat and cholesterol. We have been taught that a low-fat diet is preferred because a saturated fat lead to heart disease and that it raised our “bad” (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. Agenda driven studies supported this but not objective ones. In other words, the facts did not support this low-fat diet as being healthy. Consumers became mislead participants in an uncontrolled experiment that failed.
A better message to learn is that carbs = sugar and sugar = conversion to fat storage in the body and all of this promotes diabetic problems. It is plausible that the low-fat recommendations made people eat less protein like eggs and meat, even things like butter. Remember the ads stating that “it’s like butter only better”? It was as if processed foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates were better than real food. The low-fat diet recommended by most nutrition organizations is destructive to health, not helpful.
Remember, there is no evidence that low-fat diets are beneficial. There is growing evidence that it’s harmful.
Health Myth #2: Eggs are not good for people to eat. What? It turns out, eggs are great providers of protein and are about the healthiest food you can eat. And it’s the yolk where more of the nutrients are, so eating egg whites to be healthy is missing the mark. Not eating the egg yolk is not good advice.
Eggs contain large amounts of cholesterol which leads into the next myth.
Health Myth #3: Cholesterol is bad for you is a case of mistaken identity. When under-educated surgeons found cholesterol at a blocked artery, they mistakenly thought that the cholesterol was the cause of the blockage. That would be like believing that those cops are the cause of every robbery because they are found on the scene after the robbery. Total ignorance of the facts. It turns out, cholesterol is ok to eat. It’s a result, not a cause, of poor diet and a health problem in the body. Cholesterol is the helper the body sends to a damaged area to help the problem. If there is something to try to avoid it’s statin drugs. There are many people who are taking cholesterol lowering drugs without needing them. That’s a whole other scary story in itself.
Something that is associated with cholesterol that is worth watching is triglyceride.
Health Myth #4: Processed foods, particularly processed oils are healthy. Any oil high in polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids are harmful in excess and can contribute to inflammation and they increase your risk for heart problems. It’s not just that they are not good for you, they actually are harmful.
Health Myth #5: Saturated fat has been touted as bad for you but it’s actually good for you. Like so many of these myths, the advice was 180 degrees wrong! And the bad thing is, most government and many private health organizations still preach the wrong message on this. They can’t seem to see, or maybe they refuse to acknowledge, the fact that saturated fats can be very good for you as it actually diminishes some risk factors for heart disease.
Health Myth #6: That eating fat makes you fat is another bogus assumption. Low-carb, high-fat diets lead to all sorts of benefits like increasing the good HDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, lowering blood sugar and insulin levels and more.
Health Myth #7: One that’s bugged me since I was a kid. With just common sense that turned out to be correct, I’ve always suspected that the processed margarines and “almost butter” products weren’t good for me. Turns out I was right. Real butter is much healthier to eat than the processed stuff. In fact, margarine has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease whereas butter has not been linked at all. Oddly, high fat dairy is associated with a lower risk of obesity, not the other way around.
Health Myth #8: Processed foods that have removed the fat are not healthier for you but actually are more harmful. There is a reason that low fat food tastes terrible. And adding sugar to make it taste better is not helping, it’s harmful to our health. As a result, most “low fat” foods are loaded with sugar. Bad idea on that that one!