By Jackie Scrivanich, Contributing Writer
As I was growing up I always heard things like “use margarine, it’s healthier than butter” and “get low-fat instead of full-fat.” I grew up in a house where we used low-fat everything, and it seemed we were always on a diet. The drink of choice in my house was Diet Coke, not water. Even when I finally realized the truth about how beneficial water was it took me many months to enjoy drinking it. It was bland and boring at first, now I crave it. It is as if these mock-health foods limit our body’s ability to enjoy true health foods. I also now understand that the full-fat option is usually the better choice; low-fat option tends to have chemical fillers or artificial sweeteners in it.
Many you have experienced many different diet and nutrition options over the years. You have heard all of the different theories about which foods are good for us and which are bad. You have probably changed your diet according to what the most current information tells us. Maybe you limited carbs when the Atkin’s diet was big. Maybe you have reached for low-fat a time or two instead of full-fat, because we all are told that too much fat will make us fat. The truth is actually a bit different. There are many foods that we’ve been lied to about.
10 Foods That We’ve Been Lied to About
Many of the foods we are told to avoid, are actually good for us! We are told to stay away from foods because they have too many calories or they contain a lot of fat. New research is showing us that healthy fats are good, and we all need calories to survive, it is about eating the right amount from the right food.
Many of these foods have been misrepresented as being bad for us because we did not understand the science at first, or because of corporate greed. Foods that are high in calories, for example, is something many of us try to stay away from. But some of these high calorie foods are amazing for us, like avocados and nuts.
Real butter, particularly grass fed butter, has many wonderful health benefits. It has many necessary vitamins, healthy saturated fats, and certain fatty acids. Grassfed butter has a higher vitamin A and D content, and the saturated fat helps our bodies absorb these fat soluble vitamins. Overall butter is a welcome addition to a healthy diet in moderation.
Eggs get a bad reputation for having too much cholesterol causing heart health issues. The cholesterol found in eggs, as well as the protein, is beneficial to our diets. Eggs from pastured chickens are found to be much more nutrient dense, as the deep orange yolks of these eggs are a powerhouse for vitamin A, E and omega 3 fatty acids, among other nutrients. Eggs are also a good source of iodine, an essential nutrient that can sometimes be hard to include in the diet.
Every few years coffee gets touted as good and then a few years later it is bad again. In moderation, coffee can actually be beneficial to our health. Coffee can improve our heart health, and it may reduce the rise of certain diseases.
Popcorn contains important phytonutrients and an abundance of polyphenols (twice as many as in certain fruits). Eating air popped popcorn is a great way to get 100% whole grains into your diet. And three cups is only about 100 calories.
Potatoes can add potassium, fiber, and antioxidants to our diets. It matters how potatoes are prepared in order to gain maximum health benefits, however. French fries and chips, fried in fats like grassfed beef tallow, or avocado oil add health benefits, where potatoes fried in vegetable oils add unhealthy polyunsaturated fat to the diet instead.
Again, grassfed beef is a star player when it comes to health benefits. Conjugated linoleic acid found in higher amounts grassfed beef provides anti-inflammatory health benefits. Choose well when picking which cuts to add to your diet.
Nutrient-rich foods, like full-fat dairy options, are healthier than the low-fat options. Low-fat alternatives are oftentimes filled with chemical fillers, which may have negative health effects.
Dark chocolate actually has positive health benefits! When eating dark chocolate in moderation it can decrease bad cholesterol levels, reduce blood clots, and even help increase cognitive performance.
Many people stay away from nuts because they are high in both fat and calories, but studies show that people who eat nuts instead of other foods will actually lose more weight. Nuts are good for your heart and they can lower your cholesterol.
Frozen vegetables contain just as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, but with a lot more convenience. They are often picked at peak freshness and instantly frozen. Fresh vegetables many actually contain less nutrients when eaten as they lose nutrients daily.
The More You Know
When it comes to just about anything in life, the more you know the better you can do. Many of us have fallen prey to the myths of certain foods being good for us or bad for us. Some of us have sworn off carbs completely, while others drink diet soda daily because it has no calories.
Take the time to research what you are putting into your body. Make wise choices. Treat your body well as you only get one.