8 Common Health Myths
First, a warning: the information I am about to share may be more shocking than discovering that the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, or that if you pull a funny face and the wind changes, your face won’t actually stay that way. But I’m only sharing what I have discovered and in the past have been equally shocked about. Just because you hear something on the telly, or it’s a “fact” that has been around for yonks doesn’t mean it’s true. Anything you see or hear on TV about health is usually nothing more than clever marketing trickery, and many age-old truths are incredibly out dated and false.
Some of these common myths include …
Myth #1: You need to eat meat for protein
Anyone who has ever gone the flesh-free route will understand just how much the Western world is conditioned to think that without meat, we just can’t possibly survive. After all, “where on Earth do you get your protein?” is the question we veggies are asked constantly by our unknowing omnivorous friends. The answer is this: plants. Plants contain protein – some in very high amounts, like spirulina, quinoa, chia seeds, nuts, seeds, legumes. Click here to see more plant-based protein choices.
Myth #2: You need to consume dairy for calcium
I’m not a fan of dairy at all, but I have to admit that the industry has done a darn top job at marketing. Not only have they managed to convince most of the world that dairy is essential for calcium intake, but most people think that without it they will likely gain osteoporosis. This is not true in the slightest. Not only is dairy a poor choice when it comes to calcium (our bodies don’t absorb calcium from dairy very well because of how acidic it is), but the countries that consume the most dairy actually have the highest rates of osteoporosis. You can read T. Colin Campbell’s work in The China Study if you want that fact backed up by an expert who has done the research. Calcium also comes from plants like chia seeds, sesame seeds, Brussel sprouts, green leafy veggies, almonds, and more. Click here for a list.
Myth #3: Slip, Slop, Slap to prevent skin cancer
Not only does it not prevent skin cancer, but shunning the sun and slathering your body with toxic sunscreen actually promotes it! The chemicals in sunscreen are nasty – and when we apply it to our skin these chemicals are absorbed straight into our blood stream. Plus, vitamin D deficiency (from not allowing your body to see sunlight) is a huge problem and can lead to depression, thyroid issues, and cancer – even skin cancer! Dr Mercola has written a great article about it here.
Myth #4: The higher the calories, the worse the food
I’m a sucker for reality TV, and I hate to admit it but The Biggest Loser sucks me in every time. However, I can’t stand the way they place so much emphasis on restricting calories. Not all calories are created equal! Calorie content simply means the amount of energy you will receive from a particular food. Calories are not evil – it’s the type of calories that matter. Calories from wholefoods = good. Calories from refined, processed foods = bad. Simple.
Myth #5: Carbs are bad
Carbs are NOT evil! Carbohydrates are our primary source of energy, and without them we would have a very hard time doing much at all. As with calories, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Processed, refined carbohydrates like white rice, white pasta, cakes, and biscuits etc. are the bad guys. They are stripped of their nutrients and convert straight to sugar. Whole food carbohydrates like brown rice, fruit, potatoes and other veggies are important elements of a healthy diet.
Myth #6: It doesn’t matter if you don’t poop every day – everyone is different
If you are not pooping at least once a day, you’re not pooping enough! It generally takes about 20 hours for food to travel from your mouth to the toilet. If you don’t go to the toilet every day, this means that you are storing food in your digestive tract where it is fermenting, rotting, and offloading toxins into your system. If you feel you are not dropping the kids off at the pool regularly enough, chances are you need to include more fibre and water in your diet and eliminate processed and refined foods.
Myth #7: Saturated fat is bad
There’s no one more equipped to de-bunk this myth than controversial nutritionist, Cyndi O’Meara. Cyndi’s been banging this drum for years, and she is totally right. This is what she says in her Cholesterol Myth report:
“Saturated fats play a very important role in total body health. They constitute at least 50% of the cell membrane, which gives the cell necessary stiffness and integrity, and when you realise that we are made up of trillions of cells, this is a very important function. Saturated fat also plays a vital role in the health of bones; for calcium and other minerals to be effectively incorporated into the bones, at least 50% of the dietary fat should be saturated. They also protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins like painkillers. These wonderful fats help enhance the immune system, they have antimicrobial properties and are protective against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract. Saturated fats are required for proper use of essential fatty acids. Elongated omega 3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats. What is amazing is that the saturated fats stearic acid and palmitic acid are the preferred foods for the heart, which might be why the fat around the heart muscle is high in saturated fat. The heart will draw on this reserve of fat in times of stress.”
It’s important to mention that Cyndi is talking about natural saturated fats like coconut oil and organic butter and not saturated fats made as a result of the complete hydrogenation of a vegetable oil as is found in margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Margarine is NOT a better choice than butter.
Myth #8: Lightly steaming food in the microwave is healthy
If there is anything that you take away from this article, make it this point: microwaves are dangerous. It’s common sense, really. Radiating food is not going to be healthy. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work that one out – yet many people will still dispute me on this.
Andreas Moritz writes that microwave food is “nutritionally deficient nuclear waste” and also about the link between microwaves and cancer:
“Microwave usage in the preparation of food has been found to lead to lymphatic disorders and an inability to protect the body against certain cancers. The research found increased rates of cancer cell formation in the blood of people eating microwave-cooked meals. The Russians also reported increased rates of stomach and intestinal cancers, as well as digestive and excretive disorders, plus a higher percentage of cell tumors, including sarcoma.”
I stopped using a microwave the day I was diagnosed with cancer, and I never plan to use one ever again. Read more about how bad they are here.
What do you think of this list? Any surprises? Do you have any common myths you can add?
Positive affirmation for the day: Everything will work out brilliantly.
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