Every day in the news, we see health stories that can create confusion, uncertainty , fear, and self-doubt. They advertise , a particular food is the best thing in the world for you — and the next we’re told to run for the hills.
I really enjoy reading questions from my viewers , other bloggers and from the online community about something they’ve read or heard. They’re not sure how to take which health fears are founded on evidence — and which ones need to be banished.
To help, I’m sharing some of the most common health tips I’ve heard that I think are worth questioning: Hope you enjoy!
1.”We need dairy for strong bones.”
We certainly have seen some creative advertising schemes that has been successful at convincing us that dairy is this extremely important thing that we must have tons of, or else we’ll get all sorts of nutrient deficiencies and diseases.
The truth is, you don’t necessarily need milk or cheese or yogurt to have strong bones. In the good ole U.S., dairy consumption rates are amongst the highest in the world — and yet we also have some of the highest rates of osteoporosis. Studies have suggested that drinking more milk doesn’t protect against fractures.
Yes, calcium is essential to our bones. But no one mineral is an island. Vitamins and minerals work in synergy: It’s not just calcium we need but also magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin K, and more.
Plant-based sources of calcium such as sesame seeds, kale, black strap molasses, turnip greens, hemp milk, almond butter, great northern beans, almonds, dark leafy greens, rhubarb, broccoli, black berries, oranges, dried apricots, dates , artichoke’s, navy beans and seaweed are more bioavailable to us — meaning we are better able to digest, absorb, and use the calcium in those foods.
2.”Avoid saturated fat because it causes heart disease.”
We spent the last few decades terrified that fat would make us fat and lead to cardiovascular disease. This led to the low-fat and fat-free food craze — which really just replaced fat with sugar and refined carbohydrates.
We’ve now learned that we had it wrong: sugary foods and refined carbs increase our risk of heart disease, while a recent meta-analysis concluded that the nutritional warnings we had received about fats decades ago was unfounded.
In fact, good fats contain a multitude of health benefits, including nourishing the brain and liver and improving our mood. It’s the source of fat that is key: Choose clean, organic sources from either animals or plants to reap the health rewards.
3.”Stay out of the sun and always use sunscreen.”
We’ve long been told that we should avoid the sun and slather ourselves in sunblock when we’re exposed to its “death rays.”
But some sun is incredibly important to our overall health. It’s our primary source of vitamin D, which is crucial to bone health, the immune system, and hormone production. Although vitamin D is found in small amounts in some foods, 80 to 90 percent of our supply comes from being exposed to the sun’s rays.
That means wearing a film of sunscreen can block that crucial absorption from happening. And don’t even get me started on sunscreen itself, what with its toxic chemicals.
Want to enjoy the sun and protect your skin? Covering up well, getting sunshine during off-peak hours, eating sun-protective foods, and whipping up a batch of homemade natural sunscreen are all simple, natural, and effective sun protection strategies.
4. “We have to eat meat to get our protein”
Man has historically been carnivorous. But today, due to delicate stomachs, environmental concerns and an ever-expanding empathy for our four-legged friends, vegetarianism and veganism are becoming increasingly popular. Yet many critics claim a diet without meat is less nutritionally-sound than one that includes it, primarily due to a dearth of protein.
Protein is essential to existence. Hair, skin and muscle are primarily derived from protein. In fact, a protein deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, hair loss and a variety of other maladies.
Nuts, seeds, beans, spinach, soy, quinoa, broccoli, oats, hemp seeds, tofu, chick peas, chia seeds, green peas, nut butters, leafy greens, lentils, almonds, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, hummus, avocado, dairy
5. ” you need salt for iodine”
The thyroid gland synthesizes thyroid hormones and iodine is an essential trace mineral that is crucial for the thyroid to function properly. Eating foods rich in iodine ensures the thyroid is able to manage metabolism, detoxification, growth and development.
Research has shown that a lack of dietary iodine may lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland, lethargy, fatigue, weakness of the immune system, slow metabolism, autism, weight gain and possibly even mental states such as anxiety and depression.
Sea veggies, cranberries, organic yogurt, navy beans , strawberries, raw cheese, potatoes.shrimp, turkey breast, tuna, eggs
Be aware of your required iodine intake, based on age and gender. Depending on your age and gender, you will need to ensure you are getting a certain amount of iodine each day.
If you are 0-6 months: you need 110 micrograms per day (mcg/day) of iodine.
- If you are 7-12 months: 130 mcg/day.
- If you are 1-3 years old: 90 mcg/day.
- If you are 4-8 years old: 90 mcg/day.
- If you are 9-13 years old: 120 mcg/day.
- If you are male and 14 and older: 150 mcg/day.
- If you are female and 14 and older: 150 mcg/day.
- Women who are pregnant or breast feeding need higher amounts of iodine. Speak to your doctor about exactly how much iodine you should be getting every day based on your age, gender, and other factors, such as pregnancy
6.”Soy products are adequate substitutes for meat and dairy products”
There is little doubt that the billion-dollar soy industry has profited immensely from the anti-cholesterol, anti-meat gospel of current nutritional thought. Whereas, not so long ago, soy was an Asian food primarily used as a condiment, now a variety of processed soy products proliferate in the North American market. While the traditionally fermented soy foods of miso, tamari, tempeh and natto are definitely healthful in measured amounts, the hyper-processed soy “foods” that most vegetarians consume are not. –
Processed soy foods are also rich in trypsin inhibitors, which hinder protein digestion. Textured vegetable protein (TVP), soy “milk” and soy protein powders, popular vegetarian meat and milk substitutes, are entirely fragmented foods made by treating soybeans with high heat and various alkaline washes to extract the beans’ fat content or to neutralize their potent enzyme inhibitors These practices completely denature the beans’ protein content, rendering it very hard to digest. MSG, a neurotoxin, is routinely added to TVP to make it taste like the various foods it imitates –
On a purely nutritional level, soybeans, like all legumes, are deficient in cysteine and methionine, vital sulphur-containing amino acids, as well as tryptophan, another essential amino acid. Furthermore, soybeans contain no vitamins A or D, required by the body to assimilate and utilize the beans’ proteins (115). It is probably for this reason that Asian cultures that do consume soybeans usually combine them with fish or fish broths (abundant in fat-soluble vitamins) or other fatty foods. Parents who feed their children soy-based formula should be aware of its extremely high phytoestrogen content. Some scientists have estimated a child being fed soy formula is ingesting the hormonal equivalent of five birth control pills a day (116). Such a high intake could have disastrous results. Soy formula also contains no cholesterol, vital for brain and nervous system development. –
7. ” Microwaving Foods Kills Nutrients”
Microwaving is actually among the best ways to keep all the good things in your veggies intact. Boiling can leech out valuable vitamins and minerals, but because microwaving heats up food without using a lot of water, it helps foods to stay nutrient-packed.
8. The More Grains, the Better
While grains are certainly preferable to refined white flour because they contain more fiber and vitamin B, you shouldn’t fall into the multigrain trap. Just because a product has multiple grains doesn’t mean those grains aren’t processed and stripped of many of the good things you want from them. “In processing grains for convenience, you’re potentially losing the nutrients and changing the degree to which they are absorbed,” says Nicolette Pace, a spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association.
9. Fat-Free Salad Dressings Are Healthier
Fruits and vegetables have fat-soluble nutrients that your body can’t absorb without fat—like the lycopene in tomatoes, which has been linked to a lower cancer and stroke risk. Opting for a fat-free dressing may deprive you of those benefits. Try olive oil-based options, or add avocados and nuts to your salad, both of which contain healthy fats.
10. 4: You Should Avoid White Vegetables
Nutrition experts advocate for colorful foods—the brighter and more diverse the rainbow on your plate, the better. And that’s still true: Carrots and strawberries are high in beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that fights damaging inflammation in cells. Dark green produce is a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, calcium, and vitamins like C and K.
But that doesn’t mean that their white cousins are nutritional failures. In fact, cauliflower, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and, yes, even potatoes are good sources of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. And while the white potato has become off-limits for dieters, adding a moderate amount of potato to your diet won’t derail your weight-loss efforts. In fact, because it’s so full of fiber, a little goes a long way toward making you feel full and helping you eat less overall. “It’s something you can use as a vehicle to build a meal,” says McDaniel. “If you add broccoli and little bit of cheese, it can be a satisfying meal for someone trying to lose weight.”
11. 5: Juice Cleanses Help You Eliminate Toxins
“People think juice cleanses are a good way to detox the body,” says McDaniel. “But I remind my clients that you have a built-in detox organ, the liver, and it’s very good at what it does.” It probably won’t harm you if you go on a juice cleanse for a day or so, but as a way to lose weight, it’s not such a good idea since it deprives you of proteins and fats and may lead to muscle loss.
12. Coffee Will Only Make You Thirstier
While the caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, meaning it draws water out of your body, the amount of water in coffee means that overall, it can actually be a thirst quencher. Pure water is still your best option to stay hydrated, but you don’t have to avoid coffee just because you think it will dehydrate you.
13. Eggs yolks should be avoided because they are high in cholesterol, which increases your risk for heart disease
We’ve been advised to cut back on whole eggs because the yolks are high in cholesterol.
However, cholesterol in the diet has remarkably little effect on cholesterol in the blood, at least for the majority of people .
Studies have shown that eggs raise the “good” choleserol and don’t raise risk of heart disease .
One review of 17 studies with a total of 263,938 participants showed that eating eggs had no effect on the risk of heart disease or stroke in non-diabetic individuals (15).
However… keep in mind that some studies have found an increased heart attack risk in diabetics who eat eggs .
Whole eggs really are among the most nutritious foods on the planet and almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.
Telling people to throw the yolks away may just be the most ridiculous advice in the history of nutrition.
14. All calories are created equal , it doesn’t matter where they come from
It is simply false that “all calories are created equal.”
Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have direct effects on fat burning and the hormones and brain centers that regulate appetite,
A high protein diet, for example, can increase the metabolic rate by 80 to 100 calories per day and significantly reduce appetite.
In one study, such a diet made people automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day. They also lost 11 pounds in 12 weeks, just by adding protein to their diet .
There are many more examples of different foods having vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and health. Because a calorie is not a calorie.
15. The more grains, the better
While grains are certainly preferable to refined white flour because they contain more fiber and vitamin B, don’t fall into the multigrain trap. Just because a product has multiple different grains doesn’t mean those grains aren’t processed and stripped of many of the good things you want from them. “In processing grains for convenience, you’re potentially losing the nutrients and changing the degree to which they are absorbed,” says Nicolette Pace, spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association.
Check the label and look for the word “whole” before any grains listed. And make sure the whole grains are the first thing among the ingredients, which confirms that they make up the most important part of the food.
Another clue is the fiber content. “If you’re seeing that an 11-cracker serving contains 1g of fiber, there’s probably not a lot of whole grain in there,” says Pace.
Try eating more of these grains listed .
- Whole Rye. This cereal grain has more nutrients per 100-calorie serving than any other whole grain. …
- Quinoa. …
- Oats. …
- Barley. …
- Millet. …
- Brown Rice. …
- Buckwheat. …
Plastic chopping boards are more hygienic than wooden ones
Plastic boards are supposedly safer, as, unlike wood, they don’t harbour the bacteria that can make you sick. But wooden cutting boards, says Harold McGee, soak up meat juices, drawing the bacteria away from the surface, plus wood also often contains natural anti-bacterial compounds. Plastic cutting boards are easier to clean (and can be put in a dishwasher) but they develop scars, in which bacteria will lodge. Scrub both plastic and wooden boards vigorously after cutting meat, and when a plastic cutting board develops scars, replace it.
17. ZERO grams trans fat on the label means you’re not getting any trans fat in your food.
FALSE! The FDA allows any food with .5 grams of trans fat or less to claim “0 grams trans fat” on the label. If you happen to eat several servings or a few different ‘trans fat-free’ foods during a day, you can wind up consuming a measurable amount, which leads to increased levels of artery-clogging, bad (LDL) cholesterol. Don’t be fooled! Check the ingredient list, and if you see “hydrogenated” or “partially-hydrogenated oil” listed, step away from the package.
18. Sugar-free and fat-free items are practically calorie-free or very low in calories.
FALSE! Items that decrease sugar or fat to qualify as “sugar-free” usually increase fat and sodium content and vice versa for “fat-free” (defined as less than .5 grams of sugar or fat per serving) products. Additionally, sugar-free items can use artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols that could cause digestive issues (gas, bloat, diarrhea … not pretty.)
19. Nuts are fatty.
TRUE and FALSE! Although nuts do contain fat, there’s no need to be fat phobic. Most nuts contain healthy, monounsaturated fats that help promote heart health and may even stabilize blood sugar. Almonds, for example, provide a satisfying mix of protein and fat that can also help you slim down without compromising crunch and with an added bonus of fiber and calcium.
20. Brown eggs are healthier than white.
FALSE! This one’s easy. The only reason some eggs are brown and others are white is because the chickens that hatch the eggs have different colored feathers! Save some green in your wallet – there’s no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. Do try to buy organic, cage-free, or free-range eggs. Make sure they have the organic seal. Organic operations have a much higher level of oversight than conventional farms do. To maintain their certification and use the organic seal on their product, farms have to be inspected annually, at a minimum, by a third-party certifier with USDA accreditation. Compare that with the sporadic oversight of conventional facilities by the FDA, which has been chronically strapped for resources. Which does requires that the poultry receive organic feed, are cage-free, and have “outdoor access.
Read what these labels really mean:
Certified Humane Raised and Handled
Meets the standards of the Humane Farm Animal Care program—an independent nonprofit. The standards include being cage-free and having sufficient space to engage in natural behaviors such as dust bathing and perching.
United Egg Producers Certified
The eggs were produced in compliance with industry-codified standard practices. (More than 80% of commercial eggs carry this seal.)
The hens eat vegetarian feed, with no animal slaughterhouse products.
Hens must live in an open space, not a cage or a coop, but the “open space” can be inside a crowded henhouse. Both organic and conventional hens can be cage-free.
Similar to cage-free, except that birds have some degree of outdoor access—though the amount, duration, or quality of that outdoor time is not specified.
Hens are allowed to range on fresh pasture. Often they are housed in trailers that can be towed to different fields.
Hens must be given organic feed, which contains no toxic pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides and no GMOs or slaughterhouse by-products. They must never be caged, and they must have outdoor access. The USDA certifies this designation.
21. Breakfast isn’t important.
FALSE! We’ve long been told that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, and now there are many scientific studies backing up this claim. For Better Breakfast Month. You have no excuse to not eat breakfast now. I have many slow cooker recipes in my latest E Book! Click on this link and download it for free!
Here are a few easy Breakfast to make too!
Oatmeal Cookie Quinoa Granola
Adapted by Simply Quinoa
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life because they’re dairy-free)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (minus chocolate chips).
- Melt the liquid ingredients together and pour over dry. Stir until evenly coated.
- Transfer mixture to a baking sheet and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, stirring every 10 – 15 so granola doesn’t burn.
- When golden brown, remove from oven and let cool completely. Stir in chocolate chips.
.Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
Need a “grab & go” breakfast idea? This recipe is by Simply Quinoa.
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water)
- 1/4 cup cashew butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
- 1/4 + 2 T cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 medium banana, mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk together the flaxseed meal and water, and set aside.
- Beat together cashew butter, syrup, pumpkin, banana and vanilla in a large bowl. Add flax egg and mix to combine.
- Pour in oats, quinoa flakes, baking powder, spices and salt to the bowl and stir together. Fold in chia seeds (if using).
- Drop 2 tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet and repeat until no dough remains. Gently flatten the cookies with your fingers before you pop them in the oven.
- Bake cookies on center rack for 15 – 18 minutes until edges are golden brown. Remove and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Enjoy at room temp or slightly reheated in a microwave
Simple Slow Cooker Overnight hot quinoa and steel cut oats
Recipe from my E Book Kicking Hypothyroidisms booty, The Slow Cooker way
This is a power filled breakfast! It’s a blend of quinoa and steel-cut oats.
- ½ cup steel cut oats – I use BoB Red Mill’s gluten free oats
- ½ cup well rinsed quinoa – You can find a brand that is pre-washed so you don’t have to rinse it
- 3½ cups (28 ounces) filtered water –
- ¼ teaspoon fine Himalayan sea salt
- Spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray. In a mesh strainer, rinse out the quinoa for about 3 minutes. If you didn’t purchase the already rinsed quinoa. Combine the steel cut outs, rinsed quinoa, water and sea salt into the slow cooker. Mix well. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or until liquid has been absorbed
Adapted by From Lizzie Fuhr, POPSUGAR Fitness
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients together in a glass jar. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- The next morning, remove from the fridge, top off with your favorite fruit, and enjoy.
What health advice or tips make you skeptical? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear what you have to say. Please like and share my blog.
The information and recipes contained in blog is based upon the research and the personal experiences of the author. It’s for entertainment purposes only. Every attempt has been made to provide accurate, up to date and reliable information. No warranties of any kind are expressed or implied. Readers acknowledge that the author is not engaging in the rendering of legal, financial, medical or professional advice. By reading this blog, the reader agrees that under no circumstance the author is not responsible for any loss, direct or indirect, which are incurred by using this information contained within this blog. Including but not limited to errors, omissions or inaccuracies. This blog is not intended as replacements from what your health care provider has suggested. The author is not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any of the suggestions, preparations or procedures discussed in this blog. All matters pertaining to your health should be supervised by a health care professional. I am not a doctor, or a medical professional. This blog is designed for as an educational and entertainment tool only. Please always check with your health practitioner before taking any vitamins, supplements, or herbs, as they may have side-effects, especially when combined with medications, alcohol, or other vitamins or supplements. Knowledge is power, educate yourself and find the answer to your health care needs. Wisdom is a wonderful thing to seek. I hope this blog will teach and encourage you to take leaps in your life to educate yourself for a happier & healthier life. You have to take ownership of your health.
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1. (a) S Fallon and M Enig. Nourishing Traditions, (New Trends Publishing; Washington, D.C.), 2000, 5; (b) Breeds of Livestock. Oklahoma State University, Department of Animal Science. 2. Breeds of Livestock. Oklahoma State University, Department of Animal Science. 3. W Bender and M Smith. Population, Food, and Nutrition. Population Reference Bureau;1997. 4. B Carnell. Could vegetarianism prevent world hunger?. Accessed on January 3, 2002. 5. M Purdey. The Vegan Ecological Wasteland. Journal of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation [hereafter referred to as Jnl of PPNF], Winter 1998. 6. Ibid. 7. R Audette with T Gilchrist. Neanderthin. (St. Martins; NY), 1999, 200-2. 8. S Fallon and M Enig, Nourishing Traditions, 6. 9. M Purdey, op cit. 10. Ibid.
11. (a) L Dunne. The Nutrition Almanac, 3rd ed. (McGraw Hill; New York), 32-33; (b) AL Rauma and others. Vitamin B-12 status of long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet (“living food diet”) is compromised. J Nutr, 1995, 125:2511-5; c) MG Crane and others. Vitamin B12 studies in total vegetarians (vegans). J Nutr Med, 1994, 4:419-30; (d) I Chanarin and others. Megaloblastic anaemia in a vegetarian Hindu community. Lancet, 1985, Nov 2:1168-72 ; (e) M Donaldson. Vitamin B12 and the Hallelujah Diet.(f) MS Donaldson. Metabolic vitamin B12 status on a mostly raw vegan diet with follow-up using tablets, nutritional yeast, or probiotic supplements. Ann Nutr Metab, 2000, 44(5-6):229-234 12. (a) S Ashkenazi and others. Vitamin B12 deficiency due to a strictly vegetarian diet in adolescence. Clin Pediatr, 1987, 26:662-3; (b) G Cheron and others. [Severe megaloblastic anemia in 6-month old girl breast-fed by a vegetarian mother.] Arch Fr Pediatr, 1989, 46:205-7; c) T Kuhne and others. Maternal vegan diet causing a serious infantile neurological disorder due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Eur J Pediatr, 1991, 150:205-8; (d) MC Wighton and others. Brain damage in infancy and dietary vitamin B12 deficiency. Med J Aust, 1979, 2:1-3. 13. (a) PC Dagnelie and others. Vitamin B12 from algae appears not to be bioavailable. Amer J Clin Nutr, 1991, 53:695-7; (b) L Lazarides. The Nutritional Health Bible. (Thorsons Publishing; CA), 1997, 22-23; c) V Herbert. Vitamin B12: plant sources, requirements, and assay. Amer J Clin Nutr, 1988, 48:852-8. 14. (a) IE Baille. The first international congress on vegetarian nutrition. J Appl Nutr, 1987, 39:97-105; (b) A Smith. Soybeans: Chemistry & Technology, vol 1 (Avi Publishing Co; CT), 1972, 184-188. 15. L Dunne. Nutrition Almanac, 22-23. 16. (a) HL Abrams. Vegetarianism: An Anthropological/Nutritional Evaluation, J Appl Nutr, 1980, 32:2:53-87; (b) M Rose. Serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in Australian adolescent vegetarians. Lancet, 1976, 2:87. 17. (a) L Dunne. Nutrition Almanac, 31; (b) J Groff and S Gropper. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, Third Edition. (Wadsworth/Thomson Learning; CA.), 1999, 298. 18. WA Price. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. (Keats Publishing; CT.), 1989, 256-281. On page 279, Price stated that, “It will be noted that vitamin D, which the human does not readily synthesize in adequate amounts, must be provided by foods of animal tissues or animal products. As yet I have not found a single group of primitive racial stock which was building and maintaining excellent bodies by living entirely on plant foods.” 19. RL Horst and others. Discrimination in the metabolism of orally dosed ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol by the pig, rat, and chick. Biochem J, 1982, Apr 20:4:185-9. 20. Krispin Sullivan, CN, personal communication