Information About Healthy Food: 7 Myths De-Bunked – Part 2

Our resident Nutritionist Stephanie McElhaney was so fed up with all the poor information about healthy food out there, that she decided to write a 2 Part series to de-bunk the myths. Last week we published Part 1, here now is Part 2, hope you enjoy the read as much as we did:

5. All soy products are good/bad for you.
This is a hotly debated topic. The general consensus is that fermented soy is good and unfermented soy is bad. According to multiple sources, unfermented soy can lead to a myriad of health problems including:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Issues within the intestinal tract
  • Obstruction of absorption of essential minerals like iron and calcium in the intestines
  • Obstruction of absorption of zinc which is essential for developing brain function, for the reproductive system, and for the prevention of diabetes
  • Aggravation of tumors in cancer patients

Fermented soy, the reported good kind, includes things like natto, miso, tempeh, soy sauce, fermented tofu, and fermented soy milk (must be labeled “fermented”). Unfermented soy, the reported bad kind, are soy-based cheeses, milk (when they’re not labled “fermented”), ice cream, and meat products.

Because there’s no conclusive evidence either way, some well respected health organizations won’t weigh in too heavily. The American Heart Association has claimed that there is no evidence to suggest that eating soy can decrease your chance for heart disease (as some sources claim) but they also won’t take a stance against the claim. Same with the Mayo Clinic. My advice; don’t count on it for its benefits and be aware of its possible drawbacks.

6. “Fat Free” means zero fat grams

 

Food labels were originally created to help us identify what we’re eating but the better consumers get at reading them, the more creative manufacturers get at manipulating them. You can find over 10 different names for sugar on a food label. Same goes for salt and soy. Then you find things like “other natural flavors” and who knows what that means.

Another way manufacturers try to trick us is in the fat content. By USDA standards, companies can round down to the nearest whole number on food labels. That means 3.8 grams of fat gets rounded down to 3. What’s worse, 0.9 gets rounded down to 0. Let’s say a serving of a particular diet snack food is 1/2 cup and contains 1.9 fat grams. To market the product as “Fat Free,” the company will bump the serving size down to 1/4 cup because the fat grams will then be below 1 and they can legally print “0 grams” as the fat content on the label. You buy the product and since there’s no fat in it, you eat 3/4 cup and unknowingly consume almost 4 grams of fat. Now multiply that over all the diet foods you consume and it adds up quickly. The best option? Eat foods without labels. It’s hard to sneak fat and calories into a banana.

Information About Healthy Food

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7. I can get the same nutritional benefits from supplements as I can through vitamin-rich food.

 

A study at Cornell University shows our bodies absorb more vitamin C from eating a small apple than from 1500mg of vitamin C supplements. The average apple contains nowhere near 1500mg of vitamin C so the study’s aim is at showing just how little nutrients our bodies absorb from artificial supplements. And since apples contain more nutritional benefits than just calcium, eating an apple is a far better nutritional decision than popping some vitamins.

The answer to better overall health is not to increase the amount of supplements you take… overdosing on supplements can be more hazardous to your health than not consuming enough. The answer is to eat a more rounded diet. There’s a ton of great information out there that can tell you what vitamins and anti-oxidants you can find in each food but that gets overwhelming and hard to apply. The best advice I can give you is to eat all the natural colors you can; eat more green than anything and add some red, purple, orange, yellow, and blue. You can’t go wrong sticking to fruits and vegetables with lots of color.

There you have it, make sure you drop a comment below and let us know if you agree or disagree with any of Stephanie’s myths. Again if you missed Part 1, simply click here.

If you are struggling on your weight loss journey, you should consider taking a look at my recommended nutrition plan <— Link to Website. Once your nutrition is in order I recommend you have a look at my recommended training program for women <— Link to Website or my recommended training plan for men <— Link to Website.

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1 Comment
  1. Niko,

    Thanks for this post; it’s conventional, common sense that most of us choose to ignore thanks to the media advertising blitz that we’re exposed to, all done to make us buy products that aren’t good for our bodies in the long run. What’s your opinion on the paleo diet? Do you think it provides you with all the nutrients you need, or do you think it’s lacking in some areas?

    Alana

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