Busting Myths around Health

 Busting Myths around Health

1. Eggs are bad for your heart

When we hear eggs, we often also hear cholesterol and draw the conclusion that it is bad for our heart. We then tend to draw the conclusion that eggs are bad for our hearts. While high in cholesterol,  eggs do not actually raise cholesterol levels in our bodies. The Internal Journal of Cardiology demonstrates in a study that egg consumption does not increase cholesterol levels and has no negative effect on the endothelial function which is an indicator for heart disease. Another more recent meta-analysis also concludes that egg consumption has not been associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease. So if you tolerate eggs, select free range organic eggs that will provide you with all nine essential amino acids, choline and of course cholesterol which is so important for the production of hormones, vitamin D and the production of cell membranes.

2. Gluten-free foods are healthier than gluten containing foods

It has been well established that people with celiac disease are better off avoiding gluten entirely and stick to a gluten-free diet.  But is the same true for those who are not diagnosed with celiac? Not necessarily. Many gluten-free foods on the market contain very little fibre and actually use white refined flours such as potato and tapioca flour.  However, there are also people who are gluten sensitive which many might not be aware off. Symptoms often include bloating, gas or extreme fatigue after consuming gluten. For those people the first step would be to do a gluten sensitivity test before cutting out gluten entirely as it makes it harder to see on the test if you are sensitive or not.. To hear more about gluten sensitivity and celiac disease watch this video. 

3. Being a vegetarian is healthier than an omnivore

For the longest time vegetarianism was something you had to explain to people and defend! The last 10 years it has gained more popularity for its widespread health benefits. Removing animal protein from your diet is not a bad step as long as we replace it with good healthy plant-based protein such as beans and legumes, fermented soy products, nuts and seeds, eggs or dairy (if you are not a vegan). However, what is often the case is that vegetarians are not substituting their protein for a plant based version or they are but are solely relying on veggie burgers. Many commercial available veggie products contain soy which uses a hexane extraction method. Hexane is actually a chemical that can leach into these soy products as well. Buying your soy products fermented and organic will help you to avoid hexane and genetically modified organisms. To read more about soy, click here for my article Good Soy, Bad Soy.

4. Natural health products are safe

Although herbs, vitamin and mineral supplementation might be a good addition to your diet unfortunately they are not always as beneficial as we might think. Many Natural Health Products (NHP’s) on the market actually contain hidden toxins. Many NHP’s are made from GMO sources. So if you wish to supplement your diet with vitamins or minerals and wish to avoid GMOs, stick to a certified organic label and make sure to read the label carefully or contact the manufacturer.  Read more about hidden toxins in NHP’s here. 

5. Coffee is bad for you

As always with food consumption, amounts matters greatly! Moderate coffee consumption is in general not a problem for our health and can even have some positive benefits. Coffee contains antioxidant polyphenols, which is apparently how many North Americans get these important  free radical fighters into their diet. A recent study about coffee shows the protecting effects of coffee on the liver. Although coffee is known to be a nervous stimulant where neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine are heightened, it can positively affect our mood, memory and reaction time. Having said that, best to limit coffee consumption to max. 4 cups for men and 3 for women per day while drinking equal amounts of water on top of your 8 cups a day. Also leave the sugar and the cream out and enjoy a freshly brewed Americano or Latte. Click here for Lorette’s Latte. 

6. Eating late at night makes you fat

There is no research suggesting that eating late at night or right before bed makes you fat.   Ideally we would eat during the day and in line with the circadian rhythm when hormones are being secreted telling us to eat. If you divert from that it often stressed the body. Think of a jetlag where your rhythm is off and are likely to eat more throughout the day.  Since most of our energy is used up during the day, preferably you want to fuel the body throughout the day to keep energy levels up. Eating late at night, however, does not have to result in gaining weight. In the end it all depends on how much you have consumed throughout the day. Since it is not always possible to eat a main meal during the day as we are busy with work, meetings and often quickly gobble some food down behind our desks. So if the opportunity to eat a main meal in peace and quietness only arises at the end of the day, go with that, as eating in a relaxed environment will aid digestion as well.