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Top 4 Common Nutrition Myths
If you think you’re fairly savvy when it comes to good nutrition, you may have to think again! New research has debunked some commonly believed myths. These top 4 common nutrition myths may surprise you.
Most of our beliefs about food come from newspaper and magazine articles, which aren’t necessarily written by experts. We’re also bombarded with cleverly crafted advertisements glorifying the benefits of certain foods. The health food business is booming and that means marketing is kicked into full gear to get consumer’s money. Check out these top 4 common nutrition myths.
One of the biggest nutrition myths concerns yogurt. It’s widely believed that yogurt is good for you because of the bacteria it contains. It’s true that some yogurts do contain “live active cultures” (lactobacillus acidophilus is the bacteria you want), but most yogurts are so high in sugar they’ll actually promote unhealthy gut bacteria. Read the label to check sugar content and avoid “fruit on the bottom” varieties at all cost!
Healthy Alternatives to Yogurt
- Raw milk. Raw milk is healthy for you as long as the cows that the milk comes from eats grass, is raised on a natural or organic farm, and the collection is clean and meticulous. Get it from a local farm. Most states only allow raw milk sales for pet use. Find a nearby farm here.
- Kefir. Traditional kefir is made from raw cow or goat milk. Raw milk is preferred since it’s not pasteurized like conventional milk and the nutrients are preserved. Kefir is also made from coconut water or kombucha. It’s made by putting milk and kefir culture grains into a covered glass jar for a day or longer until it begins to grow. Drain out the grains to be reused. Detailed instructions are here.
- Kombucha is a B vitamin and amino acid rich fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. It’s made by adding bacteria and yeast colony (SCOBY) to tea and sugar. Details on how to make.
- Fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut (authentic German tastes the best), and pickled cabbage have been used for centuries for good digestion.
Most dark chocolate isn’t healthy for you. There have been research studies published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology showing that the polyphenols in darkly colored plant foods like chocolate can lower blood pressure and increase your ability to burn fat. But the more the chocolate is processed, the more the polyphenols are lost.
To get good nutrition and health benefits, stick to dark chocolate that’s labeled at least 70% cacao. And eat it in moderation!
I don’t like the taste of dark chocolate by itself so I buy a 70% cacao blend mixed with raspberries or almonds and sea salt. I love the Theo Fair Trade brand. You can find it at Whole Foods.
Kale is not the number one superfood we were led to believe. You wouldn’t know that with all the press out there touting the nutrition and super food quality of the vegetable.
A 2014 study conducted by Dr. Di Noia of William Paterson University, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Journal ranked 41 fruits and vegetables according to their nutrients. The following vegetables scored higher in nutrients than kale:
Better Alternatives to Kale
- Chinese cabbage
- Beet greens
These vegetables came out on top, and surprisingly, kale didn’t even make the top ten.
Multi-grain and Wheat Breads
Multi-grain and wheat breads are supposed to be better than white bread, right? Not necessarily, I’m afraid.
If a loaf is labeled “wheat bread” it’s usually white bread with molasses or caramel added to make it look brown and healthy. “Multi-grain” means that different types of inferior refined grains have been added. Look for labels that read “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain”.
Conventional store bought bread is bad for you because of soil deficiencies. The wheat, barley, oats, and other grains used to make bread woefully have no nutritional value due to the lack of minerals in soil. Grandma’s bread truly was healthier, not the junk sitting in grocery stores now.
Also store bought bread sits for months on end where it’s growing mold. But you don’t see the mold immediately due to the chemicals put into the bread.
- Sprouted bread is nutritious. Sprouted bread is made by soaking whole grains. Grains are soaked in water until they sprout. Then the grains are drained and mixed together before being ground up. No harsh chemical or preservatives are used to make sprouted bread. And because of this way of growing, it’s low glycemic and easier to digest.
I don’t usually eat bread but on the rare occasion when I buy it, my favorite brand is Ezekiel bread. You can find it in the refrigerated section of the local health food store. It has to be kept frozen. Just take out slices as you need it.
- Mexican bakery bread is freshly baked. They’re in big bins and not packaged in plastic, where mold forms inside. Old school, traditional Mexican bakers beat corn against rocks and use very basic, pure ingredients.
I hope these top 4 common nutrition myths will inspire you to start researching the nutrition of the food you eat.