If you’re like many Americans, you probably aim to begin 2016 with a fresh start and commitment to following a healthy diet. Good for you. So I thought I’d take a moment today to share with you five major diet myths I still see repeated over and over. Make sure to avoid these missteps in 2016.
Myth #1: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Everyone likes to say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is it?
I see more and more research lately about the benefits of intermittent fasting for your metabolism and health. Studies show intermittent fasting provides the same benefits as constant caloric restriction throughout the day. This finding also fits with ancient practices in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
And the most typical fast is the daily overnight fast — which you break in the morning with the “break-fast” meal. You can extend this fast by waiting to eat your first meal until a little later in the day.
So if you’re like me and aren’t hungry when you first get up in the morning — don’t eat. That is, “skip” breakfast and eat something only when you get hungry.
Farmers typically ate breakfast after they finished their morning chores and came back inside. Also, given today’s typical breakfast fare of cereals (usually with sugars) you’re better off never eating these carbs.
Try to eat only between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and you will have the benefits of a longer, overnight fast. I typically do that myself automatically because I only eat when I get hungry later in the morning.
Myth #2: Cholesterol & saturated fats are bad
For decades, the mainstream government-industrial-medical complex told us dietary cholesterol and saturated fats cause heart disease. Of course, if you regularly tune into my newsletter and Daily Dispatch, you already have known this is a big fat lie.
I know the U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (1981-1989) never bought into this myth. Dr. Koop knew eggs are among the healthiest foods on the planet. (Eggs are also one of the few foods still high in vitamin D, as well as carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin for brain, eye and nervous system health.) So he ate them every morning for breakfast along with a glass of whole milk.
And now, even the government’s own health “experts” recently backed off this decades-old misguidance.
So the good news is, you can safely go back to eating eggs and grass-fed red meat again.
Just make sure to choose pasture-raised (or “free-range”) organic eggs. But don’t worry about seeking out “omega” eggs. You should get your omega-3s from other healthy foods like fish, meats, nuts, and fish oil.
You can also return to cooking with butter, coconut oil, or olive oil. But be careful not to overheat or burn these oils.
Myth #3: You need whole grains
I still hear a lot of nutritionists preach the importance of eating fiber and whole grains.
But that’s just not true. Humans don’t “need” whole grains for fiber.
Remember, whole grains are still carbs. And carbs cause a host of metabolic and health problems. Plus, whole grains only came into the human diet less than 10,000 years ago. So the human metabolism isn’t adapted to consuming them. This fact helps explains why some people have sensitivity to gluten.
Overall, the story of dietary fiber is far more complicated than doctors and patients are led to believe, as I exposed in one of the first issues of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (back in August 2012).
Overall, I suggest keeping your carbs at minimal levels, even “whole grains.” And certainly never make carbs your main source of calories.
Myth #4: Sugar replacements are okay
If you have Type II diabetes, you know you need to cut sugars and carbs. But replacing them with artificial sweeteners is anything but healthy.
In fact, studies show consuming artificially sweetened beverages confers the same risks for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease as do the sugars they replace.
Scientists still debate the reasons why these artificial sweeteners are so bad. But in my view it’s pretty simple: Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger and caloric consumption.
In addition to fueling hunger, the artificial chemicals used as sweeteners have toxicities and health risks of their own.
Best is to wean yourself off sweet tastes. For example, try consuming only dark chocolate and taking your coffee black in the New Year.
Myth #5: All soy is healthy
Traditionally in East Asia, fermented soy products provided a healthy source of protein. So organic, properly fermented soy — found in traditional foods like miso, natto and tempeh — are healthy sources of all-important probiotics and vitamin K.
But unfermented soy is anything but healthy. Studies show unfermented soy artificially increases estrogen, which can disrupt your endocrine system and can even contribute to cancer.
In the U.S. soy is now a major “cash crop.” And food manufacturers sneak unfermented soy into all kinds of products to artificially raise the protein level. In fact, you can now find unfermented soy powder (often called soy protein isolate) in frozen entrees, protein bars, even cereals. So read processed food labels carefully and avoid anything with added soy. Better yet, avoid processed foods altogether.
And here’s another problem with soy…
More than 90 percent of the soybeans now produced in this country are genetically modified (GM).
And as I have reported previously, we do NOT have any research that shows GM foods are as safe as conventional foods. Despite what the FDA claims.
Furthermore, for all we know, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may be the most dangerous elements in our food supply today.
Farmers saturate GM crops with glyphosate pesticides — one of the most dangerous and toxic chemicals in the environment today. It’s dangerous to humans, birds, bees, and butterflies…and to the Earth’s entire ecosystem.
Beware of the following foods which are now commonly GM, unless the label specifies “USDA 100 percent organic”:
-alfalfa (livestock feed)
-sugar (from sugar beets)
-squash (crookneck, zucchini)
In many states, seeing the “100 percent organic” label is the only way to know for sure the food product you just bought isn’t GM.
Following a healthy diet isn’t as simple as it used to be. Hopefully, these five myth-busters will help you separate fact from fiction as you prepare meals in 2016.