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Nutrition Myths- Debunked & Discarded

March 2, 2017

Did Marie Antoinette really say "let them eat cake?" around 1789 during the French Revolution?  No.  Furthermore it was never about cake. The actual quote is "let them eat brioche (bread)." This next one hit me hard. Walt Disney, one of the most iconic & adored 20th century Americans, did not create Mickey Mouse.  That's right. The credit goes to Disney's number one animator at the time, Ub Iwerks. With a name like that Iwerks had no choice but to work his magic behind the scenes.  Newton didn't have a gravity epiphany when an apple dropped on his head either.  Finally Napoleon was not that short.  In fact from my 5'8" perspective, he was a giant of his time. Napoleon was 5'7".  The average 19th century male was less than 5'5".  

 

Useful information in 5...4...3...

 

Obviously none of these myths have any impact on your life.  There is no shortage of nutrition myths, however, that have a considerable effect on your diet.  Most of these myths have been accepted & practiced for a long time.  It's hard to eradicate these entrenched beliefs.  Hopefully this blog will give you some food for thought the next time you go to the supermarket.

 

1.  Kale is king.  It's definitely popular.  Apparently 7-Eleven is now offering kale smoothies.  It's expensive because kale has been marketed as a superfood very successfully.  Any heavily processed item containing kale will cost you dearly.  I wouldn't take on kale & kaleheads without facts.  

 

Off with its head.

 

William Patterson University released a study in 2014.  This study ranked the top 41 vegetables & fruits.  I'm surprised that almost all of the top 41 were vegetables.  Kale finished 15th on this list.  Not too shabby, right?  Wrong.  Kale received a nutrient density score of 49.07.  I hate romaine lettuce.  It's so bland. That being said romaine lettuce whooped kale with a score of 63.48. Popeye was right about spinach. There is no need to put a spin on spinach.  Spinach received a stellar score of 86.43.  Check out the results for yourself below.

 

http://time.com/2827608/41-superfoods-ranked-by-how-healthy-they-are/

 

Check out some high quality kale humor while you're at it.

 

2.  Wine is the most nutritious alcohol.  If your goal is to get inebriated, wine has not lost a step.  Wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol.  A lot of people have bought into the myth that resveratrol reduces inflammation, decreases your risk of getting heart disease and cancer & helps you live longer.  Consumers spend $30,000,000 a year on resveratrol supplements.  Essentially the health benefits of wine have been largely exaggerated.  Bottom line if you're drinking wine for the resveratrol, its' time for a new hobby. 

 

3.  Brown eggs are more healthy than white eggs.  It's always assumed that brown foods beat white foods.  Brown rice, brown bread &  brown sugar are supposed to be more healthy than their white counterparts.  White eggs come from white feathered chickens & brown eggs come from reddish brown chickens.  Both eggs taste the same if the chickens are fed the same thing.  

 

Beauty is on the inside & on the outside.

 

The inside of both eggs looks almost the same. Again what you feed the chickens has a superficial influence on the egg's appearance. Corn fed brown eggs have slightly darker yolks than your average white eggs.

 

Both white & brown eggs have the same nutritional value: 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, 4 or 5 grams of fat & 185 mg of cholesterol.  You should expect to pay a little more for brown eggs.  The reason is brown chickens on average are 25% bigger than white chickens. It costs more to feed & care for brown chickens.  Farmers pass that cost along to you.

 

3.5  Egg yolks are unhealthy.  Low in calories eggs are packed with good protein & good fat.  The cholesterol in eggs as well as other foods is not a problem.  Dietary cholesterol has little impact on your blood cholesterol.  You might consider buying omega-3 enriched eggs which contain a lot of EPA & DHA fatty acids.  In other words eat the whole damn egg.

 

4.  Fats make you fat.  Don't get ahead of yourself.  I'm not talking about really greasy, really fatty & really delicious fast food.  What I am talking about is foods with good mostly unsaturated fat like avocados, nuts, seeds, eggs, olive oil, cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, tuna, oysters, anchovies, sardines, etc.  

 

Fats have 9 calories per gram. Carbohydrates & protein each have 4 calories per gram.  You have to look beyond calories to appreciate fat.  Many fats are rich in omega-3.  What's so great about omega-3? These fatty acids contain EPA & DHA which increase your metabolism, help prevent heart disease, fight Alzheimer's, battle depression & benefit you in many other ways.

 

Fats are not our foes.  They are our friends.  Repeat 3 times like you mean it.

 

Fats protect your vital organs.  Fats help keep you sated.  Fats help you control your hunger & avoid cravings.  Fats boost your metabolism, give you energy, increase your focus & burn calories. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble.  This means that you won't be able to absorb these vitamins without fat.  Your diet should consist of 25% to 35% fats.

 

Get ready for the Voldemort of food.

 

First of all I'm going to name it.  It's sugar.  I feel better already.  I know you're wondering how the nefarious sugar crept into my blog. There is a connection.  Since the 1950's fat has been vilified.  You go shopping & everything is low fat if not fat free.  What's the problem?

If you remove fat from a product, you have to replace it with something else.  We're talking fillers.  And who do you call when you need a tasty filler?  Sugar.  

 

Sugar provides you empty calories. Sugar causes your blood sugar & insulin to go through the roof. Insulin is a hormone that your pancreas secretes.  It regulates how much fat your body stores. However you can't blame weight gain on insulin.  Don't point your finger at fat as well. Point your finger at sugar.  If you don't believe me, check out this video.

 

 

Fresh fruit is better than frozen fruit.  I happen to love my daily frozen blueberries (on top of my oatmeal) & my frozen banana that I eat for lunch.  I can't debate taste.  Obviously that's completely subjective.  I will debate cost.  Frozen fruit is a lot cheaper than unfrozen fruit.  Frozen fruits have the fresh advantage because frozen fruits are picked at the peak of their ripeness.  Unfrozen fruits spend a lot of time in transit & in storage.  In fact the USDA allows companies to store some fruits (apples & pears for example) for up to 12 months. Unfrozen fruits are more natural than frozen fruits. Refined sugar is often added to frozen fruits.

 

Real facts will settle this great debate.

 

Which one is more nutritious?  Both frozen & unfrozen fruits lose some nutritional value over time.  Frozen fruits have to be blanched or boiled to kill bacteria.  Some antioxidants are lost during the freezing process. Unfrozen fruits as they ripen lose nutrients & gain sugar.  Ultimately it's a dead tie as far as nutrition.  A study at the University of California Davis looked at 8 fruits (corn, carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans, strawberries & blueberries) and concluded that there is no significant difference nutritionally between unfrozen & frozen fruits & vegetables.  Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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