[SPONSORED BY HEALTHY CRUNCH]
There’s no shortage of health myths out there. Is milk healthy for your bones? Are salty snacks unhealthy? Does fat make you fat? Here are my top six healthy food myths debunked.
Myth #1: Artificial Sweeteners are a safe sugar-substitute for weight loss and diabetes
Most people use artificial sweeteners to assist with weight loss or avoid sugar. The ironic fact is that artificial sweeteners are worse than sugar alone. Research shows that individuals using artificial sweeteners actually gain weight. It’s best to substitute natural sweeteners including stevia, maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar.
Myth #2: Milk does your body good and is good for bone health
Believing that “dairy” and “calcium” are the same, consumers think milk is the best source of calcium for our bones. But other foods are actually higher in calcium, including: dark leafy greens, kale, bok choy, beans, almonds, and canned salmon. We also need vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium for strong bones. Milk does not have either of these vitamins.
Myth #3: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease
Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources are good for our health as they: help build cell membrane, assist in hormone production, are required for optimal function of our brain, and act as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Avoid man-made artificial saturated fats called trans-fats. These are found in packaged and processed foods and increase our “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease our “good” HDL cholesterol.
Myth #4: Eggs are a source of unhealthy cholesterol
Eggs do not increase blood cholesterol levels and are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are nutrient dense and are a high-quality source of protein, and vitamin D. Eggs promote healthy hair, are good for your eyes, and contain biotin, calcium, folate, iodine, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
Myth #5: Eating fat makes you fat
Most “low-fat” or “fat-free” foods have just as many calories as their full-fat versions, and are filled with added sugars. Excessive added sugars are to blame for weight gain. Research suggests that eating healthy fats including avocado, olive oil, coconut, and nuts can help with weight loss. Healthy fats also slow down food absorption so you feel fuller for longer, and eat less.
Myth #6: High sodium foods and salty snacks should be avoided
Salt is an essential nutrient for optimal health, blood pressure regulations, transportation of nutrients, and brain-cell communication. Having too low sodium in our body can cause health problems, including: headaches, confusion, fatigue, and nausea. However, the common misconception is that salt is not good for our health at all. What is important is to consume sodium from foods naturally. It’s best to avoid processed and packaged foods, and stick to using natural Himalayan Pink salt, which is very nutrient dense and beneficial for our health.
Julie Bednarski is a Registered Dietitian and Founder and President of The Healthy Crunch Company, an artisanal Toronto-based snack food company. To learn more about Julie and Healthy Crunch visit www.juliebednarski.com or www.healthycrunch.com.