Holistic Nutrition: A World of Smoke and Mirrors
Over the past couple of decades, the subject of nutrition has become increasingly prominent as unhealthy fast foods have wormed their way into our lives. After much suffering and a few bad decisions, as a society we’ve come to the general conclusion that eating right is one of the most important aspects of living a long and healthy life, even if it demands a sizeable amount of effort.
The problem with this state of affairs is that anyone can declare themselves an expert on holistic nutrition, and as a result, many myths in regards to food are being propagated at this very moment, and they are preventing us from getting the most out of our diets. What follows is a look at some of the biggest misconceptions people tend to have in regards to nutrition.
- 1 Myths in Holistic Nutrition
- 1.1 1.Canola Oil is The Healthiest Cooking Oil
- 1.2 2.Adopting a Plant-based Diet is The best Approach
- 1.3 3.Avoid Salt Intake
- 1.4 4.Low-fat, High-carb Diet To Lose Weight
- 1.5 5.Saturated Fats Have No Benefits
- 1.6 6.Dairy Products are The Best Source Of Calcium
- 1.7 7.Fat-free, Low-fat Foods Are Best For Health
- 1.8 8.Soy Products Decrease Disease Rates
Myths in Holistic Nutrition
1.Canola Oil is The Healthiest Cooking Oil
The first myth we are going to examine pertains to canola oil. Most people think of it as a healthy oil and one of the best for cooking ingredients at high heat, being filled to the brim with healthy fats. Unfortunately, the situation is quite far from being so optimistic for canola oil is derived from rapeseed, which itself is used for industrial purposes.
The fats contained in the oil are generally found to be of low quality and regular consumption of them will end up harming your health. Fortunately, there are some healthy alternatives to this puzzle, including peanut and virgin coconut oil.
2.Adopting a Plant-based Diet is The best Approach
The second big misconception in the world of holistic nutrition is the idea that maintaining a plant-based diet is the healthiest way to go. That concept is only half-true for the simple reason that throughout our evolution we’ve become accustomed to consuming animal proteins and our bodies need them to stay in tip-top shape. In other words, while it is true that most of us could do with cutting down on our meat intake in favor of fruits and vegetables, it isn’t advisable to forego one for the other.
3.Avoid Salt Intake
This third one isn’t so much a myth as it is a case of misinformation, and it dictates that salt should be mostly avoided seeing as how it causes high blood pressure. While that is certainly very true, most people who spout the claim forget to add two very important elements: our bodies need the minerals found in salt to function properly and the type of salt used can make the whole difference. While the refined and granulated salt you get at the supermarket isn’t exactly healthy (usually containing 97% to 99% sodium), there are other options such as Celtic sea salt, Himalayan salt or simply unrefined salt. In other words, our salt intake should definitely be limited, but not to the point where we deprive ourselves of its minerals.
4.Low-fat, High-carb Diet To Lose Weight
Another myth that’s been making the rounds on social media is that a diet that is low in fat and high in carbohydrates is the most effective way of losing weight. In the long run, this kind of routine actually leads to a weight gain, mainly due to the fact that most of our carbs end up coming from grains or processed foods rather than fruits and veggies.
Additionally, the more carbohydrates you consume, the more fluids your body begins to retain, which as you can imagine isn’t exactly conducive to weight loss. Also, higher carb levels tend to stimulate the production of leptin , which slowly increases your desires for even more carbs. Diets that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein have shown themselves to be much more effective at helping people drop the pounds.
5.Saturated Fats Have No Benefits
A common belief is that consuming red meat as well as other animal products (cream cheese and butter for instance) that are high in saturated fats increases your cholesterol levels and your risk of developing cardiac disease.
Though it may be true that over-indulging in such products can bring about some nefarious consequences, once again they contain much that is necessary for us to function adequately. Good cholesterol levels have a direct correlation with healthy hormone production as well as a good metabolism, and not having enough puts you at an equal risk of cardiovascular disease. As always, the key lies in taking a measured approach and not over-indulging.
6.Dairy Products are The Best Source Of Calcium
Many holistic nutrition experts (at least the self-proclaimed ones) claim that dairy products are unquestionably the best source of calcium available to us. While they do indeed tend to be rich in calcium, dairy products are far from being the only ones to have some. It can be just as easily obtained from any number of foods, including green leafy vegetables (which are also a fantastic source of riboflavin, manganese, phosphorous, folic acid , and much more), bone broths and even wild canned salmon.
7.Fat-free, Low-fat Foods Are Best For Health
Quite sensibly, many have bought into the idea that fat-free and low-fat products are automatically healthier than their counterparts. However, what manufacturers don’t reveal is that taking fat away from a product gives it a much blander taste than what you would expect.
Thus, they make up for the lost fat by increasing the product’s sugar content beyond reasonable limits. While we’re still on the subject, sugar-free products also face the same problem as in most cases their manufacturers use toxic sugar substitutes to preserve the integrity of the flavor.
8.Soy Products Decrease Disease Rates
To finish things off, let’s take a look at soy products . Many people who have done a bit of research into the subject will tell you that Asian cultures consume great amounts of soy and they tend to have lesser disease rates. While there could be grounds for further investigation into the matter, it’s highly unlikely for there to be a causal relationship between the two phenomena.
In most Asian countries people tend to consume approximately one to two tablespoons of soy a day, which you will notice is already far below the recommendations spread around in the Western world. Additionally, their meals are mostly based around vegetables and fish, which is much more likely to be the reason for their generally superior health.
As you can see, even the world of holistic nutrition doesn’t lack intrigue with so much unfiltered misinformation being passed around on a daily basis. Take whatever claims you hear with a grain of salt and always reserve the time to do your own research; in the end, it could be the factor which pushes you towards a healthy life instead of an ineffective diet.