My list of Healthy Eating Resources.

5 Biggest Healthy Food Myths – BUSTED!

MYTH #2: Eggs are unhealthy because they’re high in cholesterol.

MYTH #3: A diet high in cholesterol raises your cholesterol levels.

The “Truth” About Food

In general, most people really have little chance to discern the real truth from conflicting information in the midst of misinformation – unless you are passionate enough about the topic to research it for yourself or you are fortunate enough to find an unbiased resource that can distill the facts and convey it to you in the proper context.

News agencies, Big Food industry, marketers, politicians…all have their perspectives and agendas to which the general public falls prey. Even those of us skilled at locating and evaluating the data published in medical studies, often find it difficult to weed through the data to find the current “truth.”

And yet, just when we think we have extracted the best representation of the data – science advances and sheds new, exciting and insightful light on the topic at hand.

Studies have shown it takes, on average, about 17 years for only 14% of original discovery research to become integrated into mainstream medicine. And once that old data has been embedded in the mind of the public and the health care system for almost 2 decades, it’s very time- and energy-consuming to try and change it.

However, knowledge is empowering and it is also the best way to figure out what is right for you.

Finding unbiased trusted resources, skilled in providing unbiased, evidence-based information and advice is an invaluable tool for navigating through our current Information Era, especially the ever-changing information that is driving today’s nutrition and healthy eating movement.

The “truth” that eventually emerges is a matter of context, perspective, time, politics – and genetics.

For example, for decades eggs have had a bad rap. People have been encouraged to avoid them once a possible association was made between cholesterol and heart disease (ie, heart attacks).

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MYTH #2: Eggs are unhealthy because they’re high in cholesterol.

Farm-fresh or organic eggs from “happy” hens are actually a power food and a very healthy addition to your diet. They’re loaded with mood-enhancing B vitamins, nutrients for your eyes like lutein, choline for brain health plus they are a concentrated source of protein.

And if they’re fed a natural diet that provides them the ability to forage for grass, leaves, bugs, lizards and other protein sources, then their eggs will be rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

(BONUS mini-myth buster: chickens are NOT vegetarians!!! Contrary to what most commercial egg farms proudly promote on their egg cartons.)

Additionally, eggs are fairly high in cholesterol, a nutrient that is necessary for your body to make hormones (including testosterone and estrogen), build healthy cell membranes, and maintain healthy brain function.

Eggs are often still believed to be bad for your health because of their cholesterol content but medical studies over the last decade have revealed that cholesterol levels are not related to heart disease and cholesterol is not the enemy.

Data from a recently published study that was conducted over 13 years in approximately 70,000 men and women found that daily egg consumption was not associated with risk of heart attack, stroke or heart failure – not even in those who had diabetes. Although, a slight increased risk of heart failure was observed in men who ate more than 1 egg every day.

MYTH #3: A diet high in cholesterol raises your cholesterol levels.

Your body maintains tight control over the amount of cholesterol produced. If you consume large amounts of cholesterol in your diet, your body makes less – and, alternatively, if you consume very low amounts of cholesterol in your diet, then your body makes more.

For the majority of you, cholesterol-rich foods have little to no effect on their cholesterol levels.

A small percentage of people are, however, genetically predisposed to having “very high” and “extremely high” cholesterol levels, while an even smaller percentage of people are genetically prone to having “very low” cholesterol. It is usually these groups of people who are more responsive to dietary changes in cholesterol.

Advances in medical science have identified that the “type” of cholesterol (eg, small & dense versus large & fluffy) is more important than “levels” of cholesterol to health problems, such as the development of heart disease and its complications.

This might be why the American Heart Association and the newly revised US Dietary Guidelines now include eggs as part of their healthy nutritional recommendations.

The trans fats found in saturated fats (ie, margarine) have been shown to contribute far more to cellular inflammation and disease than cholesterol.

What “Type” of Cholesterol Do You Have?

If you’re like most people, you only know your cholesterol “levels” (ie, LDL and HDL) so use the following information to find out more about the “type” of cholesterol you have.

Cholesterol testing used by most doctors today is outdated and identifies levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides instead of the “type” of cholesterol.

To determine if you have the “small, dense type” instead of the “large, fluffy type” of cholesterol, and therefore may be more sensitive to dietary cholesterol and/or at increased risk of heart disease, here is the cholesterol test (panel) advocated by Dr Hyman – one of the most well respected functional medicine physicians in the US:

  • The NMR LipoProfile test (offered by LabCorp)
  • OR the CardioIQ test (offered by Quest).

If your doctor is not familiar with this test, then identify a functional medicine physician in your area who can help interpret the results for you.

Eating Healthy

Nutrition and healthy eating have intricate and complex relationships with not only the source and quality of the food itself but also your personal genetics. The interplay of food and genes – known as nutrigenomics – is fascinating to me and is the cutting-edge science behind the new wave of “personalized nutrition.”

While researching hundreds of resources on how food impacts genes and influences weight gain and health, I found a few common denominators that helped me place foods into either the “promote” or “prevent” weight gain and/or disease categories.

Because my mom had been diagnosed with a Parkinson-like brain disease, knowing what foods promoted – or turned ON – disease genes was very important to me.

I also found that slow transformations in eating habits were shown to yield the most long-lasting and beneficial results. I definitely found this to be true for me in my own healthy food journey.

Starting with the 2 most important foods shown to promote weight gain and disease, I gradually reduced and eventually eliminated them from my diet while gradually increasing those foods shown to heal the body and prevent weight gain and disease.

When I introduced this way of eating to my family and friends, they loved it because they didn’t feel like they had to deprive themselves of food in order to eat healthy…and within the first week of eating better, they also began to experience their own great results – which motivated them to continue.

Here are a few of the results they told me about:

  • loss of excess weight
  • improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol
  • improvements in gut problems
  • increased energy
  • improved mood, happiness, and mental clarity
  • waking up with less (and sometimes no) aches and pains

…and the majority of them have been able to reduce and even eliminate medications related to preventable disease and associated symptoms, such as high blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, bowel inflammation, pain, and autoimmune problems.

Coming Up: Myths #4 and #5 – BUSTED!

In the next email I send you, I’ll share information to debunk common myths and misunderstanding related to:

  • Eating a vegetarian diet is good for you.
  • Carbs are bad for you.

Before signing off today’s email, however, I want to give a big shout out and THANK YOU to all of the great feedback, unique perspectives, and challenging questions posted by those of you who are active Is Disease Hereditary? Facebook fans.

Your comments often keep me on my toes and keep me constantly researching the latest studies so that I can provide you with the best evidence-based advice for your healthy food journey.

Until the next mythbuster, here’s your challenge:

CHALLENGE: What information about healthy eating is most confusing to you right now?

Post your questions in the Is Disease Hereditary? Facebook page and I’ll pick the most interesting one to highlight and answer in my next Facebook post.

To your health & happy genes!

Renée

P.S. Additional Resources: Finding an easy-to-follow healthy eating method that resonates with you from a source you trust is critically important for you to succeed on your healthy food journey.

If you’re inspired by the information I provide, then keep an eye on your inbox. After my last healthy food myth, I have a great offer that you’ll be eligible for. It will be limited to only 25 applicants.

But I totally understand if my thing isn’t your thing – food journeys are very individualized and personal so I want to provide you with some alternative trustworthy resources.

If you want to evaluate specific approaches yourself, then I highly recommend downloading and reading through my list of Healthy Eating Resources; I’ve also provided a link to these resources in the email you received associated with this video blog.

The resources listed in this downloadable pdf are most of the ones I used when I put my system together and are written by highly respected leaders in the health and nutrition space.