5 Top Health Food Myths (That Truly Irk Me!) Revealed
Sometimes health myths are harmless and a little absurd. Even laughable. And then they fade away into oblivion as if they were never really pinned as truths…while those that may have espoused them at their height of popularity vehemently deny so afterwards in embarrassment (um, remember margarine? Yes, the perpetually-rectangularly-shaped-even-at-warm-room-temps block of fat, now exposed as a transfatty acid nightmare, but which was once hailed as the fatty spread savior of mankind!?)
But others hang around and can do serious damage to your health and well-being, eating away at your digestive probiotics. The following five health food myths have been circulating for some time now and don’t seem to be going away. I feel it’s really important to see the other side of the information around these largely believed notions. So let’s debunk them here!
Myth #1: You Can’t Get Enough Protein.
High-protein diets are in the spotlight at the moment, and seem to suggest the idea that there is no such thing as consuming too much protein. Of all the macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein), protein is the one to have survived countless dietary fads without getting a bad reputation. The truth is, you can have too much and the results could be devastating, like renal damage in those with pre-existing renal disease. A review of dangers associated with high protein diets lists hyperaminoacidemia, hyperammonemia, hyperinsulinemia, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and even death. When you consume too much protein, the liver can’t keep up in turning all the excess nitrogen to urea so that it can efficiently leave the body. In general, the toxicity levels in your body increase the more animal protein you consume.
The RDA recommendation from the Institute of Medicine is .76 grams of protein per kilogram of our weight. So for example, a 140-lb woman would only need about 48 grams of protein per day, which is easy to reach with plant-based Beauty Proteins in a day. You can get plenty of protein on the Beauty Detox program, especially considering the amount of greens you’ll be taking in (about 50 percent of the calories in green vegetables come from protein!).
In addition to the complications of protein itself, animal protein often comes with quite a bit of saturated fat. If you’re eating a diet high in protein and neglecting carbs and fiber, you run the risk of increasing your cholesterol levels and putting your cardiovascular health on the line, says the American Heart Association. Another potential problem with a high protein diet where carbohydrate consumption is diminished is in the colon. One study showed that the lack of carbs and fiber made colon disease more likely.
If you want to consume animal protein, monitor your portion sizes and remember that they “there’s never too much protein” mentality is exhausting to your body and digestive tract, and ultimately, aging you.
Myth #2: Fruit Has Too Much Sugar.
Fruit is the most natural food on the planet for us to eat. If you were stuck in the wild, you would reach for the figs and oranges as a natural instinct. The problem is that modern diets today are so high in fats (which can circulate in your bloodstream for hours and hours) and/or slow-digesting proteins, which can interfere with efficient fruit digestion. When you eat fruit alone or with greens, as you should for optimal digestion and Beauty Energy, the fruit is quickly digested, provides immediate fuel, and acts as the strongest cleanser of toxins to purge out of the body. Fructose also becomes a problem when consumed in concentrated form (like agave) or in foods and drinks (like sodas) that offer nothing nutritionally, which have unfortunately become the norm in the Standard American Diet.
Fruit only has a small amount of fructose (fructose vs glucose) because it’s very sweet, and it’s there as an incentive to make you want to eat it because the whole fruit is so nutritionally dense. Side note: only eat fruit raw or, very occasionally, dried (unsulfured and with no sugar added), as heat causes the fruit to become acidic in the body and strips away the benefits. I’m not a fan of cooked fruit pies (for more than one reason!). Don’t worry, there are healthier desserts to try, when you just need a sweet.
Because you’re only getting a small amount of fructose when you eat fruit, and because fruit contains so much water and so many other vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and fiber, it’s a complete nutritional package that offers so many health benefits (though Blossoming Beauties and those with candidiasis may wish to stay away from the sweeter fruits for a little while, until they’re balanced, as well as those with blood sugar or other specific health issues).
People that deny themselves fruit end up consuming far less favorable sweet flavors in other ways- desserts, chocolate treats, sugar or artificial sweeteners in coffee, etc. We are meant to eat carbohydrates and some sweets for energy- ie fruit, as a natural form of energy. Since I’ve increased my fruit intake so much the last few years, I’ve drastically cut down on desserts, even healthier ones.
Some of the lower sugar fruits include:
If you’re not a Blossoming Beauty or suffering from Candidiasis, don’t just limit yourself to those. Fruit—any raw, ripe fruit—is Beauty Food, and it’s good for you!
Myth #3: Greek Yogurt is the Best Way to Start the Day.
Be conscious of what you put in your body. Listen to your body and listen to your intuition. Eat close to nature. Would you go up to a cow in a pasture and suckle off its teet? No you wouldn’t. So why do you eat the yogurt in a pretty package made from the same thing? You’ve lost the consciousness of what it truly is that you are eating, because of the distraction of alluring commercial and modern packaging. But now we have to wake up!
Greek yogurt, a handful of berries, maybe some slivered almonds and honey…a great way to start the day, right? Ugh, no. I cringe when I see people walking from yoga pull out their little yogurt containers proudly from their bags. Gee, look how healthy I’m being they seem to strut, while I turn my head to roll my eyes (Om Namah Shivayah! Don’t be judgmentallllll! Be a yogi off the mat! I remind myself…). Concentrated food that is difficult for many to digest, like Greek yogurt, especially so early in the morning, will weigh down digestion and can contribute to sluggishness. Not to mention, fruit needs to be eaten alone or it can cause bloating (as if dairy didn’t do enough damage on that front).
While concentrated proteins should be left for dinners, I don’t believe anyone should ever eat dairy—not even in the evenings, and especially not first thing in the morning. Dairy is not intended in nature to be human food. It’s created for a baby cow, and humans are the only species that drink the milk of another animal…and through adulthood to boot. It’s acid-forming (which leads to accelerated aging in many forms!) in the body, mucus-forming (and too much mucus can get trapped along the walls of the intestines, trapping toxins inside the body), and can clog up digestion. Our bodies can’t digest dairy because most all of us stop creating adequate levels of lactase, the enzyme necessary to break down the sugars in milk, very early in life (around age 3). It’s very mucus-forming as well. Because of our inability to digest dairy, it cuts down on our Beauty Energy and makes it harder to lose weight, not easier.
In addition, the proteins in dairy called casein and whey (and Greek yogurt is famous for its higher protein content!) in such high levels can be especially harmful to the human body. Dr. Campbell, well-known for his heavily-researched The China Study, found that casein was associated with promoting cancer growth at all stages.
But what about calcium and probiotics? When you eat the acid-forming yogurt, your body tries to neutralize it. How does it do that? By pulling calcium out of the bones, which is an alkaline mineral. The calcium’s not replaced by what’s in the yogurt because most of the calcium in dairy is impossible for our bodies to absorb and use. The net effect, ironically, of eating acid-forming dairy is a calcium loss. Yogurt is not going to do anything to prevent osteoporosis. As for probiotics, you can just as easily get a healthy dose with my Probiotic & Enzyme Salad and a supplement.
Myth #4: Protein or Energy Bars are an Easy Way to Get a Fast Meal.
So many protein bars have ingredients in them—sugar, soy and whey protein, just to name a couple—that you don’t want to be eating. Here are a few examples:
When you look at the front of ThinkThin®’s Creamy Peanut Butter Protein Bar, you see that it has 15-20 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and that it’s gluten-free. But flip it over to read the list of ingredients and you’ll see where that protein comes from—whey protein isolate (from milk) and soy protein isolate, both highly processed and terrible for you. Such fractionated ingredients do not belong in a clean, healthy body. There’s already plenty of casein there, but then factor in the soy, which brings with it GMOs, phytoestrogens to confuse your hormones, isoflavones that can depress thyroid function, and pesticides.
Quest Protein Bars avoid the soy protein, but promote whey protein as if it’s desirable. There’s no refined sugar, but lines outside of the all natural one contain Splenda, an artificial sweetener that is acidic and may contribute to weight gain by lowering the good bacteria in the intestines by up to 50 percent. We want the good bacteria to stay put!
The Coconut Chocolate Chip Clif Bar sounds delicious, right? What’s not to love about chocolate and coconut? This bar contains brown rice syrup as its first ingredient, which is a sweetener used in place of high fructose corn syrup in so-called “healthy” products but could contain arsenic. That’s followed by soy, soy, and more soy (soy protein isolate, organic roasted soybeans, and organic soy flour). Remember what I said about soy? Especially all these highly processed soy products. From there, we get another sweetener, organic cane syrup, which isn’t the most offensive, but sugar is still sugar.
The Triple Threat® Bar in Chocolate Almond says “Triple Threat” right on the package, but they probably didn’t mean “sweeteners, soy, and dairy” when they put it there. This bar is, in fact, a triple (or more) threat to your beauty and your health. The first ingredient alone, the chocolate covering, contains sugar, milk, and soy lecithin (basically the oil from the soybeans, used to hold everything together). Sugar is listed quite a few times on the list in one form or another (glucose syrup, corn syrup, sugar, fructose…). There’s also the protein blend, which includes whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, and calcium caseinate. Again, your acid-forming dairy, highly allergenic and pesticide-sprayed soy, and a recipe for disaster. How are these bars marketed as health foods again?
Better options are celery with almond butter, The Power Protein Smoothie or chia seeds. These bars will rob you of your Beauty Energy, not give you more, but unprocessed organic foods will increase your Beauty Energy and digest more efficiently than the processed protein and energy bars that wreak havoc within the body.
Myth #5: Agave is a Good Sweetener Option.
Agave had a good reputation as a “healthy” sweetener for a little while. I bought into the hype at first, loving the idea of a low glycemic sweetener that I could use in desserts without too much worry. I too, I will admit, poured it into raw smoothies and used it in raw food desserts as if it were as harmless (even good!) as the acai I often consumed along with it. Agave is low glycemic, but it also contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup (up to 90 percent versus 55!). In other words, it’s destructive to your skin, your liver and your overall health. While I might dabble in a little gluten here and again, especially when I’m traveling (like when I go to the mother land of India) the one thing I won’t touch now is agave. If a restaurant uses agave it’s not just in dessert, it’s probably in salad dressing and other dishes. So I just won’t eat there. It sounds harsh, but I’d rather eat at a Thai restaurant or if you’re in LA, Rahel’s Vegan Ethiopian (one of my faves).
When you need a sweetener, consider stevia, organic maple syrup, xylitol, or dried fruit instead. When you use agave as an added sweetener, it’s not the same as consuming the minimal amounts of fructose that come naturally in whole fruits, and a Princeton Study found that fructose consumption like this (high-fructose corn syrup specifically, which, remember, has less fructose than agave nectar) can contribute to weight gain.
When you follow the Beauty Detox Solution, you can dodge most of the health food myths that arise, simply because we focus on whole foods that have always been—and always will be—just what your body needs to be its most beautiful and vibrant. There’s no dairy, plenty of protein (but not too much!), and nothing processed.
Please be conscious of what you eat, as it does affect your body and your overall energy. Don’t put crap in your body that cause cause inflammation of the body. You deserve the absolute best in all parts of your life, and if you strive for the best in your daily choices, and you will reach your highest potential.