Busting Myths around Health

Eggs are bad for your heart.

Many of us will think of cholesterol when we consume eggs and rightly so. Eggs are high in cholesterol but are they therefore bad for our hearts? About 80-85% of cholesterol is made by the body itself and the remainder of cholesterol can come from dietary sources. The Internal Journal of Cardiology demonstrates in a study that egg consumption does not increase cholesterol levels and has no negative effect on the endothelial function which is an indicator for heart disease. Another more recent meta-analysis also concludes that egg consumption has not been associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease. So if you tolerate eggs, select free range organic eggs that will provide you with all nine essential amino acids, choline and of course cholesterol which is so important for the production of hormones and vitamin D.

Gluten-free foods are healthier than gluten containing foods.

It has been well established that people with celiac disease are better off avoiding gluten entirely and stick entirely to a gluten-free diet. But is the same true for those who are not diagnosed with celiac? Not necessarily. Many gluten-free foods on the market contain very little fibre and actually use white refined flours such as potato and tapioca flour. Thus switching over without knowing why can only increase the amount of refined food you are taking in. However, there are also people who are gluten sensitive and are not aware off it or do not link it to gluten consumption. Symptoms often include skin rashes, bloating, gas, brain fog or extreme fatigue after consuming gluten. For those people the first step would be to do a gluten sensitivity test before cutting out gluten entirely as elimination entirely can compromise test results. To hear the full story behind gluten watch this in depth interview with expert Dr. Alessio Fasano and family physician Mark Hyman.

Being a vegetarian is healthier than an omnivore.

In those days I was a vegetarian I always had to explain and defend my position to people. The last 10 years it has gained more attention for its widespread health benefits and the carbon neutral effect. Removing animal protein from your diet can be a very wise choice as long as we replace it with good healthy plant-based proteins such as beans and legumes, fermented soy products, nuts and seeds, eggs or dairy (if you are not a vegan). However, what is often the case is that vegetarians are not substituting their protein for a plant based version or they are solely relying on hexane loaded veggie burgers. Many commercial available veggie products contain soy which uses a hexane extraction method. Hexane is actually a chemical that can leach into these soy products as well. Buying your soy products fermented and organic will help you to avoid hexane and genetically modified organisms. Vegan and vegetarian diets can be done in the proper way making sure protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12 levels are adequate.

Coffee is bad for you.

As always with any consumption, amounts matter greatly and differ per person! For most of us moderate coffee consumption (1 to 2 small cups a day) is in general not a problem for our health and can even have some health benefits. Coffee contains polyphenols, a strong antioxidant, which is apparently how the majority get these important free radical fighters into their diet. Many studies about coffee show the benefits of coffee for our heart, liver, and blood sugar. Although black coffee is not necessarily detrimental to our health, it is the caffeine content we need to be cautious about. Caffeine is known to be a nervous stimulant triggering the heart to beat faster, raising blood sugar and demanding the adrenal glands to release stress hormones. Long term this can wear out the adrenals reducing our ability to cope with stress. For women during menopause healthy adrenals are especially important as they assist the ovaries during this transition. Be wise and best to limit consumption to your needs while drinking equal amounts of water and letting the sugar be.