Bad Food Gone Good

I thought I’d write a bit about misconceptions about “bad” food.  Politically correct nutrition says these are the food you shouldn’t be eating.  I dare-say these are actually food you SHOULD be eating. Really,  not everything that tastes wickedly delicious is sinful.

  1. Butter

Myth: Butter is dangerous. It causes chronic high cholesterol levels. Anything that is tastes exquisitely divine should be bad for you right?

Truth: The French were right. Good old-fashioned butter is good for you. It has in fact always been a staple, valued by countless traditional diets.

Why? Butter is your best source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K and E.  Vitamin A is actually best absorbed and utilized from butter than from any other source.  These vitamins are “catalysts” or “activators” that utilize the minerals we ingest. Butter also contains anti-oxidants, everyone’s favorite health word. In fact, “it is a rich source of selenium, a vital anti-oxidant–containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ.”

Best of all, that butter makes you fat is a misconception.  “The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter are not stored in the adipose tissue, but are used for quick energy.  That’s why butter makes you feel full and satisfied and you don’t need to crave or binge after.

*And research does not actually support the claim that butter causes high cholesterol. “Stearic acid, the main component of butterfat, actually lowers cholesterol!”  (Weston Price Foundation, “The Skinny on Fats”)

2.    Eggs

Myth: Eggs are high in cholesterol and bad for your heart.

Truth: (Disclaimer: only for free range poultry): Eggs contain dietary cholesterol. The culprit for raising your blood cholesterol and giving you heart disease is not really dietary cholesterol.   It is a number of other factors in modern diets like your excess consumption of vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates. Trans fats are bigger culprits in raising your blood cholesterol.  Not only that. Eggs “constitute the most complete, nutritious and economical form of animal protein available.” (Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon)

3.    Red Meat

Myth: full of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol and bad for the heart.

The truth: Lean beef, and beef from grass fed or pastured cows are a low-fat source of protein and iron, essential minerals that will help get oxygen from your lungs to the cells in your body. Pick meat that is a deep red (not bright red) color with very little fat or marbling.  Chances are these are lean and or raised with little or no grain.

4.    Chocolate

The myth: fatty and filled with sugar. And of course anything that tastes wonderful should be bad right?

The truth: Dark chocolate is the key. It contains antioxidants that seem to help with blood-thinning, another good thing for your heart.  “Researchers in Switzerland reported that eating dark chocolate (1.4 ounces of it) every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones, including cortisol, in highly stressed people.”

5.    Coconut Oil

The myth: High in saturated fat and hated by those who diet.

The Truth: Not all fats are created equal. There is good fat and bad fat. Truly. Coconut oil is made of medium-chain triglycerides, fats that can be metabolized faster than the long-chain variety found in other oils like sunflower. “They’re rarely stored as fat because the body prefers to use them for energy,” says Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.  Good saturated fats such as those you find in coconut oil, animal fat, (butter, lard, tallow) are the carriers of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and are needed to convert carotene to Vitamin A. Good fats will also help your body incorporate calcium into your skeletal structure, protects your liver from alcohol and toxins (yes that’s why they say eat oily food when you drink) and enhance your immune system. Lastly, these fatty acids have antimicrobial properties that protect you from harmful microorganisms in the gut.

Now here are some health food you should be wary of.

Sources:  

http://www.eatingwell.com “Bad Foods you should be eating” 

http://www.menshealth.com “Junk Food that’s Good for you”

Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions

Photo from: http://blog.soliditytrade.com/dark-chocolate-prevents-damage-from-strokes/

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