A Look at 3 “Bad-for-You” Foods
Media and the nutrition market is saturated with advice and guidelines on what NOT to eat.
But the truth is, with most things, moderation is required. Not total avoidance.
🧂 Myth #1: Salt is bad for you.
High amounts of salt have been linked to high blood pressure. But your body also needs salt! Proper transport of chemical and function of your muscles, like you heart, depend on adequate amounts of sodium.
As the Standard American Diet (aptly abbreviated SAD) has morphed into a diet full of saturated fats, additives, and larger portions, our diets have become overloaded on lots of different things. A lot of processed foods have a high amount of salt added to them, which over saturates the body with sodium. Coupled with increasingly sedentary lifestyles and genetic tendencies, excess sodium can be harmful.
Eating tweaks and increase in exercise can help you get the necessary sodium and stay in good health. Moderating your salt intake by eating whole foods is much more beneficial than attempting to cut salt entirely out of your diet.
🍳 Myth #2: Egg yolks are bad for you.
Egg yolks get a bad rep for being high in cholesterol. And a lot of weight-loss fads have included opting for egg whites and avoiding egg yolks. But egg yolks actually have a lot of protein and other nutrients that your body needs.
Studies have also shown that the link to higher cholesterol has been exaggerated. When a person is healthy and their naturally occurring cholesterol is within normal ranges, eating eggs will not unduly contribute to cardiovascular disease or stroke.
🥩 Myth #3: Red meat is bad for you.
As with so many things that we consume, red meat has been linked to an increased risk in cancer. While it is true, the red meat of today is different from the meat of 100, even just 50 years ago. The animals receive hormones, antibodies, and medicines. They graze on fields and grains that have been treated with pesticides and chemical. The plants themselves have often been genetically modified as well. However, red meat itself may have a bad rep for no good reason.
From an evolutionary perspective, humans most likely would not be who we are in terms of physical development and brain development, i.e.. intelligence, without the protein from meat consumption. Our bodies most efficiently extract needed proteins from meat. There are necessary and beneficial vitamins, minerals, and amino acid chains found only meat sources or they exist in concentrated amounts. For example:
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): 25% of the RDA, Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 37% of the RDA (this vitamin is unattainable from plant foods), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 18% of the RDA, Iron: 12% of the RDA (this is high-quality heme iron, which is absorbed much better than iron from plants), Zinc: 32% of the RDA, and Selenium: 24% of the RDA. Creatine and carnosine are amino acids found only in meat and deficiencies can impede muscle and brain function.
While overly processed or smoked red meats can carry certain compounds that may be detrimental to preventing cancerous cells, red meat in general – and in moderation – does not pose the risk that many fear. Again, simple swaps for grass-fed and hormone-free can reduce or eliminate the risks that are increasingly being tied to chemicals found in practices and not in the meat itself.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco products, and limiting alcohol consumption are much more important than cutting out red meat.
🔑 Moderation is the key!