The modern wellness industry is built on the myth of “bad” and “good” food. The first such concept was promoted by adherents of restrictive diets Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. It was celebrities who popularized the dubious idea that a healthy diet may not be based on a balanced system, but on specific products that supposedly have a lot of useful properties with no flaws at all.
Eggs are the richest source of protein, and almost all of them are contained in protein, along with magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B2, incredibly important for health (it normalizes the cardiovascular system and supports the immune system). At the same time, fat, and with it extra calories, is concentrated in the yolks. In this situation, it is easy to make the false conclusion that proteins are nutritious and good for the heart, and the consumption of yolks stuffed with fats increases the level of “bad” cholesterol and leads to the development of cardiovascular diseases.
In fact, the yolk of one egg contains no more than two grams of saturated fat (one-tenth of the daily value of 20 grams) and 2-3 grams of unsaturated fats, including essential omega-3 fatty acids. As a bonus, egg yolks contain calcium, folic acid, many vitamins A, B6, B12, and D, and also help the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K. Yolks are more diverse in composition than proteins, but this does not mean that you need to switch to ” yolk omelets ”- it is better to eat eggs in moderation, but the whole, in order to get the full range of nutrients.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing juice instead of the whole fruit. Firstly, fiber (necessary for digestion and maintenance of intestinal microflora), as well as most vitamins and minerals are contained in seeds, peel, and fibers of fruits that do not get into the juice. Secondly, the liquid saturates less solid food, so you will eat more: you can get enough of one orange (50 kilocalories and 9 grams of sugar), and a glass of juice will take two fruits – and it will have twice as many calories and sugar. “Detoxification” with juices is a separate wellness myth, which has already been covered by many revealing articles. The liver and kidneys can routinely cleanse the body, and if we are talking about specific toxins (poisons), then not a single juice can remove them from the body.
Yogurt has many aspects, and not all of them are equally useful. In an ideal world, yogurt prepared this way is really healthy. There is almost no sugar in it, but there are many probiotics that improve digestion, calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. But this, we recall, is an ideal world – but in reality, everything can be different.
Firstly, during the heat treatment, which is used in mass production of fermented milk products, live bacteria die and can no longer act as probiotics. Secondly, yogurt with any additives – flavoring or aromatic – contains sugar. The same goes for low-fat yogurts: in order to preserve the taste of the product, some manufacturers add hidden sugar or its substitutes to it. Therefore, try to choose plain yogurt, without additives, with medium fat content – this is the most healthy fermented milk option for a snack or salad dressing.
Granola, muesli, cereals, and even cereals (oatmeal or today’s popular multi-grain mixes) may all contain too much sugar to be considered a healthy breakfast option. First of all, you should be careful about any breakfast cereals that are sold in stores – they can rather be considered desserts. For example, 100 grams of a popular brand of “fitness muesli” contains almost 20 grams of sugar – much like a chocolate cake.
Perhaps one of the most controversial modern superfoods, coconut oil is often blamed for all deadly sins, or, on the contrary, is considered a panacea. Its obvious disadvantage is its high saturated fat content. On healthy lifestyle blogs, there is a popular myth that the special structure of lipids in coconut oil makes it less harmful, but it has no scientific substantiation. The same goes for many of the claimed miraculous properties of the product. The ability to quickly burn fat and speed up metabolism, reduce appetite and improve nervous activity – all these statements have some kind of evidence base, but it is still not enough to take it into account with certainty.
The white meat of chicken or turkey is traditionally considered the most useful and affordable source of animal protein. With the proliferation of high-protein paleo and keto diets, its popularity has only increased: now many people specifically eat meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of course, protein is a vital part of the diet. But according to the recommendations of the WHO and many national ministries of health, proteins should make up no more than a quarter of the daily menu. In addition, they do not have to be obtained from animal products and meat in particular.
Adherents of the “Western diet” (most of the population of the USA, Great Britain, and many other Europeans) eat one and a half times more protein every day, and high-protein diets are already associated with the risk of developing diseases of the colon and heart. Therefore, it is worth limiting the consumption of meat, including white, and trying to add vegetables, fruits, and cereals to each meal.
The sailor Popeye from the comics and cartoons of the same name taught several generations of Americans that spinach is a source of superpower. 100 grams of fresh spinach leaves – a daily serving that can fit in two palms – contains just 7 calories. At the same time, the list of useful ingredients is off the scale. Spinach is high in vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and calcium, folate, vitamin A, and iron. Thanks to this composition, spinach has a powerful antioxidant effect, helps in the prevention of diseases of the lungs, heart, blood vessels, joints, and bones, and also improves digestion. But that doesn’t mean it’s worth eating tons of spinach and adding it to every dish.