5 Things We Were Always Told Not To Consume, Yet Are Fantastic For Our Health
Feb 7, 2014 | Prevent Disease | Marco Torres
The list of government recommendations on healthy and unhealthy foods
over the last several decades have been as reliable as trying to pick
the right numbers on a lottery ticket. There are numerous examples of
foods we were told not to consume, but are now at the top of grocery
lists thanks to a savvy public who are no longer fooled by irresponsible
recommendations based on corporate greed. We have become more informed
on the downfalls of short-sighted advice from old-school nutritionists,
who really had very little understanding of nutrition at all. Here are
the top 5 things we now know are great for our health, but didn't used
to based on limited perspectives on food education.
1. COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil was demonized for years because of its high saturated fat
content. In fact, coconut oil has one of the richest sources of
saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of its fatty acid profile
Most of the saturated fatty acids are medium chain
triglycerides, which assimilate well in the body. Lauric acid is the
chief contributor, with more than forty percent of the share, followed
by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic.
The health benefits of coconut oil
include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining
cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper
digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart
diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental
care, and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to
the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its
properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal,
antibacterial and soothing properties.
Many health organizations still advise against the consumption of high
amounts of coconut oil due to a lack of understanding of the benefits
of specific saturated fats as described above. The United States Food
and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, International
College of Nutrition, the United States Department of Health and Human
Services, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association,
British National Health Service, and Dietitians of Canada still advise
against the consumption of coconut oil.
The extraordinary hemp plant could solve so many problems we face
with oil, deforestation, cancer and environmental pollution.
Governments are unwilling to acknowledge the incredible diversity of
hemp because it is so environmentally friendly, nutritionally and
medicinally beneficial, that it provides too many abundant resources
which would make it impossible for powerful corporations to compete.Overall, hemp's main nutritional advantage over other
seeds lies in the composition of its oil, i.e. its
fatty acid profile, and in its protein which contains
all of the essential amino acids in nutritionally significant amounts and in a desirable ratio.
Hemp protein is also of exceptionally high quality in
terms of amino acid (AA) composition and protein
structure, the latter affecting digestibility and
utilization by the human body. Hemp protein contains
all of the essential amino acids in more nutritionally
significant amounts and at a ratio closer to "complete"
sources of protein (like meat, milk and eggs) than all other
Hemp's nutritional advantage over other sources of
fats and protein thus lies in its highly desirable
balance of basic nutrients. Simply put, when eating
hemp seed, nut and/or oil, our body obtains much of
what it needs without the caloric ballast of non-essential
Hemp foods have been steadily
expanding onto the shelves of grocery and natural food stores
across North America in the last decade.
3. EGGS (ORGANIC)
years, this misunderstood food -- low
in calories, high in vitamins (D, B12, folic
acid), and nearly perfect in protein -- was shunned. An egg
contains every single vitamin (except C).
Some government scientists have stated that eating the
yolk of an egg is almost as bad as smoking for people at risk of heart
disease. The Harvard School of Public Health has stated: "While
it's true that egg yolks have a lot of cholesterol--and so may weakly
affect blood cholesterol levels--eggs also contain nutrients that may
help lower the risk for heart disease, including protein, vitamins B12
and D, riboflavin, and folate.
It adds that substantial research also suggests
cholesterol in food has a much smaller effect on blood levels of total
and 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol than the mix of fats in the diet.
When eggs are digested they produce proteins that mimic
the action of powerful blood pressure-lowering drugs, known as Ace
A recent Surrey University study found eating one or
two eggs for breakfast could help with weight loss as the high protein
content makes us feel fuller longer.
Many groups have also been against eggs due to allergies, especially for children. However,
Pediatrician Fatima Arash, M.D., says that a high percentage of children can eliminate allergy sensitivities by incremental exposures to the allergen,
especially eggs. "Under proper supervision, almost 70 percent of egg
allergies can be reversed in children before the age of eight by
incrementally exposing the immune system so that it gradually tames
the defense mechanism and no longer reacts to antigens violently," she
The only way to ensure you are buying a healthy egg is to visit the farm
itself. Ensure farms practices are free of synthetic chemicals of any
kind, free of genetically modified organisms in their feed and are
producing soils of enhanced biological activity. Do not rely on the USDA
organic label which has no interest in organic farming, improving
soil, quality of the produce, or factors that pollute the environment.
The pharmaceutical industrial
complex has had great influence in scientific journals, medical
literature and consequently Physicians in promoting the idea that salt
is a baddy. Contrary to public perception, the reason the mantra of
"eat less salt" has been advocated so strongly in decades past was
due to the higher risk associated with cardiovascular disease which
increased profits for pharmaceutical drugs.
Even a recent report
commissioned by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)stated that salt is
no longer considered a substantial health hazard. What the CDC study
reported explicitly is that there is no benefit, and may be a danger, from reducing our salt intake below 1 tsp per day.
A recent study by researchers at the University of
Glasgow has revealed that low chloride levels in the blood is an
independent indicator of mortality risk in people with hypertension.
The key is to know the difference between a good salt and
bad salt. Table salt is recrystallized where a brine solution is
treated with chemicals that precipitate most magnesium and trace
minerals. During the drying process, an anti-caking compound is
added to the brine and these agents often use sodium ferrocyanide,
tricalcium phosphate, calcium or magnesium carbonates, fatty acid
salts (acid salts), magnesium oxide, silicon dioxide, calcium
silicate, sodium aluminosilicate, and calcium aluminosilicate. The
ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate compounds give the most cause for
concern. And the iodization of salt, especially as it is used in
processed food, poses real problems for those who are sensitive to
The problem is not salt, it's the type of salt we use.
It takes just half an hour for one meal high in
table salt to significantly impair the arteries’ ability to pump
blood around the body, alarming research has shown. Blood flow becomes temporarily more restricted between 30 minutes and an hour after the food has been consumed.
Many experts argue that good salt could be just what we
need for healing, health and longevity.
"These mineral salts are identical to the elements of
which our bodies have been built and were originally
found in the primal ocean from where
life originated," argues Dr Barbara
Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt,
The Essence of Life. "We have salty tears and salty
perspiration. The chemical and mineral
composition of our blood and body fluids
are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as
unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of
Mineral salts, says Dr. Hendel, are healthy because they
give your body the variety of mineral ions
needed to balance its functions, remain
healthy and heal. These healing properties have long
been recognised in central Europe. At Wieliczka in Poland, a
hospital has been carved in a salt mountain.
Asthmatics and patients with lung disease and
allergies find that breathing air in the
saline underground chambers helps improve symptoms
in 90 percent of cases.
Dr Hendel believes too few minerals, rather than too much
salt, may be to blame for health problems.
5. HIGH FAT FOODS
Government claims based on "their own science" concludes that it's
best to avoid fat because of its extra calories - and saturated fats
raise the risk of heart disease. You'll still see this on most food
pyramids regulated by government policy on diet and nutrition.
However, just as mandated healthcare policies fail at the federal
level, so do those related to nutrition. This low-fat mantra has
been questioned for years by clinicians and nutritional scientists -
not least because it has failed to halt the obesity epidemic. The
fact is, contrary to official advice by our diet dictocrats, high-fat
diets lower blood sugar, improve blood lipids, and reduce obesity.
Experts say the belief that high-fat diets are bad for
arteries is based on faulty interpretation of scientific studies and
has led to millions being 'over-medicated' with statin drugs.
One of the problems is
that there is consistent inverse association in the percentage of
energy coming from fats and sugars. Research published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
shows why people find it hard to follow government guidelines to cut
their fat and sugar intake at the same time -- a phenomenon known
as the sugar-fat seesaw.
from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem shows that a carefully
scheduled high-fat diet can lead to a reduction in body weight
and a unique metabolism in which ingested fats are not stored, but
rather used for energy at times when no food is available. The
results were published in The FASEB Journal under the title "Timed high-fat diet resets circadian metabolism and prevents obesity".
Faced with mounting evidence, Swedish dietary experts
recently made a dramatic U-turn, recommending a low-carb, rather
than low-fat, diet for weight loss.
The bombshell came from the Council on Health Technology Assessment,
which advises the Swedish government. Based on a review of 16,000
studies, it said the best sorts of food for losing weight were high
fat foods which could include anything oils like olive and coconut.
Doctors insist it is time to bust the myth of the role
of saturated fat in heart disease. Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra says
almost four decades of advice to cut back on saturated fats found in
cream, butter and less lean meat has 'paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks'.
So the rules are being rewritten: to lose weight, cut down on carbs and eat more fat.
So what, precisely, is behind this new thinking? It comes down to the effect different foods have on your hormones.
The most important of these hormones, and the one that's crucial for weight loss, is insulin.
Insulin is the hormone that controls fat storage. A
high-carb diet increases the amount of glucose in the bloodstream,
which in turn means you produce more insulin. The more insulin the
body produces, the more fat gets stored. When the body is exposed to
a high-carb low-fat meal, the pancreas works hard at overshooting
the secretion of insulin which then causes the excess to be stored as
fat. A low-carb and high-fat diet means less insulin, making
it easier to lose weight because less fat is then stored.
is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate
for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public
Health and Environmental Science and is a
professional speaker on topics such as disease
prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.