Fats are bad, but fatty acids are good. At least, that’s what the health junkies have been telling us for years.
They’re not wrong, by the way. That’s part of the reason that the whole coconut craze began in the first place. Coconut oil, coconut milk, even coconut water became symbols of health-conscious living — for better or worse. There’s real healthy value in coconuts, and it’s all thanks to the fatty acids inside of them which can help improve brain function, staving off memory impairments like Alzheimer’s.
But as we’ve come to find out, the issue of “good” and “bad” is a bit more complex when we’re dealing with foods, especially in the grand pantheon of modern American eating. The most basic division, however, exists between whole foods and processed foods, a duality that spans vitamins and nutrients like no other. If you’ve heard good things about whole foods, that’s because there’s a lot to be said. Remember though, you can’t always trust everything you hear about our eating habits — even if it comes from the alleged experts.
Here are three popular food myths and the actual truths behind them.
Myth #1: Added sugars never provide any nutritional value.
The message keeps getting drilled into our heads: foods for healthy dieting aren’t loaded with sugars, carbs or fat. But even the pure sugars (the “good sugars” in this case) are metabolized the same way by your body as the refined stuff (the “bad sugars”). Food scientists suggest devoting no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake to added sugars — but no more. In other words, they’re fine for you, as long as you keep it all in moderation.
Myth #2: Eggs are high in cholesterol and therefore bad for heart health.
Eggs are excellent sources of protein, which makes them some of the best healthy diet foods around. Protein is key for building strong muscles, something you’ll want to replace your flab with. But eggs once got a bad rep for being loaded with cholesterol, though studies are finding now that’s not necessarily the case. Eggs only contain about 1.5 grams of saturated fat, a far cry from the higher levels in cookies and other desserts. So, keep the eggs in play for 13 essential vitamins and nutrients, and not much cholesterol after all.
Myth #3: Adding salt to your veggies is a recipe for high blood pressure.
Out of all the foods for healthy diets imaginable, salt never gets brought up in conversation. That’s because salt has been linked to problems like high blood pressure and heart disease, and those findings are completely accurate. What’s not accurate is the notion that a little salt in the boiling pot will somehow make your nutrient dense vegetables much less healthy. In fact, it’s been suggested that salt may even help your veggies preserve their nutritional offerings, making them even healthier than you thought.
When it comes to foods for healthy dieting, listen to the experts. Just make sure you know which studies they’re citing. Like a good recipe, the food industry goes through minor tweaks and revisions over time. The end result, though, is always the same — a tasty little slice of healthy living.