Since the 1970s, there have been three huge myths that have permeated the health industry that have unfortunately made society anything BUT healthy. Today, we are going to discuss these three myths, as well as what made them so detrimental to our health.
1. We thought fat would make us fat.
Ancel Keys, a scientist in the 1960s and 70s with an agenda, just about single-handedly caused us all to believe this horrible myth even until today. His claim was that fat, especially saturated fat, was at the root of heart disease and obesity, both of which were on the rise starting in the 1960s. His work ushered in the low-fat culture in which foods were removed of fat and sugar was added to replace the flavor. To this day, many of us still avoid fat and when starting a diet, make sure to keep fat low because it has more calories per gram than protein or carbs.
However, this fat-phobic culture has led to a host of issues including hormonal imbalances (PCOS, infertility, adrenal dysfunction), mental health issues, and inflammation in our cells (fat, specifically cholesterol, makes up every cell in our bodies and is needed to keep inflammation at bay). Plus, it's also created a culture that embraces vegetable oils because they are low in saturated fat and demonizes coconut oil because it is higher in saturated fat. This alone has caused more health issues than I care to count.
What can we do about it? Start eating real, whole sources of fat at EVERY meal! And don't be skimpy either. Avocado, avocado oil, olives, olive oil, coconut products, fatty wild caught fish, real butter or ghee, animal fats like lard or tallow, and raw/dry roasted nuts and seeds are all great sources of healthy fats.
2. We thought animal protein (specifically red meat) would kill us.
Ancel Keys also specifically hated saturated fat, which can be found in some protein sources, so that was lumped into his low-fat culture, Plus, with a new influx of grain based products loaded with sugar and low in fat of course (Techo-Karbs as Julia Ross calls them), we started eating less of the real foods and more of the nutrient void foods. Animal protein is what we are meant to eat, and it provides so much nutrition that we simply can't get from plants.
Eggs and red meat were specifically demonized in this crusade, and so the solution is simple: eat more of these foods and do not fear them. Using ground turkey instead of ground beef doesn't make that recipe "healthier." It makes it "healthier" by society's false understanding of healthy, but doesn't make it truly healthy. Bottom line: eat the eggs and beef. Period.
3. We increased our consumption of fake, processed carbohydrates.
When we decreased our fat and protein consumption, we had to eat something and that something turned into carbs. Highly refined and processed carbs that were completely void of REAL nutrients (not synthetic ones) and were often loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and/or vegetable oils to make them addicting. What a recipe for disaster! When most of our food intake comes from these processed carbs like cereal, bread, crackers, pasta, granola/protein bars, etc (Special K, I'm looking at YOU!), we are setting ourselves up for sugar cravings, weight gain, hormone issues, and mental health issues as well. We weren't meant to live off of these frankenfoods!
What can we do about it? Eat real carbs, with nothing from a box. Vegetables and fruit. Period. Not fruit in a container or bar. Fruit in it's whole form. Not vegetables in a freezer bag with a cheese sauce. Real vegetables. They can actually taste really good too if you add a little sea salt, healthy fat, and throw them in the oven to roast.
So there you have it. The biggest lies we've been sold and what to do about them. It should be simple: eat real, whole food, and don't buy into anything that seems too extreme or too good to be true ("this Special K bar will help you lose all the weight!"). Most of the time, it's just plain ole BS.