Lies Our Parents Told Us About Food

MyPlate system

MyPlate systemOver the past few decades, a lot has changed in our pantries. While places like China and the Mediterranean have had essentially the same core diet for centuries, America’s eating habits are like a bad dream. One day you wake up and find that what you’ve been ingesting for the past 10 years was horribly wrong and there is a newer, better system to follow. With all the fad diets and new studies emerging, it’s hard to know whether the foods we find on supermarket shelves are friend or foe. In the 30 short years I’ve been alive, it’s incredible how many different memos I’ve received on what I should or shouldn’t be eating.

Here are just a few…

Lie #1: Fat Makes You Fat!

When I was a teenager, I thought if I just avoided foods that had high fat content, I’d be fine. However, it was later revealed that calories are, in fact, what makes people blow up like huge blimps, and if you eat enough low-fat foods the calories will add up and you’ll be “simply blimpie” too. In most cases, foods high in fat are also high in calories, but not all calories are created equal. This brings us to the next point.

Lie #2: Fat Is Fat & That’s That.

If you were to believe that fat makes you fat, then the logical choice would be to stay away from nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, avocados. After all, the fat group was at the top of the food pyramid as the group we should most avoid. Yet, we now know there are good fats and bad fats. Not so long ago, trans-fats were in everything because no one knew any better. The benefits of having some fat (notably omega 3 / omega 6 fatty acids) are widely recognized in lowering our risk of stroke, heart disease, skin problems and immune health.

Lie #3: Butter? No, No No – Have Margarine: It’s Better For You!

I never really liked the taste of margarine, but our household had both. My mom told me margarine was the “healthier” alternative. We come to find out that, really, margarine is loaded with trans fats, triples your risk of coronary heart disease, increases bad cholesterol, decreases good cholesterol, decreases immune system functioning, lowers breast milk quality and is one molecule away from being plastic.

Lie #4: Eat Tons & Tons Of Grains!

This is a sore spot for a lot of Americans who lived and died by the original food pyramid guidelines. At the base of our pyramid was the carbohydrates group. Eat all the cereal, rice, bread and pasta you want! Don’t feel guilty – it’s homegrown right here in the United States by your friendly neighborhood agriculture lobbyists! Six to eleven servings was the norm. And what great hubris we had in whitewashing our grains! How typical. No one told me that eating white bread, white pasta or white rice was basically like eating a potato chip, devoid of all nutrition. No one told me that eating all these grains would send my blood sugar levels through the roof and leave me feeling crashed out like a junkie later on. Today the message is all about WHOLE grains, MULTI grain and brown carbs. Of course, now the faulty food pyramid is part of a bygone era. Today we’ve got the MyPlate system, where grains have been seriously demoted.

Lie #5: Just Pig Out On Meat!

Remember Dr. Atkins? If so, you probably remember his heart attack. It was about as shocking as the heart attack suffered by Wendy’s spokesman Dave Thomas, but it definitely put the brakes on this growing madness known as “The Atkins Diet.” Everyone was more than happy to trade in their carbohydrates for all the meat they could muster. You want lobster tails, a great big steak? You got it! The moral of this story was: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Limiting whole grains and veggies sets the body up for nutrient and mineral deficiencies, not to mention, you gain the weight right back once you go off this fad diet. These days, other great sources of protein aside from red meat have come to light – tofu, beans, soy, legumes, seeds and nuts, to name a few.

Jennn Fusion
Article: Jennn Fusion

Twitter: @jennnfusion

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