There is some important misinformation that you’ve probably been exposed to about the food you eat. Some of it resulted from inadequate or misunderstood research, and some simply from competing industries spreading lies you’ve been told about food. Let’s revisit some of the information you’ve been told, because it’s important to losing weight and staying healthy.
1 – All Sugars Are Equal
We’ve been told that all sugars are equal, and okay in moderation. It’s simply not true. Fructose and glucose are not metabolized by your body in same way. If you eat the same amount of glucose and fructose, your fructose consumption will result in FORTY times the calories being stored as fat. This is because every cell in your body can use glucose, but fructose is converted to free fatty acids, bad cholesterol and triglycerides, which are stored as fat.
“When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat.“
– Dr. Mercola
Burning fructose is done entirely in the liver, so a high fructose diet puts strain on this important organ, increases blood pressure and generates toxins. This is why the high-fructose corn syrup found in many products (including most sweetened drinks) is so dangerous, particularly if you are obese, insulin resistant, have diabetes or have high blood pressure or heart disease.
2 – Avoid Saturated Fat
Saturated fat has been villainized for decades, but the fact is that some saturated fats are fine to include in your diet and can even be considered good fats. In fact, the campaign against saturated fat began as a marketing campaign for a competitor. In fact, that competitor contained unhealthy trans fat. Some saturated fats such as coconut oil and organic butter have been proven to be healthy and helpful for weight loss.
In fact, an analysis of 21 studies covering 348,000 adults, published in 2010, concluded that there was no difference in the risk for heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.
3 – All Calories Are Equal
Some calories are definitely worse than others – this is most obvious when you think about health, but it’s also true when it comes to weight loss. Some calories, such as those from processed grains, convert very quickly to sugar in the body, cause blood sugar spikes, and trigger hunger, cravings, mood swings and weight gain. There’s a big difference between getting your calories from sugar, and getting them from vegetables, for example. Sugar has no nutritional value in terms of vitamins and minerals, and in fact will create cravings that drive you to eat more.
4 – Diet Foods Help You Lose Weight
Diet pop and artificial sweeteners, as we’ve previously discussed, have been shown to be associated with weight gain. Check out this study reported in a recent article from Time magazine, which states:
“people who drank diet soda gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as those who didn’t drink diet soda”
This belly fat gain was most pronounced in people who were already overweight, the study reported.
Many other diet foods and low fat products are crammed with artificial sweeteners, or contain empty calories which offer poor nutritional value. In my weight loss practice, I firmly believe that the route to permanent weight loss is to learn to eat healthy amounts of the right real foods.
5 – Cholesterol Is Dangerous
We’ve often heard that we should limit dietary cholesterol and be careful of our consumption of sources such as eggs. However, new information indicates that our bodies rarely receive the amount of cholesterol needed from food sources such as eggs, liver and butter, and usually manufacture more.
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) has changed their stance and stated that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”
While there’s no evidence that high dietary cholesterol is linked to risk for heart disease, there is evidence that low levels of HDL cholesterol in the body are linked to memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and risk of stroke, depression, violent behavior and suicide.
It’s important to note that you want to avoid consuming damaged or oxidized cholesterol, such as that produced when polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as soybean, corn, and sunflower oils) are heated. This is why you’ll want to limit your consumption of deep-fried foods (especially packaged ones), or use oils with a high smoke point (such as coconut oil) when frying. There is evidence that these oxidized fats may worsen insulin resistance as much or more than sugar, which is an important consideration when you’re attempting to lose weight.
A healthy diet that is right for you and your specific medical and genetic situation can be difficult to work out on your own. If you’re in Hawaii and feel that you’re overweight and uncertain about what to eat to lose weight and stay healthy, set up a free consultation with me and we’ll talk about a personalized eating plan that will work for you.