They Told Us Not To Consume Them, But These 5 Foods Can Actually Be Great For Our Health
It often seems that governments just can’t make their minds up on what foods we should and shouldn’t be eating, especially given the often outdated clinical advice that they still tend so fondly to adhere to. Fortunately in recent years people have started to challenge and question the often blinkered advice that they are receiving, and look a little deeper into what nutrition really means and how certain foods that were once deemed pariahs can in fact be excellent for both our health and overall well-being. Here’s five great examples of foods that have been proven to be highly nutritious where once the health establishment vocally discouraged their consumption:
1- Coconut Oil
It may be true that it’s comprised of a staggering 90% of saturated fat, and for many years nutritionists would go out of their way trying to convince people to avoid making it a part of their diet. However, studies have shown that coconut oil actually contains a fantastic number of health giving properties. This is thanks to the fats being comprised of a number of acids that actually absorb very well into the body – namely those of the triglycerides family, including 40% lauric acid with the rest made up of a mixture of capric, caprylic, myristic and palmitic.
There really are a huge range of health conditions that coconut oil can help the body with, ranging from the cardiovascular system to organ functionality and assuaging the symptoms of chronic health conditions. Examples would include lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, assisting the digestive tract, alleviating stress upon the kidneys, and even assisting with diabetes, HIV and some cancers. Added to this coconut oil also happens to be great for bone strength, the skin, hair and immune system. This is all thanks to the oils mentioned above and there anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant properties.
Frustratingly a large proportion of major health organizations still argue against the consumption of coconut oil which they justify due to their still not being enough understanding of how saturated fats can possibly be good for health, despite the evidence being quite clearly in front of them. These include the World Health Organization, the U.S Food and Drug Administration, The International College of Medicine and the British NHS among others.
You only need to google hemp to realize that there is a massive popular uptake in interest as to how this wonder seed – used by civilizations for thousands of years before now – is being stymied by the interests of big business and a vague and inaccurate association with broadly criminalized marijuana. There are endless campaigns on how hemp can potentially assist those suffering from cancer, through to how it could be put to industrial use in a far more environmentally sound manner than the existing standards.
Hemp is jam-packed full of healthy amino acids and proteins and is the seed closest able to match meat, eggs and milk in terms of nutritional standards. This is thanks to it’s fatty acid structure that makes it highly digestible for humans, and delivers all of it’s vitamins and proteins without the need to ingest all of the calories of it’s meat and dairy rivals.
As a health food there are none that match hemp for it’s qualities, and so it should come as no surprise that it is becoming ever more widely stocked and is now available in most health stores.
3- Organic Eggs
When buying eggs ignore the USDA organic label as more often than not this does not meet the real parameters of what constitutes a truly organic egg. A real egg is one that has been born from a hen who has not had any exposure to chemical additives through it’s feed or environment, and no exposure to any genetically modified organisms.
Once a good egg has been sourced, they provide a fantastic foodstuff full of protein and comprised of every essential vitamin apart from vitamin C.
However the big argument with regard to eggs is the cholesterol that lurks within them, that government scientists continue to insist may be as lethal as smoking when consumed by people with heart and circulation problems.
The reality is in fact rather different. The body absorbs very little pure cholesterol when consumed directly, instead it processes far more through the combination of a number of fats in the diet. Essentially an egg is a far better choice than eating a lot of meat and high fat dairy in the diet. Studies also suggest that the vitamins in eggs – especially folate, riboflavin, B12 and D can actually help lower overall levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Thanks to the high protein in eggs they are a sound breakfast option for those looking to loose weight as this protein makes the body feel fuller for longer, unlike carbohydrate rich cereals and breads that bring on hunger pangs much earlier in the day. Considering how full of vitamins they are, eggs are also calorifically light.
One of the main campaigns against eggs has been a perception that they can cause allergies in many people, especially children. While there’s no doubt that these allergies are out there, evidence suggests that these can largely be prevented if eggs are consumed early in life as this exposure helps the immune system build up a tolerance and not physically react once they are inside the body. Given how nutritious they are, eggs are the perfect foodstuff for growing children and it makes perfect sense to encourage their consumption from an early age.
Much like eggs, quality is all important when determining what type salt, and how much ought to make up part of a healthy diet. For many years physicians and governments have been imploring their people to resist the urge to consume too much salt, declaring that it can terribly damage the cardiovascular system and is a key contributory factor in the development of heart disease.
Although it may not look it, standard table salt is a highly processed foodstuff packed full of chemical additives of dubious nutritional quality. Of the many substances and caking agents added to standard salt perhaps most concerning are the standard use of ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate, and also iodization that can present serious issues for those sensitive to iodine. The process of making fine, granulated table salt essentially removes a large percentage of the beneficial minerals that would otherwise have been naturally present.
On the other hand, mineral salts have been touted as a healthy foodstuff that is essential in assisting the body heal and perform its day to day functions. Humans have evolved and grown surrounded by salt, and chemically our bodies are very similar to sea water – we need salt and it’s minerals to survive. What we clearly do not need are salts that have had the goodness pummeled and pounded out of them leaving only a vague composite of next to no nutritional value.
Bad salts can cause alarming shifts in how the body pumps blood, with studies showing that even shortly after a salt rich meal blood vessels constrict and become much less effective. By avoiding processed foods packed full of this bad salt, and instead sensibly consuming natural mineral salt we would be avoiding this and doing our bodies a great favor.
5- High Fat Foodstuffs
Nutritionalists and dietitians have long contested the established government mantra that consuming too much fat is necessarily dangerous, because countless studies suggest that the true source of the obesity and heart disease epidemic lies elsewhere. In spite of this governments continue to follow their decades old health pyramids that ignore the proven fact that a high fat diet can reduce obesity because it naturally lowers blood sugars and can significantly increase levels of essential blood lipids. The knock on effect of this is that literally millions of people are unnecessarily being prescribed courses of statin drugs.
Research from Israel has concluded that a carefully structured schedule of fat consumption with very little carbohydrate can make the body shift its metabolism towards not storing fat and instead using is immediately for fuel. When fat is not consumed, the body naturally uses its reserves, leading to substantial and sustainable weight loss.
Some countries are already advocating a diet high in certain fats but low in carbohydrate as a means of lowering their obesity rates, for example Sweden after a study of 16 000 papers came to this very conclusion. Coconut and olive oils came in for particular recommendation for being packed full of healthy fats.
So what is it that makes carbohydrates so bad? The key lies in how the body processes different types of food, the effects these have upon hormones and in turn how this shifts insulin levels in the blood. Too much insulin in the blood will result in the body storing excess fat, and insulin is generated by the glucose that is packed into carbohydrate rich foods. By limiting the amount of carbohydrates that are consumed, the body and the pancreas especially are better able to limit the amount of fat it retains.
Credits: Marco Torres 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.