According to Science, You Should Stop These 3 Things
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I get it, you’re skeptical — and why shouldn’t you be? With so much information (and disinformation) out there, it can be hard to decipher fact from fiction when it comes to your health.
The following are three health fads that may be doing your body more harm than good. Unfortunately, these unhealthy habits may be touted by your doctor and are often shared by mainstream media.
Only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy (Araújo et al., 2019).
This means that only about one in 10 Americans is free of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes. (If you’re struggling with metabolic health, I highly recommend the book “Metabolic Autophagy”).
With statistics this staggering, perhaps it’s best to reassess our preconceived ideas of what it means to be healthy.
1. Avoiding Saturated Fats
The Contradiction: One day saturated fats are bad for you, the next they’re discovered to be an important fatty acid in human breast milk and necessary precursors to sex hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
Did you know human breast milk is rich in saturated fatty acids?
This may suggest this type of fat is essential to human health and not as deleterious as conventional medicine would have you think.
One study has even found that “in men a decrease in dietary fat content and an increase in the degree of unsaturation of fatty acids reduces the serum concentrations of androstenedione, testosterone and free testosterone” (E Hämäläinen, 1984).
While saturated fats are said to “clog the arteries” this doesn’t appear to be true. In fact, a recent 2021 Australian study that followed nearly 10,000 middle-aged women for 15 years found that “Increasing saturated fat intake was not associated with [cardiovascular disease] or mortality and instead correlated with lower rates of diabetes, hypertension and obesity” (Gribbin et al., 2021)
Conclusion: As it turns out, saturated fats are important for hormone production and are a natural part of human milk.
2. Eating Multiple Small Meals
The Contradiction: One day you should eat multiple times throughout the day to “stimulate the metabolism”, the next intermittent fasting is king.
Eating small meals throughout the day, known as grazing, has been claimed to be an effective way to balance blood sugars and help you lose weight. But it seems this isn’t true.
As it turns out, fasting may be making a comeback for good reason. One study outlines our anthropological history with fasting: “…animals, including humans, evolved in environments where food was relatively scarce, they developed numerous adaptations that enabled them to function at a high level, both physically and cognitively, when in a food-deprived/fasted state” (Mattson et al., 2017).
This study is clearly incongruent with the wildly popular notion that you must eat small meals throughout the day to keep the metabolism’s “fire” going.
Conclusion: Fasting permits high-level functioning and is the eating pattern that’s in-line with human evolution
3. Avoiding Cholesterol and Eggs
The Contradiction: One day cholesterol clogs the arteries, the next it’s necessary for maintaining cell membranes, acts as a precursor to vitamin D production, and can help repair inflammation-induced damage.
We’ve been told for so long to avoid seafood and eggs since our arteries will clog up, and we’ll get a heart attack.
A small study in China found that moderate egg consumption improved heart health in 9 boys: “moderate egg consumption may help to improve vascular and intestinal function” (Liu et. al, 2022)
Ironically, it appears that cholesterol helps bandage the damage caused by chronic inflammation (one of the root causes of heart disease), thus protecting the body from experiencing a heart attack in its jeopardized, inflamed state.
What’s more, approximately 25% of the body’s total cholesterol is found in the brain! (Dr. Perlmutter). Knowing this information, it seems cholesterol is a vital nutrient, and not something proven to be harmful.
In fact, a recent study involving over 185 seniors over the age of 85 found “high cholesterol is associated with better memory function” (West et al., 2008).
Conclusion: Contrary to popular opinion, writing off eggs as “unheahty” isn’t evidence-based, and cholesterol is associated with better memory.
I don’t mean to add to the confusion by mentioning these contradictions that are spouted off at us by mainstream health experts. Rather, I hope to show you that the ultimate power lies in you.
You decide what goes into your body.
You decide what you value.
You decide what’s credible.
You’re the ultimate authority over your life. Whether that means resorting to the analytical mind and combing through PubMed to find studies that support a hypothesis you’ve built up in your mind, or simply relying on deep-seated intuition, the solutions lie within you.