Consensus in science is often driven by factors that have nothing to do with science, like money. This is no different in nutrition. And if we hear something repeated often enough, such as “fat is bad for you”, we start to assume it’s a fact, regardless of what evidence says.
“If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”
– Anatole France
— Gijs Heerkens 👨🏻💻 (@gijsheerkens) January 12, 2020
Lately I got my bloodwork done, just as a check up. When I got the results I was shocked about the nonsense my general practitioner told me about nutrition. Like eat less meat, less eggs and more grains (LOL).
This was the moment I realised that you should definitely do your own research and never blindly accept your doctor’s advice, and you should trust your intuition about your health. For example, the human race evolved for a few million years on meat and sun, how can this ever be bad for us?
Luckily I already read several books on this topic by the time my doctor told me this BS, including Lies My Doctor Told Me by Ken Berry. The author is a medical doctor himself.
Your doctor is probably very busy, and doesn’t care who paid for the research used to “prove” that a new pill works, he only wants to practice medicine with as little effort as possible. He has little or no skin in the game.
But unfortunately most medical research, especially nutrition research, is paid for by the food or pharmaceutical industry to get the outcomes they want. Their goal is to make more profit, not to make you more healthy.
Researchers often write the conclusions of studies toward what the researcher thinks or wants the study to show or not show. Conclusions are tainted by the desires of the Big Pharma or Big Food corporation that sponsored the study.
What your doctor has learned in the past is based on this corrupt science and he has no time to read new studies and stay up-to-date. His income and his future are perfectly safe if he repeats the foolishness he learned for the rest of his career. And mindless repetition of a lie makes people believe it.
In this article I will give you ten examples of mainstream nutrition lies I learned about in the past years and will link to my sources; articles and books that are based on meta analysis (statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies), not on one biased study. This article is an overview, I will write on each topic separately later and link it here.
What sense could be more common than thinking we should follow the same diet and behavior that our ancestors followed for thousands of years? The verdict is to do the opposite of whatever mainstream nutrition dogma and the food pyramid says to do, and you’ll be healthy.
- They say fat is bad for you.
- They say cholesterol is bad for you.
- They say meat is bad for you.
- They say eggs are bad for you.
- They say salt is bad for you.
- They say sun is bad for you.
- They say fiber is good for you.
- They say grains is good for you.
- The say fruit are good for you
- They say skipping breakfast is bad for you.
Truth 1: Fat is the best energy source
Fat doesn’t make you fat. Fat is essential for nutrient transportion and absorption and as an energy source. This makes it an essential macronutrient. Furthermore it’s very satiating.
A hundred years ago, everyone cooked with animal fats like lard and tallow. At that time, heart attacks were unheard of in patients younger than seventy and obesity was very rare. Now that we cook everything in toxic vegetable oils, obesity is rampant and heart attack and stroke are the leading causes of death.
Our ancestors never left behind available fat. It was usually the first thing they ate. For thousands of years, that DNA was tweaked and perfected on greens, protein and fat, b ut it never encountered other foods like grains, fruit juice and skimmed milk.
But not all fats are healthy! Animal fats such as meat, fish and butter, and plant fats such as avocado, olive oil and nuts are very healthy. But industrial vegetable oils on the other hand, such as sunflower oil, canola oil and soy oil and are a highly processed food and the most toxic thing you can eat.
The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz is a great book on this topic.
Truth 2: Cholesterol doesn’t clog your arteries
The cholesterol lie is an awful example of medical research and medical science gone wrong, paid for by Big Food in the seventies. And 50 years later, still all nutrition advice is based ont it.
Cholesterol is very complicated, a vital part of your body and the building block for your hormones. It’s in the clogged arteries to repair the damage caused by inflammation and save you.
High cholesterol does not lead to heart disease and protects against many illnesses, including cancer. Studies found an inverse relationship between all-cause mortality and cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is an organic molecule produced in all the cells of the body. The liver produces most of the daily cholesterol. It makes up 30% of the cell membranes and is used to build and maintain them. It enables the body’s production of Vitamin D and steroids, hormones and more. And it’s crucial for transports and signals between cells.
The fear of cholesterol is the biggest disaster in healthcare because it encourages people to eat vegetable oils, the foods actually killing you.
The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden is a great book on this topic.
Truth 3: Meat is very nutrient dense
Meat is a food that tastes great, provides complete nutrition and helps to improve body composition.
Meat doesn’t cause cancer. Red meat is a very nutrient dense food, filled with vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. Not a single controlled study proves any link between eating red meat and a significant increased cancer risk.
Humans have been eating red meat for millions of years. Our brain size increased to its current size because of the quantities of fatty red meat our ancestors consumed. Given the very long history of humanity eating all the red meat it could hunt down and kill, it seems highly unlikely that eating red meat leads to anything other than good health.
Even processed meat, such as bacon and hot dogs, isn’t unhealthy. It contains fewer nitrates and nitrites than many vegetables, and these compounds have not been definitively shown to increase cancer risk, there have been no controlled trials that prove this hypothesis.
Your body naturally produces hundreds of times more nitrites in your saliva each day than you could possibly get if you ate nothing but processed meat all day.
The Carnivore Diet by Shawn Baker is a great book on this topic.
Truth 4: Eggs are the most complete foods you can find
Eggs contain all nutrients to grow a living creature.
One of the worst thing to do when you want to eat healthy is stop eating eggs, and start eating stuff that are being advertised as healthy foods instead. If they have to advertise that it’s healthy, it’s definitely not as health as they say. And probably it’s not even healthy.
Eggs are loaded with nutrients and healthy fats but are being demonized without any scientific evidence, because of the cholesterol they contain. Eating eggs improves cardiometabolic markers like insulin sensitivity and lipid markers.
Eggs really are one of our most perfect foods.
Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan is a great book on this topic.
Truth 5: Salt regulates hydration and satiety
Salt is not bad for you at all. It’s an essential mineral. Salt has become a proxy for processed foods in the human’s mind and that’s the reason it has gotten a bad name now.
For all our existence on this planet we have loved salt and have eaten as much as we wanted or could find. Our bodies are able to autoregulate our salt intake just like it regulates our water intake. Salt regulates hydration signals satiety.
The more sodium people ate, the less likely they were to die from heart disease. Salt had virtually no impact on blood pressure, which is caused by insulin resistance. Unless you have poor kidney function or significant heart failure, you’re free to relax your fears and eat salt to taste on all your food.
The Salt Fix by James DiNicolantonio is a great book on this topic.
Truth 6: The sun is a magic fireball
Any time medical science tells you to avoid nature or something natural, your BS sensor should sound an alarm. Humans have been playing and working in the sunshine for many thousands of years. Human skin has been exposed to sunlight for so long that it has learned to.
In the last forty years, some of the smartest among us have discovered that the very thing that makes all life on Earth possible is now also the leading cause of skin cancer.
Sunshine actually reduces certain kinds of skin cancer, as well as cancer in other parts of the body. Living further from the equator is a risk factor for skin cancer and other types of cancers. Areas of the world that tend to eat a standard Western diet of highly processed sugars, grains, and vegetable oils.
Your skin is made of what you eat and completely replaced with new skin cells every month or two. The new cells are made of the proteins, fats and other nutrients you have eaten, for better or for worse. Eating quality natural foods would help you build better skin that is much unlikely to burn and become cancerous.
Doctors and dermatologists keep telling us to stay out of the sun and put poisonous sunscreen on our skins to protect ourselves. This is another great example of via negativa gone wrong. Instead of adding sunscreen and all the toxic chemicals it contains, it’s better to adjust your sun exposure to your personal situation.
You need safe sun exposure. Our skins are antifragile, meaning they will get stronger from stress in small amounts (hormesis). If your skin can handle 15 minutes of sun exposure today it will get stronger afterwards and can probably handle 16 minutes tomorrow.
Truth 7: There is no need to eat fiber
The minimum fiber intake you need is 0.
Fiber is an indigestible product for the body and provokes constipation because it bulks the stool. Bloathing and belching are common symptoms. Except for if you want to have a bigger bulk, it’s not important.
Fiber can help you to feel satiated earlier because of the bigger bulk. They are recommending to eat fiber because it suppresses blood sugar spikes, but if you don’t eat foods that provoke those spikes in the first place there is no need to bother your digestive system with useless load (via negativa). It’s better to eat less carbs anyway.
Fiber Menace by Konstantin Monastyrsky is a great book on this topic.
Truth 8: Grains are cheap fillers without nutrients
Grains are cheap foods loaded with empty calories and carbohydrates, that provoke blood sugar spikes while almost not providing any nutrition. This makes you hungry again.
Wheat Belly by William Davis is a great book on this topic.
Truth 9: Fruits are sugar bombs
Fruits are loaded with sugars without containing a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Truth 10: Skipping breakfast is the best diet of all
Intermittent fasting is one of the best options to restrict ourselves for better survival. When you eat in a pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating, you automatically eat less calories because of satiation.
It can have many benefits for your body and brain if your body doesn’t have to process food all the time. The easiest way to achieve an 8 to 10 eating hour window is by skipping breakfast. This improves insulin resistance, blood sugar regulation, stress resistance, hypertension and inflammation among others.
But if we skip breakfast, we are eating less and there is less to money to be made. No wonder they advice to never skip breakfast.
The P:E Diet by Ted Naiman is a great book on this topic.