Food bonds us together. It is part of our social, family and work lives.
Unfortunately, many have a love-hate relationship with it. Why? Since the industrialization of foodstuffs, it has become unnecessarily complicated.
Let’s unpack seven food conspiracies to ease the confusion.
1. Gluten-free is good for you.
Gluten has its place. It provides nourishment to the wheat plant. It has no nutritional value to us. Grains in general are nutritionally negligible, especially compared with other food sources. While the absence of it can make a massive difference for your digestion, your clarity of mind and your waistline, not all gluten-free foods are quality.
2. Low fat is better.
We need fat. It’s our body’s primary fuel source and needed for the connectivity in our brains. Quality fats will not make you fat; they will make you feel full and provide energy for hours. There is no shame in whole milk products, real butter, an avocado, uncured bacon or lard.
3. Sugar substitutes are safer choices.
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic. They confuse your brain, causing your body to actually produce more insulin. Unrefined, natural sugars are not nutrients, but our body knows how to break them down and use them. Glucose is produced from our food for use as fuel, so we really don’t need to add sugar to our diets. Raw honey, molasses, coconut sugar, stevia, organic cane sugar and pure maple syrup are the better choices.
4. Low-carb/high protein diets are the best way to lose weight.
Let’s cut to the chase: There is difference between a carb that burns slow (most vegetables) and one that burns quickly (a cookie). This makes all the difference in how your body uses it and how you feel shortly after consuming it. Don’t avoid carbs, but do know your carbs.
5. Eat less, exercise more. That’s it.
This mantra has made people feel weak-willed for several decades. This is not about willpower. Portion control will never be an issue when you are eating foods designed for use in your body. Substantive foods automatically will allow you to be nourished, keeping your appetite curbed as your fuel is depleted accordingly based on your level of activity.
6. Taking a daily supplement is the best way to get all my nutrition.
Supplements are not food replacements. In fact, many commercial supplementation is laden with fillers, providing little nutritional value and harmful chemicals. If we get enough carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins through a variety of food sources, supplements can be used at a minimum, if at all.
7. Eating healthy is too expensive.
Avoid hype. Buy from farmers markets. You get the freshest produce, and you will consistently get the best deals. Tip: If a food has a peel, don’t buy organic. Also, try to “meat share” with a friend on a locally farmed animal grass-fed and humanely raised.
Food is a necessary and delightful part of our lives. It is my desire that you embrace food for all it has to offer, stop the food fight and indulge in sustained health and happiness!
Angelique Trigueros is a speech-language pathologist, with 20 years of experience in the medical field. She can be reached at email@example.com
. Business partner Chance Martin contributed.