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Common Nutritional Mistakes

Piles of vegetables as an example of good nutrition; common nutritional mistakes.

Health and nutrition recommendations are always changing, with new fads and ideas emerging every week, before research can be done to determine whether they are true or not. Some advice that has been around for years has been proven wrong, but many people continue to follow the advice and pass it on to others. With heart disease, cancer, and other health conditions on the rise, we should consider the idea that some of the recommendations that have been in place for years might not be the healthiest. Let’s look at some common nutritional mistakes, and what you can do instead.

Diet and Supplements

Let’s start by addressing the idea that taking enough supplements can offset the effects of a bad diet. Many people believe that they can eat what they want, and take enough supplements to fill in gaps in nutrition and prevent damage from processed foods, but this is not true. Supplements are a great way to get in nutrients that are difficult to get enough of through diet, and they are a great way to take in things you wouldn’t normally eat. For example, milk thistle is great for the liver, but it’s not something you typically see people add to their salad, so taking milk thistle as a supplement is a great way to get it into your body, but supplements should not be your main source of nutrients. You should get the majority of necessary vitamins, minerals, protein, and good fats from organic, whole foods, and you could supplement this diet with a good multivitamin, fish oil, and a probiotic. There is nothing that can completely offset the effects of a poor diet. A healthy, well-rounded diet is crucial to good health.

Saturated Fat

Many people have heard that saturated fat is bad for you, with some saying it’s the worst kind of fat, but this is not true. There have been many studies conducted on the connection between heart disease and saturated fat intake, and they have actually found good saturated fat – like the kind that comes from coconut oil and olive oil – may even protect the heart in some ways. Good fats also benefit hormone levels because fat is needed to synthezise hormones. However, there are still bad fats, things like trans fat and vegetable oils should not be consumed. Dietary fat should come from wild-caught fish, avocadoes, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts and seeds. Red meat should be grass-fed and consumed in moderation, and farmed and imported seafood should be avoided.

Organic Foods

Some people believe that it is not worth the extra money to buy organic produce instead of conventional produce, but the dangers of pesticides are underestimated. Some experts believe that pesticides may be the most dangerous toxin we encounter due to how common they are. Pesticide exposure has been linked to many different health conditions including certain autoimmune conditions and cancers. Children may be especially sensitive to pesticides and other toxins because they do not have fully developed detoxification pathways. Organic produce is usually more expensive than conventional produce, but it is worth the money. You may be able to save money on organic produce and foods by shopping at your local farmer’s market, and taking advantage of sales and coupons when they’re available.

The importance of an organic, whole foods diet cannot be overstated, and supplements cannot offset a poor diet. You should focus on eating organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, healthy fats like those found in coconut oil and olive oil, and doing light to moderate exercise at least three times a week. You can also add supplements like fish oil, a multivitamin, a probiotic, and others depending on your personal health goals. A good way to sift through the health trends and misinformation, and avoid common nutritional mistakes, is to think about what people ate before refined sugar was widely available: lots of fruits, vegetables, fats, and meats.

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