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10 Health Lies and Myths That Mainstream Nutritionists Spread

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

 There's no shortage of health myths out there, but I believe the truth is slowly but surely starting to seep out there and get a larger audience. For example, two recent articles actually hit the nail right on the head in terms of good nutrition advice.

 Shape Magazine features a slide show on "9 ingredients nutritionists won't touch," and authoritynutrition.com listed "11 of the biggest lies of mainstream nutrition."

 These health topics are all essential to get "right" if you want to protect your health, and the health of your loved ones, which is why I was delighted to see both of these sources disseminating spot-on advice. I highly recommend reading through both of them.

 Here, I will review my own top 10 lies and misconceptions of mainstream nutrition-some of which are included in the two featured sources, plus a few additional ones I believe are important.

Lie # 1: 'Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease'

 As recently as 2002, the "expert" Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:

     "Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet."

 Similarly, the National Academies' Institute of Medicine recommends adults to get 45-65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. This is an inverse ideal fat to carb ratio that is virtually guaranteed to lead you astray, and result in a heightened risk of chronic disease.

 Most people benefit from 50-70 percent healthful fats in their diet for optimal health, whereas you need very few, if any, carbohydrates to maintain good health... Although that may seem like a lot, fat is much denser and consumes a much smaller portion of your meal plate.


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