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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dispel the myths ... please

QUESTION: What is the best nutritional product to help form strong bones?
FALSE. Countries with the highest consumption of milk are associated with the highest rates of osteoporosis. High animal protein intake causes increased calcium excretion, and that includes milk. Try a kale/spinach salad with almonds and tahini with a side of sauerkraut while sitting in the sun for your lunch break. Thanks dairy industry for brainwashing us.

QUESTION: What is the best food source of Vitamin D?
FALSE. Cows that stay outdoors and munch on grass ARE a good source of vitamin D. However, milk processing removes all remnants of the healthy fat soluble vitamins that are naturally produced in milk. A very small amount of Vitamin D2 - a vitamin D produced in fungi is added to milk, so that it can be labelled as "Vitamin-D fortified". However humans use the Vitamin D3 form. Sun is the best source of Vitamin D. And animals that are in the sun and not "inflammed" with chronic infections and systemic inflammation are a good source of Vitamin D. Wild fish are one of the best food sources of Vitamin D.

QUESTION: What is the best source of potassium?
ANSWER: Bananas.
FALSE. Most fruits and vegetables have potassium. Sodium is mostly entering out diet through processed foods. Too much sodium relative to potassium is a bad thing for our health. Try green vegetables and tomatoes which are much higher in potassium than bananas. Thanks Chiquita for brainwashing us.

QUESTION: What food is the best source of fiber?
ANSWER: Cereal or Fiber Gummies.
FALSE. Properly cooked beans and avocados are a very good source of fiber. Whole-food plant-based fiber is the best. Stop seeking processed food to save the day and stop believing what the commercials tell you - most cereals degrade to sugar very quickly causing insulin dysregulation and "fiber bars" are usually loaded with sugars and "damaged" plant oils. Whole-grains are a good source of fiber. But what is a whole-grain? If I make a cookie with 99% junk ingredients and add one grain of buckwheat to it, I can now label this as having "whole-grain goodness" and tell you "whole-grains are a great source of heart-healthy fiber". Don't fall for the advertising gimicks. Whole-grains have an ingredient list of one: that whole grain. You can buy steel cut oats or wheat berries and that has an ingredient list of one. You need the starch, the bran, and the germ all intact in one nice little package just like it was made in nature.

QUESTION: Whole-grain bread and cereal are the best source of whole grains, right?
ANSWER: Yes, I see the labels at the grocery store and that's what they tell me.
FALSE. See comments above.

QUESTION: Do acid-reflux medications stop reflux?
ANSWER: Yes, of course.
FALSE. Nexium. Prilosec, Prevacid - all these proton-pump inhibitors stop the production of acid, but do nothing to stop the process of reflux. Fixing reflux is possible, but not with acid reduction. If you want a temporary band-aid for the "burning" sensation, then acid reduction works. However, acid is necessary long-term for good digestion and "silent" reflux can still damage the vocal cords and esophagus.

QUESTION: Aren't all probiotics the same?
ANSWER: Yes, the hospital gave me Culturelle and that's just as good as all the others.
FALSE: There are literally thousands of combinations of healthy bacteria in the microbiome. To say that consuming one type of lactobacillus is the same as a probiotic like Prescript Assist shows a lack of understanding and respect for the natural biodiversity within the microbiome.

Let's please try and dispel all of these myths. They ultimately began as advertising slogans at one point, evolved into government policy through lobbying efforts (various public-service "councils" and generic-named PR-firms), and now are a firm part of our societal education. However, the truth is buried in quiet, unadvertised research freely available to all.

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