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3 Food Myths You Thought Were Fact

June 22, 2015 2 min read

There is a wealth of nutritional misinformation out there. I can think of a few pieces of "diet advice" I have received that turned out to be bogus. I'm here to set the records straight today about 3 big food myths in particular, starting with: Myth #1 - Red meat causes cancer.   It is commonly believed that red meat causes cancer. Researchers in Japan in 1986 discovered that rats who ingested "heterocyclic amines" (a chemical compound derived from overcooked meat) developed cancer. There has never been a conclusive study that showed a direct link between red meat consumption and cancer. If you are a carnivore who is concerned, it is recommended you trim off overcooked or burned sections of grilled meats before eating as these are what may contain carcinogenic compounds. Otherwise, red meat prepared properly is safe and will not put you at risk. Myth #2 - Salt should be avoided for those with high blood pressure.  For many people with high blood pressure, avoiding salt has been the obvious solution. In the 1940s, a doctor at Duke University became famous for treating high blood pressure patients with a salt restricted diet as it reduced hypertension. But in recent years, a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that restricting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. It is common practice that if a high blood pressure patient does not wish to reduce their salt consumption, they can simply increase their potassium intake. This creates a balance of the two minerals in the body. Want to amp up your potassium? Try foods like bananas, legumes, spinach and broccoli. Myth #3 - Sweet potatoes are better for you than white potatoes.  Because white potatoes are commonly prepared in the form of french fries and potatoes chips, it has been speculated that they are harmful to health. But the actual benefits of the root vegetable have not been widely publicized. Sweet potatoes have been made to look like the solution to the "unhealthy" white potato, and we have zealously made fries out of it as well. Truth is, neither of these vegetables are "better" than the other. Each have unique nutrients. White potatoes, when prepared plain, have vitamins that promote eye health and benefit the nervous system. Sweet potatoes are rich in iron for blood health and calcium for bones. The verdict? Including both in your diet is optimal. Just be sure to limit frie-afiying them all the time! What are some food myths you would like debunked? Let us know!

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