Nutrition mistakes are part of the journey…
Nutrition is a tricky topic! With a food and diet industry that thrives on confusion and conflicting nutritional studies, it’s no wonder why we are puzzled about what foods and products are actually “good” for us. On my journey, I have mistakenly bought many products I thought were healthy, only to find that they have hidden, potentially harmful ingredients. Even as a Nutrition Specialist, I have fallen for false claims made by the food industry. We will never have all the “answers,” but I want to save you from some of the nutrition mistakes I’ve made.
4 Common Nutrition Mistakes
1. Eating too much dried fruit
Removing the water content from fruit shrinks the portion size. For example, a cup of fresh grapes is 110 calories and 24.7 grams of sugar (fructose). A cup of raisins (dried grapes) is 494 calories and 97.7 grams of sugar! Dried fruit is easy to overeat & can become a significant source of sugar and calories when consumed in excess. Some dried fruit has ADDED sugar and sulfites, a preservative that is suceptible to mold and fungi contamination.
Quick Fix: View dried fruit as a dessert that should be consumed in small portions. Read the nutrition label to avoid added sugar & sulfites.
2. Cooking with the wrong oils.
Saturated fat has been wrongly accused for causing heart disease, while unsaturated fat has been labeled as healthy. Conventional wisdom has told us that we should cook with canola oil and vegetable oil because they are high in monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fat, while low in saturated fat. Canola, peanut, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, and soybean oil are heated/processed in a way that makes them partially or fully hydrogenated. Although hydrogenated oils are convenient due to their long shelf life, they have been found to increase inflammation. Vegetable & seed oils are not the best choice for high heat cooking because they become oxidized and loaded with free radicals (damaging to DNA and cell membranes). Not to mention, 90% of the world’s canola oil comes from genetically modified rapeseeds.
Quick Fix: Cook with saturated fat because it has a higher smoke point & is less likely to become damaged/oxidized. Good options: Ghee, MTC oil, or Brain Octane Oil.
3. Buying roasted nuts and nut butters.
Many of us don’t realize that canola, cottonseed, or other hydrogenated oils are added to store-bought trail mixes and nuts. As mentioned, these rancid oils increase inflammation. Roasting nuts can damage the polyunsaturated fats. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts are great for your health, but not if they have oils added.
Quick Fix: Buy raw, unsalted nuts/nut butters. Keep them in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling. If purchasing roasted nuts, make sure they are stored in a way that protects them from light and air. Smell roasted nuts to make sure they are not rancid.
4. Eating egg whites instead of the whole egg.
We’ve been told that eating cholesterol (found in egg yolks) will spike the cholesterol in your blood, leading to clogged arteries and bad heart health. But research has has confirmed that eating foods high in cholesterol is not directly linked to poor cardiovascular health. Some sciences suggests that eggs promote “good cholesterol” (HDL), which is linked with lower risk of heart disease. Egg yolks have vitamin E, carotenoids that promote eye health (lutein and zeaxanthin), choline, 9 essential amino acids, B vitamins, and minerals all in just 55 calories! Talk about a nutrient dense food.