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Rediscover Nutrition

What we eat plays a large role in determining the competency of our immune system and the stability of our skin (which itself is part of the immune system). As a result, optimizing our dietary intake is likely to provide beneficial effects for immunity and the state of your skin.

Addressing Common Nutrition Misconceptions

Nutrition is not often taught in school and is typically something reserved only for people with specific interest in the subject. Most individuals are stuck with knowledge they receive from the television, magazines, the internet or through direct communication with others

Because of this, one person’s understanding of nutrition can drastically different from another’s. Typically our understanding depends on our access to valid information. If the information we receive is wrong, but we believe it to be true, powerful misconceptions can arise. These misconceptions can then go on to undermine our efforts to eat healthy and provide our bodies with the optimal nutrition it needs to flourish.

Some common nutritional misconceptions include:

Eggs and Dietary Cholesterol Can Increase Cholesterol Levels
Many people believe dietary cholesterol from foods such as eggs can have a negative impact on blood cholesterol levels. They then make attempts to minimize consumption of this excellent protein source. In reality, the effect of dietary cholesterol from foods such as eggs only has a minimal impact on blood cholesterol and these foods often provide an excellent source of nutrients [1]

Multivitamins Improve Your Health
Nearly half of the US population uses a dietary supplement, with multivitamin being the most frequently used []“]. However, the majority of large clinical studies have been unable to validate the beneficial effects of vitamin and mineral supplements (including multivitamins) for individuals without clinically identified nutritional deficiencies [2, 3]

Fat Free and Low Fat Alternatives Are Healthier
Recent dietary trends have promoted fat free or reduced fat substitutes to whole foods, promoting them has healthy alternatives. Unfortunately, many of these low fat food choices are not always healthier then whole fat alternatives. Primarily because the fat content is often replaced with sugar and other harmful additives [4]

Vegetable Oils Are Much Healthier Then Saturated Fats
Vegetable fats have often been promoted as a healthier alternative to animal fats. Many of people have thus made attempts to incorporate more vegetable oils into their diet, unintentionally increasing their overall fat intake [5]. The issue here is that substituting saturated fats for monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils) only has provides a marginal benefit. Reducing overall fat consumption provides the biggest benefit [6, 7]

This is just scratching the surface. In today’s world, the number of myths and misconceptions regarding nutrition is phenomenal. Unfortunately, sometimes the effect of these misconceptions can undermine our health and actually cause health issues to arise. You must truly learn be a skeptic and get in the habit questioning unproven ideas which lack adequate proof.

A drastic example of the dangers of incorrect dietary beliefs
A mother of an infant was convinced that a solid regimen of dietary supplements, enzymes and food elimination could heal hear sons eczema. She was reluctant to trust doctors and did not believe in western medicine. The result of her misconceptions resulted in gradual worsening of the child’s health and eczema outbreaks to the point of near death [8].

Basics of Good Nutrition

Instead of listening to every single piece of advice we come across, perhaps going back to the basics is likely to have the most benefit. Eating foods in season, reducing reliance on processed food choices and increasing intake of vegetables are all concepts which most individuals would agree on.

Without going into too much detail, the core concepts of good nutrition are centered around the following principles:

  • Eat as many vegetables as possible, sticking to seasonal varieties when available
  • Consume seasonal whole fruits without limitation, but consider your intake of imported fruits and berries especially in processed forms
  • Restrict the amount of added fat (vegetable oils, butter) in your diet, natural sources of fat should be sufficient (fish, fresh roasted nuts, meats, fatty vegetables and fruits, etc.)
  • Limit the amount of food items which come in a package
  • Focus on quality and freshness of foods instead of worrying about the intricate details of micronutrient and macronutrient composition

By following this advice, you can take out the unnecessary complications of modern dietary advice and simply begin to eat a healthy well rounded diet.

Even Good Intentions Can Be Misleading

Even with good intention, most people still miss some very important nuances of these essential concepts. This includes items such as:

  • Granola bars and whole grain products are not often considered to be processed foods, but these generally have significant amounts of added oils and sugars [9]
  • Smoothies and fresh fruit juices are often considered as healthy choices, however the fructose (sugar) content of these beverages and lack of fiber is substantially different then if the fruit was eaten whole [10]

Clearly, even if we have good intentions it’s still fairly easy to fall in the trap of good marketing and end up eating lower quality food choices. To avoid this pitfall, the biggest piece of advice one can take away here is to eat simple whole foods in their natural form.

Section Summary

This section reviewed some of the most popular nutritional misconceptions and presented the fundamental concepts of nutrition. Key actions items include:

  1. Avoid biased nutritional advice by examining the evidence
  2. Avoid over complicating nutrition and focus on the fundamentals
  3. Increase intake of whole foods with emphasis on seasonal produce
  4. Avoid packaged and processed foods
  5. Reduce amount of unnecessary added fat in your in diet
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About Michael Anders

After being affected by seborrheic dermatitis, I have made it my goal to gather and organize all the information that has helped me in my journey.

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