The top 5 MD recognized Common Misconceptions about food
Dr. Michelle Macken is a a popular vegan doctor in New York, attempting to bring enilghtment to what’s become the complex nature of food and healing. She said day in and day out as a primary care physician has led her to identify the 5 most common misconceptions about food. Here’s what she identified:
- “I need to eat more protein.”
Dr. Macken said this is definitely not true, and that most people eat more than two times the amount of protein they actually need. The problem with this is that most of this comes from animal sources which increase the rate of cellular growth, including cancer cells. She says, “Unfortunately, animal-based proteins have been shown to promote faster growth, not only of normal cells but of cancer cells, and have been linked to a variety of cancers as well as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney stones.
Plant based protein, however, not only are NOT associated with chronic disease, but they are exactly what we need to prevent these diseases.
- “I need to drink milk to have strong bones.”
This myth has been perpetuated by false advertising to sell a product. In actuality, the dairy as we know it could actually be a factor in making the bone MORE susceptible to breakage. An article in Medical Hypotheses in 2015 reminds us that, “The biological purpose of cow’s milk is to support the rapid growth of a calf. Humans have no nutritional or medical need to consume the milk of cows or any other nonhuman species. Cow’s milk naturally contains female hormones, and can contain antibiotics, pesticides, saturated fat, and cholesterol — substances that definitely do NOT do a body good! Dairy has been specifically linked with prostate, ovarian, and uterine cancer, as well as heart disease and early death.”
The best sources of calcium come from the earth and include broccoli and bok choy, kale, collards and mustard greens. The additional benefit is that these foods also supply us with Vitamin K, necessary for healthy blood, skin, and circulation.
- “Chicken, turkey, fish and eggs are the best “healthy” sources of protein.”
Despite the moral argument between meat eating and vegetarianism, the nutrition facts don’t lie. It has already been established that there is a risk of cholesterol, increased hormone intake, and cancer causing proteins simply from the meat itself, as it is. This doesn’t even begin to mention the unhealthy risks AFTER these meat proteins have been commercialized. One’s own logic needs to determine where they will source their proteins, but what cannot be forgotten is that some of the BEST sources of protein come from beans, nuts, lentils, tempeh, seeds, and peas. That’s IN ADDITION to plant proteins from vegetables! Even in grade school our education was focused on the meats in the protein group, so it’s no wonder we are skewed towards this belief.
- “I can’t eat carbs.”
It’s true, there are a lot of diets out there that relate to avoiding carbs. However, what is not often thought about is the wide range of whole grains that are available like millet, teff, quinoa, amaranth and all of the rices. For a period of healing, yes, a polysaccharide free diet can be highly beneficial, but for the mainstream, and maintenance daily eating, whole grain carbs provide a lot of benefits, particularly Vitamin B12 which is hard to come by outside of whole grains. The danger here is that these dieters tend to avoid carbs in favor or a diet heavy in proteins and fats, which spell disaster for heart disease and cancer, actually increasing the risk of disease or death. ,,,,
- “Healthy Food is Too Expensive.”
The truth is the PROCESSED “health” foods are expensive; the gluten free versions of the same cookies and breads you always eat are expensive, yes. But the real whole foods that the body was meant to feed on, like beans, lentils, peas, and fresh fruits and vegetables are close to free when you grow them yourself, usually inexpensive at farmers’ markets, and still inexpensive when dried and in bulk form at your supermarkets. What else one will find when eating a diet consisting of variations on the same simple foods naturally grown on the earth with little monitoring necessary and no chemicals needed when cared for well is that one is less hungry and more easily satisfied with smaller portions.