If you think you have a healthy diet you might be surprised by some of these shocking truths. From finding out that lard might be good for you to a study into herbal tea and its effects on your teeth, you’re bound to learn something new about the world of healthy living.
The truth about margarine, cream and lard
Butter, cream and lard are bad, right? Well, it turns out that they might not be as bad as you think and the ‘healthy alternatives’, such as margarine and vegetable oils, may not be all that good for you. This is according to the 2002 issue of Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, which indicated that the omega-6 content of margarine, sunflower oil and soybean oil, could lead to cancer, heart attacks and rheumatoid arthritis.
Fascinatingly, as an alternative to these omega-6 rich foods, it is advised that we instead replace these fats with things we might consider unhealthy, such as cream, lard and butter because all of these foods contain less omega-6 fatty acids.
The truth about herbal tea
If you thought that drinking a warming cup of herbal tea was doing wonders for your health, think again. Although herbal teas can contain antioxidants and are often considered healthier than a cup of tea or coffee, it turns out that some herbal teas can ruin your teeth.
Researchers at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester conducted a study into the effect of herbal tea on teeth and placed extracted teeth into blackcurrant, vanilla, ginseng herbal tea for fourteen days. They then also placed extracted teeth into black tea and water for the same amount of time. The teeth that had been placed into the herbal teas were damaged and their enamel had dissolved considerably. Yet those teeth placed into black tea or water were pretty much unchanged. It is thought that the acid in some herbal teas caused this erosion.
The truth about food labels
Food labels constantly trick us into buying products that we think are healthy. It is common for popular food products to promote their so-called healthy qualities on the front of packaging, claiming things like ‘all natural’, ‘low cholesterol’ and ‘light’. Reading these descriptions we might be tricked into thinking that the products are in some way healthier for us, but this is just not true.
When a food product says that something is ‘light’, for example on an olive oil bottle, it indicates that the product is lighter in colour and taste, not that it contains fewer calories. Similarly foods whose packaging claims that they are ‘low in fat’ can actually be very high in sugar and sodium. Be aware of the true contents of the food you buy by learning how to correctly read food labels.
The truth about tofu
Tofu is high in protein and contains lots of essential amino acids, but did you know that tofu also contains anti-nutrients? These anti-nutrients make it difficult for your body to absorb minerals, iron and protein.
As well as inhibiting the absorption of healthy nutrients, it is thought that the soy in tofu can increase people’s chances of developing breast cancer. Researchers from the Sprecher Institute at the Cornell University believe that the isoflavones in soy increase the effects oestrogen has on the body and therefore they believe soy can effectively feed breast tumours.
The truth about orthorexia nervosa
Although controversial and not widely recognized, orthorexia is thought to be a disorder whereby an individual becomes obsessed with eating to improve their health, to the point where it becomes out of control and negatively affects the individual’s life. People who suffer from orthorexia are often not trying to lose weight and they are not interested in the calorific values of food, they are however interested in its health properties and they strive to only eat healthy foods.
It is thought that those suffering from orthorexia feel as though they are doing something virtuous by cutting out all ‘unhealthy’ foods and experience extreme guilt when they break their strict eating regime. It is thought that there are many repercussions of this disorder as the obsessive nature of orthorexia can isolate sufferers and consume their thoughts and lives.