Bring on the Steak: Food Myths

Trying to keep our arteries clear can cause us to look at certain foods askance. In fact, I distinctly remember hearing a cardiologist say that we shouldn’t eat beef, pork or eggs at all, period. That kind of restricts the diet, especially if you have to watch cooking oils and salt.

Thankfully, there has been a turn around in this thinking. Some of it is due to new studies, and others are due to changes in the industries that produce these favorite food items.

Beef: It can be “what’s for dinner” once again. Lean beef often has less cholesterol and fat than boneless/skinless chicken. If that lean beef comes from a grass fed cow, it also has the same amount of Omega-3 fatty acids a piece of salmon has. Look for cuts from the loin, and when purchasing ground beef, look for the AHA seal of approval.

Bread: This was on the “don’t” list due to calorie count. However, it really depends on what type of bread you’re eating. Bread made from all purpose flour is still pretty much a bad idea. However, whole grain bread is perfectly fine in moderation. The whole grains increase fiber and help to block absorption of fat and cholesterol.

Coconut Oil: Want to reduce abdominal fat, kick start your diet and otherwise improve your health? Use a little coconut oil on a daily basis. The saturated fat in coconut oil is the sort that the body likes to use immediately for fuel, rather than store it as fat for later.

Eggs: I have truly missed eggs, and I’m glad to see that they can make a comeback. There are several nutrients in eggs that are hard to find in other places. On top of that, the type of protein in the once demonized yolk is the sort that leads to a feeling of satisfaction. The only problem is what you choose to go with your eggs. Bacon is still on the “bad” list.

Peanut Butter: I’ve never taken peanut butter off the “safe” list. It has too many things going for it, health wise. Thankfully, that is now being backed up by science. The nutrient value is great, and the fat in it is monounsaturated, meaning it’s heart healthy. As many consider it brain food, it’s nice to know it can come back to the lunch menu.

Potatoes: There are good things about potatoes and bad things. On the bad side, it is largely a starch, which is not good for dieters and diabetics. Many of the preparation methods add a lot of salt and fat to them, making them even worse. However, the potato itself is not bad for us.

Potatoes contain a great deal of vitamins C and B6. It also contains many minerals and a good bit of dietary fiber. The biggest problem is how to enjoy it without breaking the bank with its additions. We find baking them, then using reduced fat sour cream and garlic tastes great. You can also use low sodium chicken broth.

It’s nice to find so many old friends back on the menu. While we do have to be careful about what and how much we eat, restrictions seem to make us want the forbidden foods even more. This, in itself, will be a boon to those watching their diets.

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