The 6 Biggest Diet Blunders and How to Avoid Them
Blunder #5: Fish is always a healthy choice
Although fish can be very healthful, it depends on what kind you’re choosing.
Farm-raised fish are given antibiotics to stave off diseases that result from extremely crowded conditions and they’re also treated with pesticides to combat sea lice.
Plus research has found that farmed fish has fewer usable Omega-3 essential fatty acids than wild-caught fish and a high concentration of Omega-6 EFAs. So it can contribute to an inflammation-causing imbalance of Omega-6: Omega-3 EFAs.
Also, farmed fish has also been found to have a 20 percent lower protein content than wild-caught fish.
Lastly, studies by the Environmental Working Group have found that cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) exist in farm-raised salmon at 16 times the rate of wild salmon.
If you want fish, be sure to buy only fresh wild-caught varieties.
Blunder #6: A low-salt diet always helps with high blood pressure
A high sodium diet can drive up blood pressure. However, this is not consistently true for everyone, and is more of an issue with individuals who are considered salt sensitive.
And just as much of a hypertension concern is too little potassium.
Sodium and potassium work together in the “sodium-potassium pump” which creates electrical charges in the cells that are the driving force behind your muscles, organs and bodily functions. These electrical charges also regulate calcium levels in your cells.
But when this “pump” is not working properly (due to too little potassium), that results in elevated calcium levels in your cells, which causes the smooth muscle cells in your arteries to contract and drives UP your blood pressure.
If you have blood pressure concerns, avoid processed foods (which are the leading cause of excess sodium in most people’s diets) but at the same time, get enough potassium.
Dietary sources of potassium include: Greens, spinach, winter squashes, cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocado, broccoli and carrots.
Real straightforward diet advice
Now that you know the six biggest diet blunders, here is some real, sensible diet advice.
1. Eat real (not processed) foods
Having a diet of real (not processed) foods is the single biggest bang for your buck when it comes to great health.
When your diet is comprised mainly of real foods, the trans-fats and sodium found in processed foods become a non-issue for you.
In addition, you’ll be getting good sources of antioxidants to help fight any existing health-destroying free radicals.
You’ll also get natural sources of crucial nutrients which can help fight and prevent disease and deficiencies, as well as strengthen your precious immune system!
2. Balance your intestinal flora
The friendly flora in your gut helps your body digest starches and fibers and keeps your gut wall healthy–both of which are essential for proper nutrient absorption and feelings of satiety.
Plus they house about 70 percent of your immune system to boot!
Unfortunately, people who have had a typical diet high in refined carbs have nourished the harmful bacteria in their guts which can in turn overcome your beneficial bacteria and lead to harmful bacteria overgrowth (dysbiosis).
Other factors like medication use (especially antacids and antibiotics), stress and lack of sleep can also impact the health of your friendly flora.
In addition to eating real foods that feed your friendly inhabitants, one of the best ways to help restore and maintain a proper flora balance is with a high-quality probiotic supplement.
3. Get enough of Nature’s anti-inflammatory–Omega-3 EFAs
Omega-3 essential fatty acids have shown to be an important tool to help enhance your health in these ways:
• They’ve been medically proven to help lower blood pressure.
• They have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help counteract arterial and joint inflammation.
• They help prevent clots from forming by reducing the stickiness in your platelets and curbing the production of fibrinogens.
• Your brain’s neurons are extremely rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, especially Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Problem is, our food supply doesn’t contain a fraction of the Omega-3 EFAs that it used to (due to our heavy reliance on processed foods, vegetable oils and grain-fed animals)—so supplementation is wise for most people to ensure you’re getting enough of this vital nutrient.