Five Eating Mistakes Even Healthy People Make |

Five Eating Mistakes Even Healthy People Make

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Sure, we all know the basics when it comes to healthy eating, from avoiding sugar and processed foods to filling up with leafy greens and going organic whenever possible. But even the healthiest among us can fall into certain diet pitfalls, unwittingly taking common eating myths at face value.

Here, courtesy of, certified nutritionist and health coach Kelly Leveque talks through the five diet mistakes you need to stop making, pronto.

Mistake 1: Avoiding Egg Yolk

Opting for that egg white omelette at brunch may not be as smart as you think. Egg yolk got a bad rap in the ’80s when research suggested saturated fats caused heart disease; however it has since been disproved. “Saturated fat is simply metabolised into carbon dioxide and water without a by-product, and is a clean source of fuel,” Leveque explains.

Yolks also get a bad reputation for their association with high cholesterol. But, recent research has shown that modest egg consumption (up to one a day) does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals and can be part of a balanced diet.

In fact, yolks are actually a powerful source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. “The egg yolk provides 100% of fat soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, along with zinc, B6, B12, phosphorous, calcium and folate,” adds Leveque.


Mistake 2: Overdoing it with natural sweeteners

Ready for some not-so-sweet news? Choosing natural sweeteners isn’t really as healthy as you think it is. Leveque calls out agave in particular saying, “It’s the closest sweetener to high fructose corn syrup – agave is 90% fructose!”

Fructose is completely metabolised by the liver and turns to fat 20-30% faster than glucose. “Fructose also undergoes something called the Maillard reaction, which leads to the formation of superoxide free radicals…that can result in liver inflammation,” Leveque warns.

Other long-term effects of excess fructose consumption include insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and obesity, to name a few. “Always check labels,” she says. “Agave is in more ‘healthy’ foods than you might think.”

Mistake 3: Opting for Soy

With the likes of tofu generally being touted as wholesome, soy tends to land in the health food camp. But, according to Leveque, soy is definitely not a health food. “Eating as little as 30 grams (about four tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism, with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain, and fatigue,” she says.

And it gets worse... “Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters; at dietary levels, the phytoestrogens present can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells.”

And if that’s not enough to make you rethink your soy latte habit, Leveque says that the vitamin B12 in soy – supposedly one of its health benefits – isn’t easily absorbed and can actually increase your body’s requirement for B12.

Mistake 4: Choosing Brown Rice Over White

Brown rice may seem like the healthier option, but you’re forgetting one thing: arsenic. Leveque reminds us that arsenic has been found to be present in 60 varieties of rice in recent years. “Arsenic accumulates in the outer layers, which are removed to make white rice,” she explains. “Thus, brown rice contains 80% more arsenic than white varieties.”

Arsenic in rice has been linked to an increased risk of bladder, lung and skin cancer, so it may be time to consider other options. “Alternative grains, such as amaranth, millet, and quinoa, all have significantly less inorganic arsenic than rice,” Leveque says. Definitely food for thought.

Mistake 5: Having too many Acai bowls

Acai bowls are the new juicing. The problem is, they actually contain a ton of sugar – 60 grams to be exact (and this doesn’t include toppings). “These bowls upset blood sugar, surge your insulin, and promote fat storage,” Leveque says. “It’s just too much sugar in one sitting. Acai on its own is high in fibre and antioxidants but to enjoy the benefits, consider making this type of bowl at home in appropriate servings instead.”  

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