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4 Health Food Myths You Need to Know

4 Health Food Myths You Need to Know

Health foods are throw in our face on a daily basis it seems. We are putting green stuff in and on errrything, moving in new (and more weirder) ways and trying to get the most out of ourselves more than ever before. With all these attempts at being SUPER HEALTHY are we doing more harm than good?

Kellie Holland from Tonik Health is about to crush 4 common health food myths and it may very well shock the pants off you! A naturopath, clinical nutritionist and medical herbalist, Kellie specialises in women’s health and weight loss (woohoo!)

Kellie Holland


So, Let’s dive in!

It’s hard enough knowing what is healthy and what isn’t nowadays when we’re constantly bombarded with all the self-proclaimed health experts online and the latest health fads. There are, however, some ‘health food’ myths that every nutritionist wants you to know about today!

Raw Kale is good for you

No, no, no! Just, no! Kale, when raw, is a goitrogen. This means it suppresses the function of the thyroid gland. Unfortunately, this goes for all brassica vegetables, not just kale. But hope is not lost! If you enjoy your kale, broccoli or cauliflower like most of us health junkies do, simply steam or blanch them first. Cooking actually negates the harmful goitrogenic effects of these delicious vegetables.


Agave is liquid gold

Agave is a sweetener that I will never recommend. It’s extremely high in fructose, similar to high fructose corn syrup and can lead to weight gain, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Agave is highly processed and any beneficial components which are present in the plant are completely destroyed during this processing.

If you’re after a natural sweetener, maple syrup is a great alternative to agave. It is naturally manufactured with minimal processing and contains minerals such as zinc, manganese, iron, and potassium. Do keep in mind though, it still contains a fair amount of sugar and so should still be consumed only on occasion, not on a daily basis. Sugar, after all, is one of the leading causes of disease in the world.

Going 100% raw is healthy

Cooking is quite important for our health. Eating 100% raw can leave you deficient in certain nutrients, which are more bioavailable and potent when cooked. A prime example of this is lycopene which is found in tomatoes. There is one type of lycopene, which is about 35% more bioavailable in cooked tomatoes, as the cooking process increases the body’s ability to absorb the antioxidant. This is the same for vegetables such as carrots, spinach, asparagus, and capsicums – after they are cooked, their antioxidants are supplied to the body in larger quantities than if they are eaten raw.

Lastly, going back to point number 1 – eating brassica vegetables raw can be harmful to your thyroid gland due to the goitrogens.

Fat is bad for you

This is one myth that nutritionists battle everyday. Fat is essential for health, period. We need fat to manufacture hormones, for healthy skin, for fertility; in fact, every cell in our body needs fat. Our choice of fat is what really matters here. Choose avocadoes, nuts, seeds, fatty fish like salmon or mackerel, olive and flaxseed oils rather than fast food, deep fried foods, pastries and baked sweets. Don’t be afraid to have a handful of nuts everyday for a healthy snack or smashing some mashed avocado onto your wrap. Your body will thank you.

At the end of the day there is always going to be misinformation as long as the internet is around. If you are concerned about your diet and the foods you are consuming, visit a qualified nutritionist who can give you tailor made advice for your needs with evidence based research to back their words up.


 Was your mind blown? How do you feel about Kale now? 

4 Responses to 4 Health Food Myths You Need to Know

  1. I’ve never been a fan of raw kale or collards for that matter, but when they’re cooked properly I can eat them all day long.

  2. Wow, your article is a huge confirmation of a ‘gut feeling’ for me regarding the ‘Superfood’ fad that Kale falls under.

    I totally agree with you about needing to be wary of misinformation on the internet and I’m personally very conscious of the multitude of misinformation in regards to anything health and fitness related.

    When it comes to Kale, the only way I’ve been able to ‘swallow’ the distinct flavour of the supposed ‘Superfood’ has been to disguise it in green smoothies with the likes of antioxidant-enriched blueberries, nutrient-blessed bananas and electrolyte-filled coconut water.

    Am I also possibly wrong about the benefits of blueberries, bananas and coconut water? I’m hoping my ‘gut’ or ‘intuition’ with these foods is actually correct. They don’t taste horrible when raw and for centuries have been consumed this way.

    My biggest question now though, lies with the current ultra-healthy phenomenon that green smoothies claim to be. Everywhere you go nowadays you find a café or juice-bar partaking in selling these goitrogen filled, Thyroid function-suppressing drinks. Should there be health regulations in place on the selling of green smoothies? Because a non-functioning Thyroid can be quite a serious health issue.

    Back to your original question though, am I blown away? Yes! But thank you for the enlightenment.

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