There are SO many routes to health and fitness that when someone new comes into fitness, they are so confused and don't know what they should do or eat or any of that. My goal has always been to prove that there is really no right way but that there are principles to follow, and if you align your goals with those principles then you can see the results that you are after. Some things are more important to others, and some people feel passionately about what's "healthy" and what's not so this information gets spread about and eventually lands to the people that don't know much about fitness and becomes mainstream knowledge and it's unfortunate because many times it has no scientific backing.
Then, there is the line between your body weight and then actually eating food that's good for your body because sometimes those are not the same unfortunately. I want to share a few examples and discuss them so you know what I mean!
Egg Whites VS Whole Eggs
Which do you eat? You hear that eating egg whites are healthy but then you hear people say to eat the whole egg because there are nutrients in it that you would be missing out on. It is very hard to find information about the safety of egg whites other than that you could possibly get Salmonella. Egg have a very high protein bioavailability meaning that you get a lot of the protein that you are eating, and that is the case with the egg white or the whole egg.
The whole egg has more protein in it. The whole egg also has vitamins and minerals that you can't get in the white such as choline, biotin, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, phosphorus, vitamin D and vitamin A! WOW!! That's a lot of vitamins. But how much of those? Just for time sake, I'll go with two common ones: Vitamin A and Iron! In one whole egg, there is 5% of your recommended minimum daily amount of Vitamin A and iron. No one ever eats just one egg, so if you ate three then you're getting 15% of those two so that's great.
However, the whole egg also carries a lot of saturated fat. There are back and forth arguments about saturated fat, but the fact of the matter stands that there is 5g of fat in one egg. This means that when you have a normal type serving of 3 eggs then that's 15g fat. I'm trying to stay objective here, but for comparison, that's the same as a Chickfila fried chicken sandwich OR Bojangles fries. HA! The amount of cholesterol in one whole egg would satisfy your cholesterol needs for the day, so if you eat 3 plus all of your other meals then you are going way beyond this.
Nutritionfacts.org talks a lot about the safety of eggs, so I thought I'd link that up here: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/who-says-eggs-arent-healthy-or-safe/
My choice: I choose to eat egg whites because I personally like to get my fat from other sources (avocado, peanut butter, coconut oil) and it's all about having a balanced nutritional profile. I can rack up fat pretty fast, so I don't mind just eating egg whites so why not? I'm also all about not being afraid to eat anything. Would I eat 3 whole eggs with all it's cholesterol and saturated fat? ABSOLUTELY. I believe that ONE decision that I make about a certain food choice if I keep in good health is not going to make or break me.
What you have to decide for yourself: There are some that would vehemently oppose someone not eating the yolk. It's like....a thing. But why? They value the vitamins and nutrients and protein that it provides OVER the lack of saturated fat and cholesterol. That is THEIR individual assessment on their health.
Full Sugar Coke OR Diet Coke
I have talked about this in detail, but essentially if someone tells you (which you hear this ALL the time) that full sugar coke is better for you than the diet drinks, then they are saying that they personally value you the avoidance of aspartame over the grandiose amount of sugar in the full sugar sodas. Obviously, when we break it all the way down...none of it is great for us. However, the truth is that we all enjoy them (most of us-not all I know).
There have been study after study after study done on aspartame. There are some that find no statistical significance in all of the claims and then there are some that make me say "eeeek I should really work on giving up Diet Sundrop and Diet Pepsi." The way that I approach it is the same way that I approach fast food restaurants. When I roll up in Wendy's drive through, do I think that I'm making a good decision for my overall health and longevity of life? No. Duhhh. I CHOOSE to drink diet soda because that's my one vice, and I get to make that decision.
However, there are some that would think I'm CRAZY as someone into health that I would do this. I don't know why but for some reason in my hometown, people LOVE to tell me how unhealthy it is. Almost every single time I buy one, the cashier thinks she's saving my soul by letting me know about that dreadful aspartame. I'm like...."Yea I got it ma'am. K thanks."
So, the typical thing you hear is that if you have a glass of wine per night, then this is heart healthy. We all have heard that right? That is true. A small amount of alcohol every night has been shown in clinical trials to help arterial function and improve heart disease. The other side of that coin is that wine has a compact amount of calories. In one 5oz glass of wine (which is like the same amount that when you order it at a fancy restaurant and you pay $12 for it and it comes out and the glass is half empty and you're mad you got nothing but that's like the unwritten fancy rule of wine), there is about 130 calories which I'm not going to get into the full nutritional macro counting of alcohol-REFERENCE HERE-but that breaks down to about 30g C in one tiny glass of wine. That is alot of calories, so for someone that is trying to actively lose weight they may not want to drink 5oz that is also 130 calories. If you are a consistently healthy person then that's not a problem at all!!! Alcohol in excess has been shown to cause cancer and liver inflammation leading to cirrhosis of the liver or a fatty liver and many types of cancer, however are we all drinking THAT much? Probably not. That's the individual health assessment that you have to do.
My point of all of this is to say that you can see that this is the assessments that you should be making for everything. Should I wash my hair everyday for total hair health? Should I do cardio vs weights for longevity of life health? Should I eat this cheesecake? These are just daily decisions that we make that really mean VERY little, but it's that overall consistency of health mind, body and spirit that matters. Taking care of your stress levels is one of those things that is most ignored but yet one of the most profound in longevity of life.