6 Popular Health Myths
There is so much advice and information out there when it comes to health it’s hard to know where to turn or what to believe. Unfortunately, some of it is just outright bad, misguided, outdated and scientifically disproven.
Misinformation can create many obstacles and even damage one’s health. Keep these myths in mind when tending to your own health.
Myth #1 – Calories are Calories
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many believe that the key to losing weight is to burn more calories than we take in. This particular train of thought will keep you from losing weight and keeping it off. Our bodies are a complex machine. Everything we put into our bodies has to be processed and transported. Food travels throughout the body giving specific instructions on what to do. In fact, every bite you eat affects your hormones, brain chemistry and metabolism. “Bad” calories or those foods containing sugar calories cause fat storage and spike hunger. Calories from fat (the “good” fat such as avocados) and protein promote fat burning. What counts more is the quality, not the quantity, of the calories. Healthy and whole foods that provide nutrition to your body supply high quality calories. Therefore counting calories is not necessary when you eat fresh and healthy food such as vegetables, salads, and fruit.
Myth #2 – I Am My Parents
Sure, genetics play a role in what we may be predisposed to. But it does not have to define your overall health. Just because your aunt and mother had heart disease doesn’t have to mean you will have it as well. However, familiar history can be a valuable and useful tool for preventive measures regarding one’s health.
The old saying by Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” still holds true. What you put in your body is still by far the best indicator of your future health outcomes. You do have control and power over your health. What really has changed that brought the number of health problems to the surface isn’t people finally catching up to what their genes said. It is the change of what food is made of along with the consumption increase of sugar, processed food, etc. Numerous factors can contribute to weight gain, sickness, etc. but genetics is the least of those.
Myth #3 – You Can Balance Out a Bad Diet by Exercising
Have you ever seen people that just eat whatever they want and still don’t seem to gain a pound? Those same people might even go to the gym faithfully or get some sort of exercise in on a consistent basis. This type of lifestyle make even work for a while but eventually will catch up with you. Besides, being skinny does not necessarily equate to being healthy. Eating whatever you want and then burning those calories with exercise to stay “fit” is a false assumption that many people have.
Relying on exercise to sustain your unhealthy diet or to help you lose weight is a mindset and lifestyle that is setting you up for huge disappointments and failure. If you change your diet and exercise you will lose weight. But if you keep your diet the same and exercise, you will only gain muscle, and look fit. You will not however shed many pounds. Plus, you may look healthy on the outside, but on the inside your body is still filled with all that unhealthy junk in your body.
Using exercise to eat whatever you want simply won’t work. True enough, exercise is extremely important, but to lose weight and keep it off you need to couple exercise with a healthy diet filled with plenty of plant foods, healthy fats, and protein.
Myth #4 – Getting Fat/Fatter is Just a Part of Getting Older
This particular myth is especially prevalent when it comes to woman. When feelings of helplessness take over and weight gain happens, it’s usually dismissed as hormones, menopause, or getting older in general. Most weight gain, especially in the belly, is a symptom of something else. This could be gut issues, hormones, thyroid, and inflammation throughout the body to name a few. Address the underlying cause and the weight will come off. You just don’t turn 50 and suddenly start gaining weight because of age. You can absolutely change this and reverse weight gain by understanding the real culprit or culprits behind it.
Myth #5 – Tofu and Soy Are Your Friends
Although popular choices, especially amongst vegetarians, soy and tofu are not good for you. Over the years, both seem to have gotten a reputation as being a “health” food. Tofu is made from soy. Unfortunately soy is genetically modified. Furthermore, soy has been linked to many ailments such as cancer, reproductive disorders, and more. There are numerous studies on the hazards of soy. So put that soy milk down and go for better alternatives.
Myth # 6 – Dairy (especially Milk) is Good for You
Cow’s milk is a no no. Dairy milk can feed viruses and bacteria, or trigger inflammation and allergies. Also, the form of calcium found in dairy is not the best for the body and the hormone content of dairy products compounds the problem even more. However, if dairy is going to be consumed, it should be sourced from hormone-free cows raised under organic conditions and only used in moderation rather than all day every day. We all know how delicious that glass of chocolate milk is! But refraining from dairy as much as possible and getting your calcium from other sources such as through leafy greens is best. As an alternative try almond, hemp, or coconut milk.
A scale weight everything including fat and muscle so you may gain weight and not even realize that’s muscle if you’ve been working out. Instead of torturing yourself getting on a scale every day to track your progress, pay attention to how you look and feel. That is a better way to monitor yourself. Trust me, the increase in energy, the way those pants or dress looks on you, and those admiring glances, are the best indicators that you’re making your way to a healthier, better you!
Now that those health myths have been busted, go out and conquer your newfound health!
#Eat well. Be well. Repeat.