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Fact vs Fiction: Health Tips You Thought Were True

Fact vs Fiction: Health Tips You Thought Were True

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Fact vs Fiction: Health Tips You Thought Were True

By: Your JNH Lifestylist

The internet is full of misleading information. You’re told to eat the new super-food or try the latest fad diet, but what if not all of these health tips are helpful? What if they aren’t entirely true? In this article, we’re separating the facts from the myths. Let’s dive in.


Myth 1: Eliminating Fat In Your Diet Is Best

two halves of an avocado in an icecream cone with a pink background

Undeniably, fat is often pegged as an enemy. You’ve probably been told to avoid it the best you can, and select low-fat options over full-fat ones. While low-fat diets might help with weight control, you don’t need to avoid fat entirely. Studies show that about 67% of consumers aim to decrease their fat intake, but most of these consumers aren’t aware of how much fat they should include in their daily diet [1]. Interestingly, 20-35% of your daily caloric intake should come from fat, and fat in your diet is actually necessary for normal bodily functions. Fats provide you with energy and protection, and they also carry fat-soluble vitamins throughout your body. Generally, it comes down to obtaining your fat from the right food sources. It’s about finding a balance in your diet. Examples of good fats include avocado, eggs, cheese and fish.

Myth 2: Sugar Is Bad For You

apples sliced on a cutting board

Along with fat, sugar also has a bad reputation. Many prepackaged and processed food items are jam-packed with sugar, which is why most people consume far too much of it. And as we all know, too much of anything is bad. Healthy sugars in balanced amounts contribute to optimal and peak functioning in your body. After all, carbohydrates are the primary energy source for your body and its systems [2]. Carbs are broken down into glucose, or sugar, meaning it’s not all bad. Your body needs it. Like fat, it’s about obtaining these sugars from healthy sources. This means likely not eating a ton of processed and prepackaged meals or snacks. Instead, choose whole food options like fruits. You don’t need to avoid sugar!

Myth 3: Eggs Cause High Cholesterol

brown eggs with faces drawn on them

Eggs are blamed for high cholesterol levels, but let’s rethink this. The Heart Foundation states, “The cholesterol in eggs has almost no effect on your blood cholesterol levels” [3]. Saturated fats and trans fats impact your cholesterol levels much more. This comes back to being more aware of the type of fats you’re consuming in your diet. Plus, eggs have a ton of nutrients, including B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, protein and more.

Myth 4: You Need To Drink Eight Glasses Of Water Per Day

bottle of water

While water is important for regular functioning, you don’t need to be knocking back eight glasses of water a day. Usually, hydration comes in many forms. You can obtain water from fruits, vegetables and other foods you consume. It doesn’t just come from glasses of water, and it's unlikely you’ll drink eight glasses of water a day anyway. If you have, you’ve probably had to run to the bathroom one too many times. This is a sign you’re probably drinking too much water. You can relax and reel yourself back on this one. Drink water regularly, but don’t overdo it.

Myth 5: Crunches Will Help You Get 6-Pack Abs

6-pack abs are made in the kitchen, and very hard to obtain. Ideally, this isn’t the healthiest goal. For most people, getting 6-pack abs involves a lot of angst in the kitchen, a strict diet and a low body fat percentage. You could do as many crunches as you want but never achieve a 6-pack if you’re not eating right. Instead, make your goal health-oriented, and go off of how you feel, not how you look.

Myth #6: You Only Need To Use Sunscreen When The Sun Is Out

woman painting the sun out of sunscreen on her skin

Don’t be fooled by this health tip. UV rays can still make their way to your skin - even on a very cloudy day. A 2010 study stated that it’s important to apply sunscreen on cloudy days since the UV rays are still high, and weather conditions can quickly change [4]. If you plan on going outside, apply sunscreen - no matter what season it is - and plan to reapply every couple of hours. It could save your skin from age-related changes, as well as lower your risk of developing skin cancer.

Don’t Believe All the Health Tips You Hear

Just because a health tip is published online doesn’t make it true. Do your due diligence by conducting your own research on the topic. Educate yourself and become better informed about your health so that you can take control of it!

The More You Know: Fats Are Important, Sugar is not bad for you, drink water daily, 6-packs are made in the kitchen, sunscreen on a cloudy day is a good idea, eggs are not high in cholesterol

Resources:

[1] Liu A. G., Ford N. A., Hu F. B., Zelman K. M., Mozaffarian D., & Kris-Etherton P. M. (2017). “A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Nutrition journal, 20 August 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577766/.

[2] Jequier E. (1994). “Carbohydrates as a source of energy.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Am J Clin Nutr, March 1994, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8116550.

[3] Heart Foundation. (2020). “Eggs.” heartfoundation.org, 2020, https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/food-and-nutrition/protein-foods/eggs#:~:text=The%20cholesterol%20in%20eggs%20has,and%20trans%20fat%20you%20eat.&text=If%20you%20do%20eat%20eggs,cholesterol%20levels%20than%20the%20eggs.

[4] Andersen P. A., Buller D. B., Walkosz B. J., Scott M. D., Maloy J. A., Cutter G. R., & Dignan M. D. (2010). “Environmental cues to UV radiation and personal sun protection in outdoor winter recreation.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Archives of dermatology, November 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364536/.


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