We’re constantly bombarded with information about our health. Sometimes it’s related to what we should or shouldn’t be eating. Sometimes it’s about how much exercise we should be getting. But the constant flow of information doesn’t stop. There’s always a new fad diet to try or a new scary disease to be afraid of. The problem is there is also a lot of information related to our health that isn’t entirely true. We’ve come to believe a lot of health facts that aren’t really facts. They’re either unsubstantiated or are myths plain and simple. When we hear things repeated over and over again, it’s hard not to assume that they’re the cold hard truth. Some doctors and health professionals are even guilty of promoting some of the following health myths. A lot of the time, we forget that everyone is different. What works for you may not work for someone else. Healthfulness is not a cookie cutter endeavour. Do what works best for you. Yes, some things regarding our health are black and white. But not everything. Working out by lifting heavy weights 7 days a week for several hours a day may work wonders for one individual, but it may not be right for you.
15. Drink Eight Glasses Of Water A Day
This is probably one of the most common health myths out there. Have you attempted to drink eight glasses of water a day only to find yourself running to the bathroom every hour? You can rest easy knowing that this health tip isn’t exactly accurate. You don’t need to measure your water intake that intensely. We actually get a good deal of water from food. Fruits and vegetables, for instance, often have high water content. You might need to gulp more water if you’re training hard and sweating a lot. In that case, you should make sure you’re also replenishing electrolytes.
14. Carbs Are Bad
Demonizing any kind of food is nonsense. There are no evil foods! And there are definitely no evil macronutrients. Your body needs protein, carbs, and fat to survive. You can’t simply eliminate one macronutrient and hope to feel good. That’s just not how it works. Some people also seem to be unaware that fruits and vegetables contain carbs. Carbs are not the enemy! They provide your body with the energy it needs to get through the day. Sure, it’s better to choose a mountain of spinach over a Pop-Tart but you shouldn’t be trying to cut carbohydrates out completely. That’s just crazy talk.
13. You Can Spot Train Areas On Your Body
No. You cannot spot train areas on your body. You can’t target fat loss. Where you lose fat first depends a whole lot on your genetics. That’s not to say that weight training isn’t a great choice for a workout. Building muscle is a great way to rev up your metabolism. Coupled with a healthy diet, you’ll likely find yourself losing at least a little bit of weight. Keep in mind, you don’t want to eat more calories than you’re burning. Pumping iron can definitely help you lose fat, but you just can’t choose exactly where it’s going to come off.
12. Eating Fat Makes You Fat
This is the exact same assumption that’s made with regards to carbohydrates. Fat is a macronutrient and your body needs it to function. Once again, you can’t just eliminate a nutrient from your diet and expect to be able to feel very good. Extra weight comes from eating too many calories. When you take in more than you expend, you’ll start to pack on the pounds. If you eat a piece of cheese, it’s not immediately going to be stored as fat. It’s true, though, that fatty foods tend to be higher in calories. But eating those things in moderation won’t do you any harm.
11. Caffeine Causes Dehydration
This is a popular myth but it’s not true. You don’t need to down a bottle of water after you drink your morning cup of joe. Yes, coffee is a diuretic. You’ll definitely have to pee after drinking a warm cup of java. But it’s not necessarily going to dehydrate you. A cup of coffee is, after all, made up of mostly water. New coffee drinkers might find it true that coffee dehydrates them, but aren’t most of us seasoned coffee drinkers? It seems that daily drinkers of caffeine build up a tolerance and just aren’t that affected by the diuretic effects of caffeine. So, go on and enjoy that nice cappuccino.
10. BMI Is The Best Indicator Of Health
This is one of our least favorite health myths. Especially since BMI is still often used by medical professionals. It’s seriously outdated and needs to be thrown out the window or at least rethought. It’s a formula that dates back to the nineteenth century and was brought into fashion during the mid twentieth century. It’s been used to determine whether someone is in good health and at a healthy weight. Unfortunately, it has some shortcomings. The formula isn’t able to figure out whether a person has a lot of muscle or not. It also doesn’t account for fat distribution. It’s especially worthless when used on athletes.
9. No Pain, No Gain
A lot of people who love to exercise, train, and compete tend to believe that no pain equals no gain. Some people think that if you’re not sore the day after a workout, you haven’t worked out hard enough. Sure, sometimes it feels good to feel sore after a tough workout. But pain isn’t the best measure of progress. Sometimes pain can signal injury and those who ignore it and push past it might end up having to deal with taking time off. It’s okay to rest and recover. You don’t need to constantly be pushing through pain to improve physically.
8. Women Should Douche
Big nope. Women do NOT need to douche to keep healthy down there. You wouldn’t think that was the case, though. If you were to head to the pharmacy right now, you’d probably be able to find several different ‘feminine hygiene’ products available. Doctors will tell you that it’s just not necessary and it can actually be harmful. The vagina is self-cleaning. Many health-care professionals will even tell women that washing with soap can be too harsh for the sensitive area. If you’re concerned about weird odours, it may be cause for concern if the smell is particularly strong and coupled with discharge. Otherwise, you should know that vaginas, like their male counterparts, just don’t naturally smell like passionfruit.
7. You Should Take A Multivitamin Everyday
Oh geez. Is this ever a bunch of hooey. A lot of people will tell you that they take a multivitamin everyday so they can get all the vitamins and minerals they are missing from their diet. You really shouldn’t need to take a multivitamin if you’re eating a well balanced diet. Unless your doctor prescribes you a particular vitamin, then it’s not really necessary. You’re probably spending money for nothing. The best solution? Just eat better. If you’re deficient in nutrients, tweaking your diet is your best bet. If you eat a diet that’s consistently pizza-based, taking a multivitamin everyday isn’t exactly going to help you flourish.
6. Running Is Bad For Your Knees
Runners HATE this health myth. All runners have been asked by non-runners whether their knees are shot from all the running they do. No. We’re fine. In fact, running is better for the knees then sitting is. Running strengthens the joints just as it strengthens muscles. Of course, you can definitely injure your knees while running. But you can hurt yourself not running too. Running isn’t going to cripple you anytime soon, unless you find yourself hit by a car. If you’re worried about your knees or you’re dealing with arthritis that worsens joint pain, you can make sure you’re wearing proper cushioned footwear. But keep on running for as long as you’re able!
5. A Base Tan Will Prevent Sunburns
This is absolute nonsense. We’ve been told before that a base tan will protect us from the sun’s harmful rays. We prefer to stay pasty. A nice glow looks nice, but it’s not necessarily without its risks. Tanning is not a safe activity. Any kind of tan signifies that the skin has been damaged. Sunscreen is the best way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. A base tan isn’t doing anything to protect you. Your beautiful glow looks nice now, but it’s also the best way to age your skin quickly. Tanning will also increase your risk of skin cancer.
4. Detoxing Is Important
Actually, it’s not. It might be fun (or maybe not) to go on a juice cleanse or drink lemon water for a week straight, but it doesn’t have any health benefits. Guess what? Your body already has a detoxing mechanism built in! Isn’t that amazing? Your liver and kidneys do a great job of ridding your body of toxins. Sure, some toxins in your body are not so easily removed by those organs, but a quick juice cleanse isn’t going to do the trick. Detoxes are a health gimmick that are made to make money. Total fad. Totally useless. The fresh juice sure tastes good, though!
3. Humans Only Use 10% Of Their Brains
It’s weird that this is something we’re so convinced of. Maybe it’s because the myth lends to the idea that there’s some hidden capacity in our brains. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could tap into that other ninety percent and read minds or use telekinesis? Unfortunately, it’s a myth. We actually use most of our brain power most of the time. Our brains use up a lot of our body’s energy precisely because we’re using it all the time. It’s a nice fantasy to think that there are still some hidden abilities locked away in our brains. There is a lot about the brain that is still a mystery, but we definitely use more than ten percent of it.
2. Gluten Free Is The Healthiest Way To Eat
It’s kind of unfortunate that gluten-free diets have become all the rage. For those who actually have celiac disease it must be a nightmare to always have to deal with doubters. Once again, we seem to want to vilify food. Gluten-free isn’t going to do you any good unless you’ve got Celiac disease. Those with the disease cannot digest gluten. Chances are, you can. Gluten-free has come to be synonymous with the words ‘healthy’ and ‘natural.’ Actually, products without gluten tend to be more processed. So unless you have a medical condition, leave the fad alone, and stop ruining it for everyone. We like gluten.
1. Vaccines Cause Autism
This is probably the most harmful health myth on this list. There’s a reason we’re living in an age without devastating childhood diseases. Back in the day, it wasn’t a guarantee that your child would make it to adulthood. However, thanks to vaccinations deadly childhood diseases are becoming a rarity now. Unfortunately, one relentless myth about vaccines circulating around is that they can cause autism. We don’t know what causes autism but studies have been done to show that there’s little evidence to support the theory that vaccinations are the cause. The concern about the link between vaccines and autism comes from a 1998 study, which was actually found to be erroneous and dishonest. Of course, that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from continuing to believe the claim to this day.
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