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5 Health Myths to Leave Behind 

In Canada, healthcare is a $2 billion industry. And it’s no wonder with all of the misinformation and back and forth. Coconut oil is bad for you. Coconut oil is great for you. Coconut is bad for you again. It’s hard to keep up and do what’s right for your body. Let’s explore 5 health myths that had their day in the sun. But now — thanks to science  they can finally be put to bed once and for all. Don’t be the last to let them go. Take notes in your spiral notebook if need be and leave them behind.

  1. No Fat /Low-Fat Products are Better for You Than the “Regular” Version

It’s taken several years for this to catch on, so if you’re already there, just pat yourself on the back and move on. Finally, after years of research, big yogurt companies have decided that health-conscious people aren’t fooled by their 0% fat and low-fat gimmicks. And they are putting out more full-fat options. If you can still find these low-fat yogurts in your grocery, check the label. The lower fat choices are loaded with extra sugar, which is much more dangerous than fat. And it will make you hungry. Excess sugar consumption can lead to cravings, high/low blood sugar, increased risk of Type II Diabetes, obesity and much more.

Fat, well, can be bad in large quantities. But that’s why we find it so filling. Unless you’re overriding your body’s natural “full” meter, your body will tell you when you’ve had too much.

Simple carbs like sugar, on the other hand, raise your blood sugar, so that it can crash in 20-30 minutes. When it does, you feel like you’re starving. And this is in no way limited to yogurt. Not eating enough fat has been shown to  believe it or not  increase the waistline. You’re not doing yourself any favors by excessively limiting fat consumption.

  1. Wearables Make You Lose Weight/Be More Active

This is not to disparage wearables and other health tech. They’re great if used correctly. But only you can make yourself live healthier.

Studies, such as one published in the JAMA (Journal Of The American Medical Association) show that wearables can have a negligible or even opposite of the intended effect over the long term (2 years study duration).

They can be great motivators. But if you’re not staying involved long term, then tracking you active minutes, stairs, heart rate, etc., will — statistically speaking — leave you sitting on the couch wearing your health tracker of choice.

  1. Microwaves Cause Cancer

No, don’t stick your cat in there. But the idea that standing in front a microwave or eating microwaved food causes cancer has not been proven.

Actually, in a bit of irony, microwaves are being studied as a very effective cancer treatment. And the frequency of use to treat various cancers will likely increase. Targeted microwaves can be used to superheat the cancer cells and destroy them, while leaving the healthy cells unharmed.

  1. Vitamins Will Keep You Healthy

Of course, you know that this refers to the processed kinds that you buy in pills and not the ones in a mango. The vitamins that you buy in pills are often isolated nutrients. You get your vitamins and minerals from food for a reason. The vitamins and minerals along with micro-nutrients work together to build your cells and make you strong.

Some of these, we (scientists) haven’t even discovered yet, so it’s not likely that we could put them in a pill in a way that our bodies can even use. Most of the “vitamins” you consume just pass right through if the supporting nutrients aren’t present.

According to Johns Hopkins, there isn’t really any proof that packaged vitamins are good for you. On the contrary, they warn that the possibility of overdose outweighs any benefits actually proven by science. A diet rich in a variety of whole foods is the way to be healthy.

  1. You Need 8-10 Glasses of Water a Day

Really? So if you hike all day long in 90 F degree heat and sweat buckets, you need 8-10 glasses? If you weigh 140 pounds you need as much water as someone who weighs 250? If you eat a super salty meal, you don’t really need water if you feel thirsty.

This is the problem with averages. The average tells you that this is the average that people need in general. A given person may need much more or less on any given day.

There are simply too many factors to consider like:

  • Electrolyte Intake (potassium, sodium, magnesium)
  • Sweat
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Physical activity
  • And on and on and on.

Listen to your body.

If you are thirsty, reach for water first. If you are hungry, reach for water first. This is how your body tells you how much you need. Until we get an implantable that calculates exactly what we need we have to rely on what you are given — your own body and mind.