There is a ton of conflicting health and fitness advice floating around. Let’s debunk a few common health topics that you may have thought to be true, but are actually false!
When it comes to diet, exercise and healthy living, you are sure to hear all sorts of advice from friends, co-workers’ family, and even television and the Internet.
Everything you hear is not always true. In fact, most things we are led to believe over the course of our healthy living lifestyle turn out to be false.
Without scientific research and support, anything you hear regarding your health, safety and eating habits should be taken with a grain of salt. While their intentions might be good, a lot of the falsehoods sent to us about what we eat and how we should act come from the producers or manufacturers of certain goods and services.
If you are ever in doubt, you should always check the sources and do your research. Chances are, what you are being told could be false.
Here we debunk some common false advice about health and healthy lifestyles.
You may have heard that organic food is more nutritious than regular food and that it is grown without the use of pesticides. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, organic and non-organic farmers are allowed to use pesticides on their crops and do so. The amount that makes it into our food, on both accounts is so minute the USDA doesn’t even take notice. There is also no scientific proof that organic food contains any more nutritional value than non-organic foods.
Sugar Causes Hyperactivity
You have probably learned, or been told that sugar causes hyperactivity or even ADHD in children. However, what you probably don’t know is that there is and never was any scientific proof to support the claim.
The first claim came from a letter written by Dr. William Crook in 1974 where he stated: “Only in the past three years have I become aware that sugar … is a leading cause of hyperactivity.” The problem is that a letter is not a research paper.
No scientific report, study or investigation has ever proven this theory. However, most studies conducted on the phenomenon have proven that sugar does not cause hyperactivity or ADHD.
Wait an Hour Before Swimming
If you eat and then go swimming, you will cramp up, sink to the bottom of the pool and drown. I bet you all heard this one growing up.
However, the evidence says that this is nothing more than a scare tactic. Only under extreme training are you likely to cramp during swimming (think Olympic training). Casual swimming offers no more danger before, during or after a meal.
This is not to say you shouldn’t be careful in water. Cramps, drowning, or injury can always be a present threat. However, there is no correlation between cramping and your digestive tract.
Taking a Multivitamin Will Make You Healthy
Did your parents make you take a cartoon character shaped multivitamin when you were a kid? Most of us did.
However, vitamins, just like herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and there is no scientific proof that one pill can or does contain enough of the vitamins and minerals we need to survive a day.
What studies have shown is that eating a proper diet will give us what we need, and others have shown that some multivitamins have been linked to cancer.
You Need 8 Glasses of Water Every Day
Have you seen those people walking around counting the ounces the drink? They even have products on the market to count your water intake for you.
Unfortunately, there is no scientific proof that you must consume 8 glasses per day. That isn’t to say that drinking water isn’t healthy. It has zero calories and is a good replacement for sugary soda and sports drinks.
However, how much you need depends on your exertion, activity level, and physical abilities. If you are weight training and taking supplements, you will need to drink more water than someone who sits at a desk all day.
There has never been, though, any research showing a correlation between water intake and kidney, liver or organ function.
Vaccines Cause Autism
One of the greatest hoaxes of our time. Never has there ever been a study to prove that there is any link between vaccines and autism.
The “study” that started the entire debate was not a real study at all. Published in the Lancet in 1998, a false, and retracted, the statement said a case of only 12 children found that the MMR vaccine caused autism.
Since then, studies of millions of children and vaccines have never turned up any evidence to support any such claim, ever.
Sitting Close to the Television is Bad for Your Eyes
Saturday mornings used to be full of cartoons and mom yelling at you to back away from the television. You were warned you would go blind, or your vision would become fuzzy.
The truth is the worst that can happen is you might develop a headache from eye strain. However, losing your eyesight is not a proven fact of being too close to a screen.
Saturated Fat is Bad For You
The understanding that saturated fat increased the risk of heart disease somehow became common knowledge.
The truth is no scientific study can prove it. There are, however studies that can show that eating saturated fat raises the HDL, or good cholesterol, in the blood and changes the LDL or bad cholesterol from small to large. Both of which are good things for our bodies.
No proof has ever been found that saturated fat causes a risk or rise of a risk for heart disease or cardiovascular complications.
Regardless of what you hear or who you hear it from, you should always investigate things out for yourself. If you are ever in doubt research and studies are just a click away.
Don’t be afraid to learn all the facts for yourself before blindly believing what someone tells you or you hear on television.
Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see “TFT Team” this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.