6 Health Rumors Demystified: The Truth Behind the Fiction

September 27, 2019

there are many healthy foods
Jennifer Van Haitsma

What is the craziest health rumor you have ever heard? 

Everywhere you look, you see posts about health and wellness. There are tips about fitness, how to eat, what supplements to take, homeopathic remedies, etc. Some of it is credible, and some of it, not so much. 

In this article, we are going to demystify 6 common health rumors, and give you advice you can implement today to improve your wellness. 

6 Health Rumors Demystified

Working out on an empty stomach burns more fat

This is sort of true in a way but not really. Exercise does burn fat based on what you have eaten. You might burn a few more fat calories, but really, you’re not burning any more calories overall. 

I recommend eating a nutritious breakfast before you workout. This will give you more energy as you power through your exercise routine. 

Drinking more water helps you lose weight

Again, kind of, but not really. If you drink water, that means you aren’t drinking a can of pop that is loaded with calories and sugar. So, in that way, water is better for managing weight. 

Ultimately, drinking water is not a weight loss solution. It only works if you are consuming it in place of pop or juice. 

Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis

Nope. Not true. The only thing cracking knuckles has been proven to cause is poorer grip strength and more swelling. So cracking your knuckles will not cause arthritis. 

Arthritis is caused by genetics and old age. Does your mom have arthritis? What about your dad? These are the real risk factors to be aware of. 

Eating foods containing soy messes with women’s hormones

The thing about soy consumption is: avoid eating it whole. Soy infused products (Soy milk, etc.) is relatively safe in limited amounts. It all depends on the amount of phytoestrogens in the product. Science isn’t clear on how much of that is present in soy infused products. 

As long as you are limiting exposure to phytoestrogens, you are safe to consume soy products in limited doses. Looking for an alternative to your morning glass of soy milk? Try almond milk instead. There are plenty of other dairy free alternatives out there. 

Eating after 9pm will make you gain weight

Simply put, it is not true that your metabolism slows down at night. This is a common myth that you tend to see. Luckily, you are free to have that snack. 

Keep in mind, when you eat closer to bedtime, it is generally “boredom eating” (not eating to serve a nutritional purpose). This is why the myth exists. We consume excess calories at night simply because we’re bored. This puts us over our allotted calorie count for the day, hence the weight gain. 

Double dipping a chip spreads germs to others

We’ve all seen that classic episode of “Seinfeld” about the double dipping. It was a funny scene, and has become a cultural standard for party etiquette. But does it really spread germs when you dip a chip a second time?

Yes and no. I guess a better answer is: the jury’s still out. Studies have shown that germs are passed from the double dipped chip to the dip to the clean chip. What is unclear is how long the bacteria stays alive in the dip or if it infects other party guests. 

4 Wellness Tips You Need To Implement

Now that we have cleared up some common myths surrounding health and wellness, I wanted to offer what I consider my 5 best pieces of advice for improving your health drastically. Follow these tips and you can start feeling better in a matter of weeks. 

Exercise daily

I’m not a personal trainer or medical professional, but I am a major proponent of daily exercise. What I always tell people is: start slow

Make it a priority each day to take a ten minute walk on your lunch break. After a week or two, increase it to fifteen minutes, and so on. Be patient with yourself and remember: we all started somewhere. 

Practice meditation 

This is something you can do for five minutes in the morning after your alarm goes off. Close your eyes and focus on clearing your mind of unnecessary thoughts. Meditation is good for bringing peace and balance to a hectic life. 

Not confident about meditation? There are a lot of great videos on Youtube. Search for “guided meditation.”  The person leading the video, or narrating, will tell you exactly what to do. 

Eat vegetables with every meal

Vegetables are low in fat and calories and high in nutrients like Vitamin A, C, and potassium. They are also high in fiber. You should make it a goal to eat a serving of vegetables with every meal. 

Not a veggie fan? For breakfast, try an omelette with vegetables scrambled inside. That is an easy way to get those nutrients without “eating vegetables.”

Reduce sugar intake

Don’t get me wrong. I love sweet stuff. Warm brownies and chocolate chip cookies are two of my favorite things. However, there are a lot of reasons to be mindful of your sugar intake. 

High sugar consumption can cause:

  • obesity and metabolic syndrome

  • heart disease

  • type 2 diabetes

  • high blood pressure and cholesterol

  • chronic inflammation

  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

  • dental plaque and cavities

Take a probiotic

There are a lot of studies being done that link your gut health to a healthy brain. You will see references to something called “the gut-brain axis.” Simply put, this is the connection between your gut and your brain that can cause a lot of health issues if not looked after. 

Probiotics and prebiotics are good for digestive health but there are also studies currently showing they can benefit people with anxiety and depression. 

What You Need To Keep In Mind

At the end of the day, the internet is full of health rumors. Do eat dairy. Don’t eat dairy. Watch your salt intake. Exercise. Red meat is good for you. Don’t eat meat. 

Do your research, and follow the advice above and you will find yourself on the path to a healthier life. 

Sources used: https://www.prevention.com/life/g20487416/22-craziest-health-rumors-debunked/?slide=7
https://food.unl.edu/NEP/NEP%20Documents/Vegetable%20group.pdf
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319991.php#risks-and-considerations
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gut-brain-connection

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