The health guidelines you’re following may actually be absurd myths.
The 10,000-step-a-day rule made news last week when reports surfaced that the number was actually a Japanese marketing ploy with little scientific basis.
That’s not the only health fact that’s actually fictitious, said Dr. Donald Hensruder, associate professor of medicine and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic.
“When assessing the accuracy of these myths, it’s important to look at what scientific evidence exists,” Hensruder told the Post.
Here, he introduces us to six commonly accepted myths and tells us what’s true.
It is important to drink eight glasses of water a day
Swallowing 64 ounces of purified water a day isn’t as important as we might think. Also, some people may get enough water primarily from the food and other beverages they eat. If consumed in moderation, coffee and even alcohol can also help with hydration.
“There’s nothing magical about eight glasses of wine,” says Hensrud. “The amount of water people need can vary widely based on different factors: how hot it is, how much they exercise, and what they eat.”
Eating late at night can lead to weight gain
Over the years, many diets have promised results by imposing curfews, but according to Hensruder, it’s what you eat that matters — not when.
“In general, a calorie is a calorie,” he said. He did note, however, that limiting eating to specific times may help, as it encourages you to eat less, rather than mindlessly snacking before “The Late Show.”
Breakfast is the most important meal
It’s long been considered the VIP of dining, but there’s nothing to justify that stance.
“The evidence is conflicting,” Hensruder said. “If people eat breakfast then they may be less likely to overeat later in the day [but] On the other hand, there is some evidence that it may not be as good as we’ve been taught in the past. “
Some people find intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast work for them, and there’s no evidence that skipping breakfast affects overall health, Hensruder said. If you like to skip it and it works for you, you don’t need to change your habit.
“Overall, the breakfast was good, but not as clear as we used to think,” he said.
Organic food is better for you
organic food sound Like it should be better for you, but it probably won’t make much of an impact on your health.
Hensrud said that while there is a common belief that organic foods are healthier than non-organic foods, that’s not the case.
“Washing fruits and vegetables is a good idea [of pesticides] Before eating, obviously, but doesn’t seem to have many adverse health effects [if pesticides are consumed],” he said. “The bottom line is that people should eat more plant products, fruits, vegetables — organic or not. “
Organic foods are “definitely better for the environment” because they pollute less soil, water and air than non-organic foods, but that’s “more of an environmental issue than a health issue,” Hensrud said.
Exercising at specific times is most effective
Hensrud said he’s not aware of any evidence that exercising at certain times of the day or in certain weather burns more calories, adding that if it does, it’s “subtle” and other factors come into play .
“Exercising when it’s warm (depending on how warm it is) may burn more calories, but the problem is being able to maintain the workout,” he said.
Generally speaking, as long as you can fit into your schedule, you should exercise.
“The best time to exercise is when you’re working for people,” he said.
coffee is bad for you
Good news for caffeine drinkers: Your cup of coffee won’t negatively affect your overall health.
“It’s one of the biggest health myths,” Hensruder said of Java’s bad reputation. In fact, “Coffee is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, improved mood and lower risk of depression, improved kidney function, lower risk of gout, and risk of kidney and gallbladder stones.”
He says there are some negative health effects (warning that it can sometimes be harmful to pregnant or trying women), but in general it depends on how the individual metabolizes caffeine – which could explain why some people are more susceptible to the side effects .
“The bottom line is that coffee is a healthy substance,” says Hensruder. “It has a lot of antioxidants and side effects [if experienced] It is that consumption should be limited, not worried that it will go bad. “