Wellness Myths From The 2000’s That We’ve Now Debunked
Science is constantly moving forward to bring us new discoveries and advances, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing. This is great news for anyone who likes to be in the know! We thought we’d keep you up to date by busting some health myths that were popular as recently as a decade or so ago…
To Get Pregnant, Elevate Your Hips For An Hour After Sex
Sadly, the only thing that’s going to happen if you do this is that the likelihood of getting a bladder infection increases. Upon your man completing his part of the job to impregnate you, the sperm will be in the fallopian tubes within seconds. Lie around briefly post coitus and enjoy the glow, imagining what your future child will look like. Then get up, get cleaned up and avoid a UTI.
Only Dogs Carry Rabies
Just because something usually happens one way doesn’t mean it always happens that way. Such is the case with rabies. It’s most likely that a bite from an infected dog will transmit rabies, but any mammal including cats and bats, can be carriers. What’s more, you can be infected by the saliva from an animal who’s a carrier and who has licked it’s paws or claws. Should you suspect an animal that has scratched or bitten you has rabies, immediately wash and disinfect the wound and then seek medical help without delay.
Cranberry Juice To Treat UTI Infections
A top selling juice company sponsored a study to show that cranberry juice can effectively treat bladder infections; unfortunately the methods they used were less than legit and the data wasn’t good. While some people swear by cranberry pills or cranberry juice to prevent the onset of a UTI, it’s best to go to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. At the point you realize you have an infection, drinking loads of sugary juice isn’t going to treat it.
Avoid Heavy Weights For A Lean Body
Not so fast, ladies! Not only do we all have different body make-ups but we have less testosterone than our male counterparts, making it much harder for us to “bulk up”. In fact, lifting weights increases metabolism and that will lead to leaner body mass over time. Strength training is also good for bone density and should be a part of any exercise plan, along with mobility and cardio components.
Weight Loss Depends On Just Food
Losing weight successfully requires a combination of reduction in caloric intake and increase in physical activity. A lifestyle that includes both high density, lower calorie foods and exercise will lead to weight loss. Beware the fad diets though! Eating well balanced meals comprised of real, whole foods is the better option. People who combine diet + exercise are more successful with weight loss than those who do just one or the other. Exercise helps keep muscle and promotes fat loss.
Fat-Free Has No Calories
So not true. Low-fat or fat-free foods are sometimes lower in calories than the same serving size of the full-fat version, but often they aren’t. To make up for the missing fat, salt, sugar, starch or flour may be added to these products which bumps them up significantly in calories. Check your labels or better yet, eat something whole and natural.
Skipping Meals Help Weight Loss
Skipping a meal sounds like a great idea when you’re feeling a little pudgy and want to drop weight quickly. But this method can have the reverse effect: when you miss a meal, your metabolism slows down to make up for not having food. It wants to hold onto what it’s got! And the next time you eat, you might eat more than you normally would, thereby increasing your overall caloric intake. Studies have also shown a connection between obesity and skipping breakfast. It’s better to eat smaller, more frequent and healthy meals.
Healthy Food Is Expensive
Caring about what you put in your body doesn’t mean you have to worry about your wallet getting thinner. Frozen veggies and fruit provide as many nutrients as fresh at a fraction of the cost. Canned seafood, like tuna, is healthy and inexpensive. Dried, canned or frozen peas, lentils and beans are fantastic sources of protein that won’t break the bank.
All Health Food Is Healthy
Is it health food or is it candy? Sometimes it’s hard to tell, especially from a nutritional standpoint. Oftentimes, foods that are advertised as “healthy” may be just the opposite. What’s more is you may overeat these types of foods under the assumption that they’re good for you. If you want to occasionally indulge in a pre-packaged granola or fruit bar, go for it but think of it as a treat. Much better to eat the real deal instead. Snack on an apple or some carrots when you need an energy boost during the day.
Being Vegetarian Will Help You Lose Weight
Studies show that vegetarians, on average, consume less fat and calories than their omnivorous pals. There’s also evidence that eating vegetarian is linked to lower obesity levels, reduced risks of heart disease and high blood pressure and a lower body mass index (BMI). What’s the catch then? Eating vegetarian still requires healthy choices to lose or maintain weight. A diet of higher calorie, lowered nutrient rich foods (pasta, bread, etc.) will lead to weight gain, no matter if it’s a completely plant based one.
Heart Attacks Are Different For Women
Studies show this to be false even though there is pervasive information floating around that women and men have different heart attack symptoms. Women and men may report the experience of those symptoms differently but in fact sweating, nausea, arm discomfort, shortness of breath, indigestion-like symptoms, and clammy skin are present for both genders when experiencing a cardiac event. Additionally, women may have neck, throat and jaw discomfort.
You Can’t Get Pregnant During Your Period
The answer is you probably won’t, but you can. The time between most women’s menstrual cycles is 21 to 35 days, and if you’re a woman whose cycle is irregular your days of fertility may be completely unpredictable. Sperm’s ability to live in a woman’s body for up to five days definitely plays a role in this scenario, especially if you’re at the end of your period. If you’re not looking to get pregnant during your period, you must use birth control all through your cycle when having intercourse.
Green Mucus Means Infection
Sorry to have to even bring this one up. I know it’s gross! But you should have a lab test before trusting what comes out of your nose. Studies have shown that in certain bacterial infections, yellow or green mucus is slightly more commonplace; however, it’s not a for-sure that you need to take antibiotics. You can have clear mucus with a sinus infection and the common cold can make it green.
Cold Gives You A Cold
Fresh air, even when it’s the cold kind, won’t make you sick. (Even if your mom told you so.) One study showed that healthy men who were in temperatures hovering around the freezing mark actually had a bump in their immunity. The healthy virus-fighting part increased! So not to worry about being in the cold. And don’t forget about all the germs that get passed around the office and at school. You’re more likely to get sick from being indoors at those places.
Vitamins And Supplements Are For All
Most of what you need to be healthy comes from eating a well balanced diet. Supplementation can be a waste of money if you’re getting your nutrients through your food. Pregnant women and elderly folks are the exception to this, as supplements are beneficial for both of those groups. Talk to your doctor about whether or not a specific supplement or two, such as Vitamin D, might be helpful for you. Otherwise you likely don’t need anything extra.
You Must Stretch Before A Work Out
This one can be contentious as there are both pro and con stretching camps. Oftentimes this could be because “stretching” gets confused with “warming up.” Warming up prior to to any workout regimen is essential and helps avoid injury. Feel free to add in some stretching with your warm-up to increase mobility but again, remember that stretching alone will not be enough to get you ready to work out.
No Pain, No Gain
Or I as like to refer to it: no pain, no pain. You shouldn’t ever be experiencing actual pain when working out. Discomfort? Yes. Pushing yourself? Yes. Pain? No. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is seriously out of whack and needs to be addressed. When you’re having pain during exercise, you’ve likely sustained an injury and should stop. Talk to your doctor, physical therapist or massage therapist to figure out ways to work around an injury and still get good exercise.
More Sweat Means You’ve Burned More Calories
More sweat means you’re just cooling yourself off more, not that you’re working harder during a workout. The best way to monitor calories burned is to use one of the ever popular fitness trackers, or the system built into a machine like a treadmill or elliptical. Even more fun is to notice when your clothes starting getting baggy – that’s the best way to measure calories burned.
Foods Labeled “Natural” Are Always Healthy
“Natural” on a nutrition label means nothing from the standpoint of FDA regulation. Many common snack foods like chips and some sodas use the word “natural” on their packaging, when in reality they are chock-full of chemicals. Learn to read food labels and look for items that are minimally processed (e.g. not many ingredients) or better yet, go for the real natural and eat whole food snacks like apples, carrots, nuts and berries.
All Herbal Products Are Safe
Not so. Tobacco, opium and and cocaine are all herbal products and none are exactly safe for use. But what about the herbal supplement that claims a fantastic breakthrough in the XYZ issue you’ve been experiencing? Slow down and talk to your doctor before going gung-ho. Herbal products aren’t regulated and so different brands may have different concentrations or effects. That means claims aren’t necessarily substantiated either.
Nutrition Bars Are Nutritious
I don’t mean to break your heart, but this one is a sad but true fact. That nutrition bar you’ve been grabbing for a healthy snack might be closer to a candy bar than it is to an orange. Many are loaded with sugar and extra calories. There are a few brands that are lower in sugar and have fewer ingredients than some others that are essentially junk food. Be a smart label reader!
Nutrition Labels Can’t Be Deceptive
Did you know that by law nutrition labels can have a 20% margin for error? That means that the 100 calorie snack pack you’re reaching for might actually contain 120 calories. One investigative report showed that some popular food and coffee chains published nutritional facts that were actually much lower than what a lab showed them to be: up to 500 calories! That means you could be packing on an extra pound per week.
Only The Hottest Peppers Burn Belly Fat
Good news for those of you who don’t like it hot! Some milder peppers may have the same ability to burn calories as their fiery counterparts. One study suggests that dihydrocapsiate (DCT), a relative of capsaicin, is actually just as powerful. If you like the idea of a pepper helping you melt off the pounds, then feel confident knowing that hot or not, you may still get the same effect.