The healthy guidelines you live by may be ridiculous myths.
Last week, the 10,000 steps a day rule made headlines when it was reported that the number was actually a Japanese marketing ploy with little scientific basis.
It’s not the only health fact that’s actually fiction, said Dr. Donald Hensrud, associate professor of medicine and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic.
“It’s important to look at what scientific evidence exists when evaluating the accuracy of these myths,” Hensrud told The Post.
Here, he breaks down six commonly accepted myths and tells us what’s really true.
Drinking eight glasses of water a day is crucial
Drinking 64 ounces of pristine H2O every day isn’t as important as we’ve been led to believe. Also, some people can get adequate hydration mostly from the food they eat and other drinks. Coffee and even alcohol can also contribute to hydration if consumed in moderate amounts.
“There’s nothing magical about 8 glasses,” Hensrud said. “The amount of water someone needs can vary quite a bit depending on different factors: how hot it is, how much they exercise and their diet.”
Eating late at night led to weight gain
Many diets over the years have promised results by implementing a curfew on when food is eaten, but according to Hensrud, it’s what, not when, you eat that matters.
“In general, calories are calories,” he said. However, he notes that restricting food to certain times can be helpful, as it encourages you to eat less and not snack mindlessly in front of “The Late Show.”
Breakfast is the most important meal
It has long been regarded as the VIP of dining, but there is little to justify that position.
“The evidence is conflicting,” Hensrud said. “If people eat breakfast, they are 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 what we have taught in the past.”
Hensrud said some people have found that intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast work for them, and there’s no evidence that skipping breakfast affects overall health. If you prefer to skip it and it works for you, you don’t need to change the habit.
“Breakfast is generally good, but it’s not as clear cut as I used to think it was commonly believed,” he said.
Organic food is better for you
Organic foods sounds as it should be better for you, but it may not change your overall health much.
Hensrud said that while it’s commonly believed that organic food is healthier than non-organic, that’s not necessarily true.
“It is a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables [of pesticides] before eating, obviously, but there don’t seem to be many adverse health effects [if pesticides are consumed],” he said. “The bottom line is that people should eat more plant products, fruits and vegetables, whether organic or not.”
Hensrud said organic food is “definitely better for the environment” because it has less soil, water and air pollution than food that is grown non-organically, but it is “more of an environmental issue rather than a health problem.”
Exercising at a certain time is the most effective
Hensrud said he has no evidence to suggest that exercising at a certain time of day or at certain times burns more calories, adding that if it does, it’s “subtle” and other factors come into play.
“Exercising when it’s hot (depending on how hot it is) may burn a little more calories, but the problem would be just being able to maintain the exercise,” he said.
In general, you should exercise whenever you can fit it into your schedule.
“The best time to train is when you’re working for people,” he said.
Coffee is bad for you
Good news for caffeine drinkers: Your cup of joe won’t negatively affect your overall health.
“It’s one of the biggest health myths out there,” Hensrud said of Java’s bad reputation. In fact, “coffee has been linked to a decreased risk of type two diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, improved mood and decreased risk of depression, better kidney function, decreased risk of possibly gout and possibly kidney and gall bladder stones. stones.”
He said there are some negative health effects (cautioning that it can sometimes be harmful for pregnant women or women trying), but in general, it depends on how a person metabolizes caffeine, which could explain why some are more susceptible to side effects.
“The bottom line is that coffee is a healthy substance,” Hensrud said. “It has a lot of antioxidants and side effects [if experienced] they are what should limit consumption, not the fear that it is bad”.