Six “Health Tips” That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice

Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice

Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice

As with all fields of scientific research, biomedical science is an emergent truth built out of a tapestry of studies , not just one. Often, however, each health-based study is presented by the media as if it’s an indelible fact. Rarely are faultings or limits of the study, along with vital additional context, included. Asserts are often exaggerated or oversimplified.

As Ben Goldacre, a highly respected annihilator of bad medical science once set it in a BMJ editorial: “It is common to find correlational findings misrepresented as denoting causation, for example, or findings in animal studies confidently exaggerated to induce claims about therapy for humans.”

Through this pick-and-choose, misrepresentative position, health tips given out by TV physicians, outlets, talking heads, and your friends and family can often be closer to horoscopes than scientific facts. These erroneous modicums of advice were able to be completely ineffective, specific merely to a small demographic, or potentially bad for you. Here’s a look at a handful of them.

“Avoid Dietary Fat”

We need fat to build cell membranes, sheaths surrounding nerves, and it plays a vital role in muscle motion, vitamin absorption, and blood clotting.

For decades, however, fat was made out to be the archenemy of the food groups, the harbinger of all kinds of health-based doom, and the deliverer of weight gain. As time’s ticked on, we’ve learned that it’s far more nuanced than that, and it largely depends on the types of fats you’re ingesting.

As pointed out by Harvard Medical School, you have unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which you can get from various oils and oily foodstuffs, like fish and avocados. Their omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent heart disease and stroke.

Then you’ve got trans fats, which are byproducts of hydrogenated petroleums, found in a broad range of processed foods. “Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of intake, ” the post notes, linking even small consumption levels to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

You also have saturated fats, found in butter and red meat. Research in the 1950 s and 60 s indicated saturated fat made you unhealthy, which metastasized into anti-fat dietary advice in general. The meat industry wasn’t keen on saying that saturated fats in their foods were bad for you, so they lobbied the US government merely to advise people to feed less fat in general.

Additionally, for decades, the sugar industry– whose own research clearly connected sugar to heart disease- withhold their knowledge from the public. Instead, dietary fats were promoted as the cause of coronary heart disease, something that plenty of the public still readily believe today.

It’s in fact not clear what effect saturated fats have on your health, so right now, the general advice is to moderate your saturated fat intake, as you do with anything else, and stick to the healthier ones. Simply saying feeing fat is bad is daft, and cutting it out altogether can be unhealthy.

“Feed A Cold, Starve A Fever”

This maxim dates back between 400 and 500 years, which may explain why it’s so frequently repeated. As noted by SciAm, it stemmed from the faith that feeing food generates warmth during a “cold” and that, if you have a fever, you shouldn’t be eating food to generate heat at all.

It’s bullshit, as you may expect. When you’re under the weather, you need( healthy) food to give your body energy to fight off the infection.

A fever, as it happens, is ordinarily your body’s response to an underlying infection. By raising your internal temperature, your body is stimulating the immune system, which ultimately builds it more difficult for the pathogens to survive. So keep eating that chicken soup, you sickly human- which, incidentally, gives your body much-needed fluids and nutrients, as well as helps to loosen any dried phlegm you’ve got going on in there.

“You Should Totally Get Your Colon Cleansed”

Cleanses are stupid, but advocates of those primarily involving your turd portal are unequivocally ridiculous. Unless it’s done in preparation for a medically mandated colonoscopy, do not casually flush out your turd tube.

In case you’re wondering, during a colonic, vast amounts of water, along with various infusions, are fired up your rectum. The notion is that such an irrigation removes “toxins” and any lingering poop you can’t pinch out. Some even assert that allergies and weaker immune systems can be effectively treated this way.

As it happens, your colon is perfectly capable of expunging garbage itself, and there is no proof whatsoever to back up the more outlandish health asserts. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, the side-effects of such a cleanse can range from the uncomfortable to the dangerous.

Some may experience nothing at all, but cramping and nausea that leads to vomiting are possible. You are also putting yourself at risk of bowel perforations, infections, and electrolyte changes- which, if you have an underlying health problem, are likely to be dangerous. Death via colonic irrigation has occurred.

Stay away from our butt with your coffee enemas and colonic flushes, Paltrow.

“The Paleo Diet Is Great”

We probably don’t have to tell you that fad diet are often based on spurious and unfounded claims taken to their extremes. Take the Paleo diet( PD ), for example. Emerging from the work of a gastroenterologist in the mid-1 970 s, it has a few different versions, but the general ethos is the equivalent: eat as if we still lived in the Paleolithic.

The idea is that, before the agricultural revolution, we used to eat a mixture of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Basically, be modern-day hunter-gatherers and leave out all those cereal grains, legumes, anything processed, anything with added salt, any dairy, and any processed oils.

Advocates suggest that this will not only help you lose weight, but you’ll also reduce the health risks of things like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Paleolithic people were scarcely the healthiest of humans, though; they often suffered from a range of foodborne illness. They also happened to eat whatever they could get their hands on, which entails their diet was incredibly variable and definitely not balanced. As the British Dietetic Association points out, what they feed is actually based on “educated guesses”.

A 2015 review of the( albeit restriction) data on users of the PD found that less salt, moderate intake of carbohydrates, and healthier fats were beneficial and aided weight loss. However, as key food groups( like whole grains) are missing, this diet could lead to potentially dangerous inadequacies that may negatively affect your health unless you take dietary supplements- not very Paleolithic, though.

There’s a chance you’ll lose weight on the PD, sure, but its health claims absence any scientific proof. If you have a healthy but balanced diet, you’ll also lose weight, but you won’t have to worry about said deficiencies.

The Early Bird Catches The Worm

Google searches for why waking up early is good for your health bring up a whole host of unfounded health asserts, along with a lot of aggravatingly cheery descriptions of why morning exert is simply the best thing ever.

Your sleep pattern is decided by your chronotype, a genetically controlled preferred sleeping pattern. So-called “clock genes” within your brain release proteins over a 24. 2-hour period and this is( in petroleum words) what controls when you feel sleepy and when you are at peak alertness. You also have tiny biological clock in all of your cells elsewhere in the body too.

For many, your sleep schedule fits with society’s work schedule, something that dates back to the Industrial Revolution. If you have a late or early chronotype, however, you’ll be socially jet-lagged, with the more extreme night owl or early birds often experiencing sleep deprivation and related cognitive and physiological problems.

Your chronotype changes a little as you age, but it appears that there’s nothing you can really do to change your chronotype yourself. You’d be at your healthiest and most alert if you could match your work schedule to it, but short of a revolution in education and employment, this is an impossibility for most. So unless you’re already an early bird, forget those “health benefits” to waking up early- it’ll likely do you more harm than good.

“Don’t Eat Food X, It Gives You Cancer! ”

What is and what is not carcinogenic was typified grimly by the recent declaration in California that suggested coffee to be cancer-giving. It isn’t, by the way.

This fantastic post from Vox reminds us that individual studies, both well and poorly designed, conclude that certain foods can either cause or protect us against cancer. Depending on which study you read, wine either prevents or causes the adversity, as does butter, milk, and tomatoes. Plenty of things are possibly carcinogenic, but a moderated diet and lifestyle should render much of this risk null and void.

You simply can’t take one study in isolation, just as you can’t take anyone’s claims based on single papers.

Sure, some things are certainly going to increase the health risks of cancer, like smoking– that connection has been clearly established. Others, ranging from jet fuel to tea, are listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as “unclassifiable” as to their carcinogenicity. It’s a spectrum of varying certainty.

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Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice
Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice
Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice
Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice
Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice

Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice

Six "Health Tips" That Are Actually TERRIBLE Advice

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