We have a great list of health myths that I’m going to go over with some science. Some of the myths I’ve addressed in the past, but they’ll inevitably end up on the “most popular” list. Let me know in the comment section below of any popular myths you’ve come across.
Cold Weather Causes a Cold
This one is the easiest to put in the bullshi’t basket just because it’s so easy to slap. You can go to any doctor and they’ll slap you in the mouth if you look them in the eye with conviction and tell them that the weather made you sick. You hear it all the time. “It must be the change of weather”. It must be, huh? Guess again. Actually, no. People do enough straight up guessing as it as.
Cold symptoms are caused by a virus. The running nose, sneezing, fatigue and fever are all signs of your body fighting a virus. Most of the time, it’s the Rhinovirus. The Rhinovirus gets into the cells lining your nose and starts reproducing. Let’s leave it at that because no one cares about viruses having sex in their nose.
The point is, this is what’s going on in your body and viruses come from germs. So before you go listening to your mother on cold days, tell her to wash her hands before she pinches your cheeks.
Saturated Fat is Bad for You
I love this one. Talk about serious health myths. The demonetization of saturated fat has got to be the worst myth of all. Not only is there absolutely NO reliable scientific evidence to support this claim, but avoiding saturated fat is harmful. That’s right, we need fat more than other animals do. The biggest problem with this myth is the science behind it. The entire fat crusade was started by Ancel Keys who was cited for his faulty observational meta-analysis of a few countries.
Recent studies have pointed to inflammation as a culprit to heart disease, not saturated fat. Dr. Michael Eades wrote a great article on inflammation and diet that I highly recommend.
Overeating Makes you Fat
This one is the most tasteless of the health myths. So many people are scrutinized and blamed for being fat when in reality, it’s just misinformation, not will power. There’s this idea that
conscious over-eating is what causes weight gain. The fact of the matter is, fat and skinny people don’t have different will powers. People who are fat and skinny just have different bodies.
Hormones are responsible for partitioning energy in our bodies. It doesn’t matter how much you’re eating, what matters is what your body does with it at the end of the day. Depending on the food you’re eating, your body will decide whether to store it or use it and release the proper hormones to do so. Insulin is called the fat storage hormone because it’s main responsibility is storing energy. The foods responsible for your body releasing insulin are carbohydrates which break down into sugar. Eat less carbs/sugar and your body won’t have excess energy to store.
What happens if you over-eat fat and protein? Nothing really. Your body doesn’t have a mechanism to store fat so you just end up staying full for a longer period of time. If you stuff yourself with mayo and bacon, you’ll probably start to get hungry three days later. This doesn’t happens with carbs because high blood sugar is toxic so many insulin is released to lower blood sugar. It takes the sugar from your blood and stores it in your fat cells.
This has nothing to do with putting the fork down!
Too Much Salt is Bad for You
The bullshi’t never stops, huh? Okay, so they took away our saturated fat and our salt. What are we suppose to eat that taste good? Sugar? Yeah, that’s perfect……..Just like the saturated fat myth, the restriction of salt can cause adverse side effects. A 2011 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates a low-salt zone where stroke, heart attack and death are more likely.
Another issue is with athletes. Slack on the salt and you’re likely to pass out. Studies have shown a lot of marathon runners often suffer from hyponatremia because they’re lacking salt.
This whole salt embarrassment happened back in the day when they gave some rats with low blood pressure some salt and saw that it increased their blood pressure so they assumed salt increases blood pressure. What they didn’t realize was that it stabilized it. Runners who suffered from hyponatremia had symptoms like lethargy, nausea, cramps, dizziness and even in some cases death. These are all signs of low blood pressure as well!
Walking is Good Exercise
I don’t even know what to say about this myth. Who the Hell thought walking was exercise? Last I heard, it was a method of transportation that can occasionally be used as recreation. The word exercise is subject to interpretation, so to be fair, I’m going to rephrase this. Walking has very little to no physical benefits. It lacks the intensity to do anything positive to the body.
Resistance training is enough to stimulate strength and positive hormonal response. Without any resistance however, there really can’t be any adaptation. Even elderly people don’t benefit from walking. Their rate of muscle degeneration is not going to get better because they’re walking. I’m not going to go too deep into walking because I already have a big article about it.
It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I see people wasting their time walking when they can do something less time consuming and more effective for health. Please don’t short change yourself and make walking your exercise………