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Medical myths are prevalent online, and you can get misinformation — often from friends and family. It’s best to avoid myths and get your information from reliable sources.
There are many myths about foods and nutrition. Read on for answers to questions you might have about supplements, carbohydrates, and intermittent fasting.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can be healthy, but only when used in the right way.
Exercise may be challenging, but it does wonders for keeping your body healthy and well.
Always trust your doctor’s advice, and only use other information that’s from reliable sources.
How Medical Myths and Misinformation Spread
It’s easy for rumors and misinformation to spread, especially today with the common use of social media and the availability of all sorts of information on the internet. This is because it’s easy to read and share articles and fake news in health without checking how accurate that information is. Understandably, you also trust your friends and family, so when they share an idea from the internet or a “news” article, you’re more likely to read it and believe it.
Why You Should Trust Your Doctor
One benefit of doctors is that they treat each patient as an individual. A family member (even your spouse) or friend may not know the details of your medical history, and a webpage can’t take your health background into account at all. A doctor knows your history, medications, and other important health details, and will consider all that when making decisions about your care and prescribing medications.
Doctors and healthcare professionals are also qualified and experienced in treating many patients. In addition, they have years of schooling and continuing education to keep them up to date on the latest medical trends and developments.
Common Myths About Nutrition
Eggs are not healthy
You might have heard that eggs should not be eaten every day, that they can make you gain weight, or that eggs can raise your cholesterol. Myths like these are false. The truth is that eggs are good for you. They have protein and other nutrients like vitamin D and choline, which contribute to your immune system and metabolism.
All protein supplements are healthy
Some high-quality protein supplements are good for you, but some are not. Some protein powders have added sugars, thickeners, and artificial flavoring that can contribute to obesity, diabetes, or other health concerns. The amount of actual protein in these products also varies.
Carbohydrates are bad for you
Not all carbohydrates (or carbs) are bad for you. There are two types of carbs: simple and complex. Simple carbs are not good for you and are found in refined and added sugars like white sugar or soda. You’ll also find simple carbs in fruit, so while you get the benefit of vitamins and fiber in fruit, be careful of how much fruit you eat.
Complex carbs digest slowly and won’t spike your blood sugar as simple carbohydrates do. You’ll find complex carbs in unrefined and whole-grain foods, and these are good for you. You can find healthy carbs in vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole-wheat bread.
Healthy eating is expensive
The key to eating healthy on a budget is to plan ahead, cook in batches, and prepare your food yourself. Doing this will help you avoid wasting food and it will also allow you to have meals already prepared when you’re not in the mood to cook.
Intermittent fasting is unhealthy
You might be wondering “Is intermittent fasting healthy?” Intermittent fasting is defined as “not eating for brief periods,” for several hours or for a day or two. The truth is, intermittent fasting is not unhealthy, but it’s not something everyone will enjoy or benefit from. Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight when paired with regular exercise. This doesn’t mean, however, that when you do eat, you get to eat anything you want. During the times that you eat, you will need to follow a healthy diet for the best results.
Common Myths About Supplements
Taking vitamins “makes up” for an unhealthy diet
This is not true. Yes, taking supplements will help give your body the vitamins and minerals that it doesn’t get through your diet, but vitamin supplements don’t make up for the health risks of unhealthy eating. The risks of unhealthy eating include obesity, inflammation, chronic disease, and cancer.
It’s impossible to overdose on supplements
This is incorrect. It is possible to overdose on some supplements and vitamins. Vitamins are divided into water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are easily excreted from your body. Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, get stored in your body. This poses a risk that fat-soluble vitamins can keep accumulating if you take too much. Overdosing on vitamins can cause reactions such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, impaired vision, and liver problems.
Supplements won’t interfere with your medications
Dietary supplements actually can interact with your medications. Certain supplements can affect how your body absorbs and secretes your medications, which can change how effective they are. Talk to your doctor about your supplements and how they might affect your new or existing medications.
Common Myths About Exercise
Exercise should be unpleasant
Exercise does not have to be painful. In fact, if it feels uncomfortable, you might be doing something wrong and causing more harm than good. Not everyone wants to exercise, and it can feel like a chore. But the more you get into the exercise habit, the more you’ll look forward to it.
Exercise cancels out a poor diet
This isn’t true. Yes, exercise is good for your body, but it doesn’t address the issues that an unhealthy diet causes. Exercise can help with stamina and strength, but it doesn’t lower your bad cholesterol or change your blood sugar levels.
If you stop working out, your muscles will turn to fat
Muscles can’t turn to fat. They are different types of tissues in your body. What happens is that your body loses tone, and that’s why you start to look “softer.”
Taking care of your body means staying informed and up-to-date about what’s best for you. This includes what you eat, the exercise you get, and keeping your mind active. There are plenty of resources with information about your health available online, but not all of them are trustworthy.
Your friends and family may have your best interests at heart, but the advice they give or the articles they share might not be accurate. Unless they’re qualified medical professionals, it’s best to do some research. Instead of trusting articles that you find online, rely on trusted sources for your information such as your doctor, reliable organizations, and other healthcare professionals.