17 Health Myths That Doctors Say We Should Stop Believing

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By Jonathan Trent

Many of us have taken a doctor’s word as gospel, eating up everything they say as the truth. However, as health professionals, they do provide some valuable insights into things we should and shouldn’t believe. Here are 17 health myths that doctors say we should no longer believe.

Drinking Eight Glasses of Water a Day is Necessary

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While Psych Central notes that drinking plain water is associated with a decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults, it’s important to avoid overdoing it. Excessive water intake can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. Therefore, it’s important to hydrate according to your age, weight, activity level, and climate.

Eating Eggs Raises Cholesterol Levels

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The idea that eating eggs raises cholesterol levels has been skewed over the years. Eggs are associated with increasing HDL cholesterol levels, which is good. They can also be a source of essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals which is vital for a balanced diet.

Low-fat Foods Are Always Healthier

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Many foods that are labeled as low-fat are marketed as healthy. However, some low-fat foods compensate with added sugars or unhealthy additives. Healthy fats such as those found in avocados and nuts, are beneficial for your heart and can be good when included as part of a healthy diet.

Going Gluten-Free is Healthier for Everyone

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Those with celiac disease are gluten-sensitive and need to follow a gluten-free diet. However, it mightn’t be necessarily healthier to go gluten-free as these products often lack essential nutrients and may be higher in sugars and fats. Whole grains containing gluten such as barley and rye offer health benefits.

Detox Diets Cleanse Your Body of Toxins

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Detox diets are popular with those who want to cleanse their body before a big event. However, these people aren’t aware that their body has its own detoxification system involving the liver, kidneys, and digestive system. Detox diets can also lead to nutrient deficiencies and may not effectively eliminate toxins.

Crunches Are the Best Way to Get Abs

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Those who are looking to get abs often think that doing crunches will help them achieve this goal. However, Business Insider reveals that getting abs doesn’t come down to just one thing as you need an exercise routine that includes both strength exercises and cardio.

Carbs Are Bad for Weight Loss

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Carbs are demonized when it comes to weight loss with fitness gurus advising people to eliminate them from their diet. Carbohydrates can provide energy for physical activity and are essential for brain function. Instead, practicing moderation and choosing complex carbohydrates over refined ones supports weight loss goals.

Eating Late at Night Causes Weight Gain

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Diet culture has promoted a variety of myths about eating late at night. Weight gain is more about total calorie intake instead of the timing of meals. While late-night eating can lead to poor food choices or overeating due to tiredness or stress, practicing portion control is more important.

All Calories Are Equal

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While calorie intake is important for weight loss, the quality of calories also matters. Nutrient-dense foods provide more essential nutrients per calorie. Processed foods high in added sugars and unhealthy fats can contribute to weight gain and health issues. It’s better to balance macronutrients and choose whole, minimally processed foods.

You Can “Sweat Out” Toxins Through Exercise

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Sweat that occurs when exercising is normal, but it doesn’t specifically eliminate toxins. Sweating mainly helps regulate body temperature and excrete small amounts of waste products, but it doesn’t have magical detoxification effects. It’s also important to drink water when exercising to replace fluids lost through sweating.

Natural Sugar is Better Than Added Sugar

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Dieters believe that natural sugar is better than added sugar. However, the body metabolizes all sugars in a similar fashion. Taking natural sugars such as honey or fruit juice, can still contribute to health issues. Therefore, you should be mindful of the amount of sugar you are consuming.

Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight

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It can be tempting to skip meals in a bid to lose weight. In fact, The Guardian reveals that one in seven people in the UK are skipping meals. However, this can be counterproductive as it can lead to overeating later in the day due to increased hunger.

Organic Foods Are Always Healthier

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Organic foods are promoted as a way to live a healthier life. Although they may contain fewer pesticides, this doesn’t mean that they are more nutritious. Rather than opting to eat exclusively organic foods, it’s more beneficial to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods.

Supplements Can Replace a Healthy Diet

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According to Harvard Health, getting our nutrients straight from a pill sounds easy, but supplements don’t necessarily deliver on the promise of better health. Supplements are designed to complement a balanced diet and are not to be used as a replacement as they don’t offer the proper nutrients.

Red Meat is Always Unhealthy

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Eating red meat doesn’t always have to be unhealthy. Lean cuts of red meat can be beneficial as part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. Red meat such as steak provides essential nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 which are great for your overall health.

Fat-Free Means Low Calorie

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Fat-free products have been glorified in today’s society, but they may still be high in calories due to added sugars or other ingredients. Instead, focusing on portion control and reading nutrition labels can help you manage your calorie intake, helping you to lose weight in the long run.

A Juice Cleanse Will Reset Your Body

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We have all been sold the lie that juice cleanses completely resets the body. Juice cleanses can actually be quite damaging as they lack essential nutrients like protein and healthy fats. Instead of juice cleanses, it is more advantageous to focus on eating a balanced diet rich in whole foods.