The six category myth-busts for the most commonly mistaken health assumptions to gain knowledge-power for progressing towards a truly healthier lifestyle.
ORGANIC FOOD IT’S ECO-FRIENDLY
Major companies around the world, such as Kra(, General Mills and Kellogg’s actually import raw (organic) materials from abroad for a low cost due to the excessive demand of their products, and only have a small portion locally (or organically) grown. #e transportation of a large portion of their ingredients actually adds to pollution cost. And while some people buy “organic” thinking that the plants are grown in a more conventional way with no pesticides, fact is, farmers excessively use natural pesticides rather than synthetic ones to ensure they are just as e"ective! Acknowledging all this, some have even gone as far as labelling the organic trend as a marketing hype with non-justi!able added costs.
Although lacking synthetic %avors, sweeteners, preservatives and any additives, USDA does not make any claim that organic food is more nutritious than its non-organic counterpart! Potato chips are potato chips (even if the potatoes are organic!), and cane sugar is still a form of sugar – so watch your calorie intake. Nevertheless, the good thing about organic food is that the animals used for providing milk or meat roam in free range farms.
THE WORD “ORGANIC” MEANS THE FOOD IS 100% ORGANIC!
Labels are usually deceiving. #e rule is, if it says “organic” on the label, it means it’s made up of 95% organic ingredients. If it reads “made with organic ingredients,” it may only have up to 70% organic components.
WHITE EGGS ARE LESS NUTRITIOUS THAN BROWN EGGS Although true, that brown is better than white bread, and cane sugar is better than white sugar, in this case, the color of the eggshell doesn’t indicate that brown is better than white, despite that they usually cost more than white eggs. #e eggshell color is just a color, nothing more, nothing less.
FRESH IS HEALTHIER THAN FROZEN
Not necessarily the case. Some fresh vegetables can be more exposed to air pollution being transported long distances. #e heat can also contaminate them faster. Frozen vegetables and fruits actually have, at many times, more nutrients preserved than fresh foods.
LESS SODIUM IN SEA SALT
Don’t be deceived by the fancy packaging and the words written on salt packages. A gram of sea salt has as much sodium as a gram of table salt. However, sea salt looks more appealing with its perfectly rounded crystals, and since the crystals are slightly larger than regular salt, you may be inclined to sprinkle less on your food.
“ALL NATURAL” ON THE LABEL INDICATES IT IS HEALTHY
#e words “all natural” are not enough to make the product healthier. You need to look out for additional words such as “no arti!cial %avors added,” “no colorings or preservatives” just to say the least.
ANTIBACTERIAL GEL KILLS GERMS Yes, antibacterial gel might be harmful to you. Although we assume that the FDA usually approves all ingredients for foods and products we consume, it is not always the case. Until this day, the FDA has not approved the chemical triclosan which is found in antibacterial gels, and one that is controversially debated in terms of its possible harmful e"ects. Reduce consumption to a minimum by using good old soap and water. Moreover, as commonly known, antibacterial gels kill everything o" your hands – including the natural “good” germs on your skin. Some experts even predict that by killing both good and bad germs, superbugs may form ' which require antibiotics.
WASHING YOUR HANDS WITH WARM WATER IS BETTER FOR KILLING GERMS
Not necessarily true. #ere is no di"erence unless you are washing your hands at a water temperature of 100 degrees Celsius (boiling water!). #e key to washing your hands is scrubbing and rubbing your hands with soap and drying with a clean towel. According to Mayo Clinic studies, 20 seconds of scrubbing is good enough for cleanliness.
MULTIVITAMINS IMPROVE YOUR OVERALL HEALTH Many studies conducted on multivitamins prove no extra added bene!ts. Having a rich-balanced diet is what makes a di"erence for overall health. In fact, if you’re eating reasonably, getting the extra vitamins may cause health complications. Simply eating fruits and vegetables allows your body to produce its own antioxidants compared to taking them in vitamin form.
Antibiotics have no e"ect on the e"ectiveness and usage of birth control pills.
YOU CAN TRANSFORM FAT INTO MUSCLE Exercise Physiologist, Dr. Sukala, indicates that burning fat and building muscles are two di"erent processes, mentioning, “fat and muscle are two di"erent metabolic tissues and one does not convert into the other. What does happen is this: as you start eating healthfully and exercising, the fat gradually burns o" and goes away, and you start to build muscle. #ey are two totally separate processes.”
LATE-NIGHT EATING MAKES YOU FAT
#is is a false statement. However, people do tend to overeat more at night simply because they are more tired and less functional towards the evening. In addition to this, the hunger hormone grehlin, and leptin (the appetite hormone) may be altered when your body is tired late at night, and in some cases can a"ect eating habits early morning the next day.
COLD WEATHER MAKES YOU SICK People are not more prone to sickness during wintertime because of the cold weather, but because they are being less active and stay mostly indoors, where germs easily make presence without the proper air ventilation and circulation.
THE FIVE-SECOND RULE TO EATING FOOD THAT FELL ON THE FLOOR
If food falls on the %oor and spends a mere millisecond there, it will attract bacteria. #e issue here is not time, but the food’s moisture, surface geometry and %oor condition.