3 Annoying Health Myths You Shouldn't Believe

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

About a week ago, we asked our Facebook fans to share the best (or most frustrating) “health myths” they could think of.

Since the answers were so good, we picked 3 of the most popular ones and decided to expand on them a bit.

Why? Because modern culture is literally chock full of health myths that are anything BUT good for us.

So let’s debunk a few of these, shall we?

Health Myth 1: Eggs Give you Heart Disease

This is an old one. Let’s lay this to rest already!

Yes, eggs are a rich source of cholesterol, but they won’t give you heart disease. In fact, eating eggs has been associated with an increase in HDL,1your body’s “good cholesterol.”

Eggs also have a favorable impact on LDL. They support the production of large LDL particles,2 which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

In contrast, smaller LDL particles are more likely to enter arterial walls and lead to plaque buildup. In addition, organic eggs are a good source of omega-3s, which are beneficial for your heart.

If you’re still in doubt, limit your intake to two servings a week. Remember, you can always eat more if you “dare.” ;-)

Health Myth 2: Eating Fat Makes you Fat

This concept gained popularity back in the ‘80s, and it’s done some serious damage since then.

Eating fat-free is a recipe for disaster. Fat delays the digestive process helping you to feel full. It also suppresses your appetite.3 Taking the fat out of meals leaves your body wanting for something.

When manufacturers make fat-free foods, they often make up for it with added sugar, which is anything but waist-friendly. High sugar diets are associated with weight gain4 and many other health problems.

Next time you’re tempted to buy a fat-free food, take a look at the label. It’s probably loaded with sugar.

Health Myth 3: All Sun Exposure Leads to Skin Cancer

This can be true in excess, but it all depends on how much sunlight you actually get.

Excessive sun exposure, like the kind that leads to sunburns, is associated with skin cancer. In fact having 5 or more sunburns during your lifetime may double your risk for melanoma,5 the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Sunburns are particularly dangerous when they occur at a young age, but they increase the risk irrespective of the age, and even one blistering sunburn was reported to double the chances of developing melanoma later in life6.

Should you stay out of the sun indefinitely? No. A little bit of sunlight is actually good for you. Research shows it boosts your production of endorphins7 and can even lower your blood pressure.8

Not to mention, one of the sun's byproducts, vitamin D, protects against a variety of cancers.9

So what’s the solution? Get a little bit of sunshine each day (i.e., 15 minutes), and take your vitamin D. This will help you reap the benefits of sunlight without excessive exposure.

What about You?

Are there any other annoying health myths that you’d like to see debunked? Tell us in the comments below. Who knows? They may make it in the next post!

References:

  1. J Med Assoc Thai. 2008 Mar;91(3):400-7.
  2. Metabolism. 2004 Jun;53(6):823-30.
  3. Physiol Behav. 2011 Sep 26;104(4):613-20.
  4. BMJ. 2012 Jan 15;346:e7492. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e7492.
  5. Available at: http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/Prevention.htm. Accessed May 28, 2013.
  6. Available at: http://www.melanoma.org/learn-more/melanoma-101/melanoma-risk-factors. Accessed June 4, 2013.
  7. Environ Health Perspect. 2008 April; 116(4): A160–A167.
  8. Available at: http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1s/full/jid2013104a.html. Accessed May 28, 2013.
  9. Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):94-111.

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Myth - A gluten-free diet will help you lose weight. ACTUALLY, read the labels on gluten-free foods. The substitute for gluten ingredients usually have more carbohydrates. To diet, limit the carb intake, NOT gluten intake!!

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - Nice one! Thanks for sharing. :-)

Anonymous said...

There is gluten free junk food as there is regular junk food. I am gluten free for my health. And yes i have lost weight. Just like anything cook your own food and not rely on someone else to do it for you. Same as with the faux meat products. processed is processed.

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone keep purporting the myth that d and calcium prevent osteoporosis, when in fact it is what causes it. We need magnesium, b6 boron, selenium k2 to prevent it.

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - Cooking your own food is best! Glad you're doing it. :-)

body aline information said...

Our goals should be to decrease our fat intake and burn more fat. This can be done through diet and exercise programs mentioned on this site to help you get the goal you need.

HEAVEN CAN WAIT said...

Thank your for this wise article. I love eggs, never eat anything that is fat-free. I never use sun-block but also never fry my skin in the sun.

Life Extension said...

HEAVEN CAN WAIT - It's our pleasure. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

AMEN <3

Anonymous said...

Hello,
When you say "5 or more sunburns during your lifetime may double your risk for melanoma"... I have to ask: what kind of sunburn are we talking about?
Thanks!

Life Extension said...

Anonymous - Sunburns are linked to skin cancer, although we can't predict for sure the number of sunburns that may cause skin cancer.

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