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We all have heard the rumors and myths about what’s healthy and what isn’t. But do you know which of these rumors are actually true? It can be hard to tell fact from fiction, but luckily we found some answers for you! In the spirit of April Fool’s Day this week, let’s take a look at some common health myths and uncover the truth once and for all.

Health Myths #1: All Cholesterol is Bad For You

Cholesterol has been villainized in mass media for being inherently bad for you and the primary cause of heart disease and other chronic diseases. Yet the truth is not as cut and dried, and common beliefs — such as the idea that eating high cholesterol foods leads to high cholesterol in your body — are unfounded.

In fact, new research and bestselling books like The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease—and the Statin-Free Plan that Will outline how this commonly held belief actually fuels the rise in the use of statins and other drugs, which can have concerning health implications and side effects.

The truth is that consuming foods high in dietary cholesterol can provide several health benefits, such as helping to maintain healthy blood pressure levels and reducing inflammation in the body.

“Cholesterol isn’t entirely the health villain it’s made out to be, its name darkly linked to heart attack, stroke, and other types of cardiovascular disease,” explains Harvard. “Our bodies need cholesterol, which is a type of lipid (another name for fat) needed to make cell membranes, key hormones like testosterone and estrogen, the bile acids needed to digest and absorb fats, and vitamin D.”

Additionally, many of these foods are rich in essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins – all of which are necessary for optimal health. Furthermore, research suggests that consuming foods containing dietary cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease by raising your levels of protective HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering your triglyceride levels.

Health Myths #2: You Need to Eat All Day, and Often

Another popular myth is that you need to eat throughout the day in order to fuel your body and boost your metabolism. You’ll see such claims in mainstream health columns and it’s especially predominate in the exercise and athletic world. Yet fasting, especially intermittent fasting, has well-documented benefits.

Fasting has been practiced since ancient times, but it is only recently that researchers have begun to understand the extent of its health benefits.

For example, one of the most popular reasons people start a fasting regimen is to lose weight. Intermittent fasting involves alternating periods of eating and not eating. This allows your body to burn fat more effectively than if you were constantly eating throughout the day. Studies suggest that intermittent fasting can lead to more significant reductions in body fat than traditional diets, without negatively affecting appetite or energy levels.

Fasting has also been linked with reduced inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked with numerous diseases and disorders, from obesity and diabetes to cancer and heart disease. Fasting helps reduce inflammation by causing cells in the body to produce less reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are molecules that cause oxidative stress and damage cell DNA. When ROS levels are reduced, the risk of developing chronic inflammatory conditions decreases significantly.

Finally, fasting can also help balance hormones in the body—an important factor for maintaining good health. When we fast, our bodies produce fewer stress hormones such as cortisol, which helps reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Additionally, research suggests that fasting may increase growth hormone production, which helps build muscle mass while reducing fat stores in the body—a great combination for achieving optimal health!

Health Myths #3: All Carbs Are Bad For You

oatmeal complex carbsCarbs get a bad rap, but they can actually be beneficial when consumed in moderation. Carbohydrates provide us with energy, help us feel satiated after meals, and contain essential vitamins and minerals like fiber and B vitamins. They may even help to support a strong immune system. Of course, it’s important to focus on complex carbs like oatmeal, whole grain breads/cereals/pastas, and fruits/vegetables over simple carbs like white bread or sweets (these lack essential nutrients and can actually weaken your immune system).

Healthy carbs may help support a strong immune system. Worried about your immunity this spring? Don’t forget to stock up on important immune-boosting supplements like vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin E. BioPro-Plus 500 is also important in your supplement routine. If you’re looking to learn how to boost your immune system, BioPro-Plus 500 is a 100% natural immune system supplement that restores your body’s own natural immune response.

Health Myth #4: “Alternative Medicine” is “Alternative” and Not True Medicine

Quite often, we artificially define something as either “conventional medicine” (e.g., medicines prescribed by your doctor) or “alternative medicine” (e.g., treatments derived from natural sources, such as herbal supplements). Yet this is a false dichotomy because:

  • All medicines are external interventions designed to help your body recover from an illness or disease
  • Both can be very effective

As acclaimed science journalist and researcher Ed Yong once said, “There’s a popular saying among doctors: There’s no such thing as alternative medicine; if it works, it’s just called medicine.”

Unfortunately, those who adhere strictly to the idea that so-called conventional medicine is the only “right” approach ignore a wide swath of treatments that are very effective. But scientists are now arguing that more of us need to take a more integrative approach. Integrative medicine, as its commonly known, “refers to combining complementary treatments with conventional care. The basic philosophy of complementary and alternative medicine include holistic care, which focuses on treating a human being as a whole person.”

As the previously mentioned study reported, there’s thousands of years of practice behind alternative and complementary treatments:

Examples of complementary and alternative medicine healing systems include Ayurveda, which originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, emphasizes a unique cure per individual circumstances. It incorporates treatments including yoga, meditation, massage, diet and herbs; Homeopathy uses minute doses of a substance that causes symptoms to stimulate the body’s self-healing response. Naturopathy focuses on non-invasive treatments to help your body do its own healing. Ancient medicines (complementary and alternative medicine treatments) include Chinese, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian and Tibetan practices.

By releasing the myth that there’s only one “true” form of medicine, and instead looking at the big picture, we can embrace all the different methods of healing that can bring true vibrancy and wellness to our lives.

It’s easy to get confused by healthy myths floating around. Now that we’ve gone over some of them here today, you can feel better equipped to make informed decisions about what’s healthy for you! Remember that moderation is key when it comes to eating healthily—you don’t have to cut out any particular food group entirely in order to stay fit and healthy! With this knowledge under your belt, nothing will stand between you and achieving your wellness goals in 2023.

References:

  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/cholesterol
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7021351/
  • https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170216103926.htm
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068720/