Health MythsIn the modern world, it is hardly possible to find an individual who would not be concerned about own health. We spend thousands of dollars for buying healthy organic foods, effective natural medications and herbal remedies, dietary supplements, cosmetic and other health care products, special books on healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyle. We try to do everything possible to increase the amounts of physical activities and maintain a healthy body weight. We listen to the advice and recommendations of health care specialists, try to give up bad habits, adopt various anti-aging and detoxification methods, use only healthy cooking techniques, and learn to tale care about the environment. Those are the results of massive campaigns in modern mass media directed on promoting healthy lifestyle.

There is a great deal of information available to all of us, and sometimes it causes some groundless claims or incorrect ideas about the benefits of certain products we use. There is a great deal of myths about health and healthy lifestyle, and it is important to use only expert opinion and try to learn the truth using the opinion of qualified specialists. BBC Focus magazine has taken health myths and the claims of healthy product manufacturers (mainly cosmetic and food companies) under scope, and attempted to find the truth with the help of Professor Lesley Regan, a specialist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust at St Mary’s Hospital and a member of the Royal Society of Medicine Steering Group on Global Health.

Healthy DietMyth 1. Low fat meals can help you put off weight as a part of healthy calorie-controlled diet.
Truth. For a product to be marked as low-fat (or light), it must have less than 3 per cent fat. For fat-free products they must have less than 0.5 per cent fat. According to Professor Leslie Regan, most of the products marked as reduced fat or extra light still have whooping amounts of fat (sometimes up to 30 per cent), as well as increased amounts of sugars, making such foods high in calories and not healthy at all.

Myth 2. Vitamin supplements help you have a longer and healthier life.
Truth. This is one of the most common myths about health which makes people spend millions of dollars every day. In real, only a couple of such supplements can be effective. Even the vitamin companies unite on the idea that having a balanced diet is a lot better than taking vitamin supplements.

Myth 3. Whole grains help you put off weight.
Truth. Claims about whole grains are other popular health myths with no grounds at all. It is true that whole grains are good natural sources of fiber, but they can not aid weight loss. We must consume 25 g of fiber every day but not necessary from whole grains. We can get fiber form fruits, nuts, walnuts, beans, and many other such foods

Myth 4. Using specific over-the-counter painkillers can help combat specific type of pains.
Truth. Aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen are the most common 3 types over-the-counter painkillers. In some medications, in order to boost the effects, the manufacturers simply add caffeine. According to Prof Dr. Regan, regular pills and a cup of coffee will be a lot more effective.

Myths About HealthMyth 5. Detox products help you clean your body form harmful toxins.
Truth. A great deal of health myths is linked to detoxification and the most effective detoxification techniques. The truth is: if a healthy and balanced nutrition model is followed, you do not need to do any extra thing to get rid of harmful toxins.

Myths 6. Using weight loss pills is a scientifically proven technology to get rid of extra pounds and maximize our weight management efforts.
Truth. According to Professor Regan, very few weight loss pills  producers can provide a copy of scientific research or study proving the effectiveness of their product for weight loss (though some do have such scientific backgrounds). However, those who totally rely to this kind of pill expect a miracle and never keep in mind that weight loss pills are supposed to work alongside with a healthy low-calorie diet and a  proper physical activity plan on a daily basis.

Myth 7. When looking for weight loss tips, you should rather trust books, not various websites and online resources.
Truth. It is estimated that annually, about 54,000 diet and nutrition books are being published, but not all the authors and writers have proper credentials and qualification to write this kind of books. A great deal of people can call themselves “nutritionists”, and publishing their nutrition tips or diet recommendations does not mean they really work. They can be nothing else but new myths about health and healthy lifestyle.


Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

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