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Five health myths that could do more harm than good

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, March 23, 2019  /  03:03 pm
Five health myths that could do more harm than good

A compilation of healthy foods to illustrate a healthy life, including fiber source, oatmeal, honey, fruits, orange juice, water, nuts (Shutterstock/Olinda)

The pursuit of being healthy has driven many of us to try every new diet trend that comes around. Giving bread a miss? Looking for gluten-free products or starting a juice detox, perhaps? Or what about getting a base tan before hitting the beach?

Read on to discover five health myths that we all thought were true, as compiled by Reader’s Digest.

Drink eight glasses of water a day

The old adage, “Too much of a good thing can harm you”, also applies to drinking water. You can actually get overhydrated by drinking too much water, showing such symptoms as peeing every 30 minutes.

Neal Schultz, a medical doctor, dermatologist, founder of and creator of BeautyRx told Reader’s Digest that the best way to know whether you have drunk too much water is to trust yourself because your body knows how much liquid it needs. Therefore, avoid any prescribed amounts like drinking eight glasses a day.

“You should drink to your thirst, not to meet an arbitrary number,” he recommends.

A base tan protects you from sunburns

Some people believe that getting a tan from a tanning booth before heading off to the beach might help avoid burning, as it is similar to having sunscreen on. Well, it’s not. Jennifer Caudle, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, a board-certified family physician and assistant professor at Rowan University, said that all tanning increases the risk of getting cancer. Too much sun will damage your skin and can cause wrinkles.

Detox diets really get rid of toxins

What detoxifies your body are a healthy liver and kidneys, said Caroline Apovian, a professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine. Fruit juices that are usually relied on for detox diets apparently contain lots of sugar and they can excessively boost blood sugar levels. Caudle added that the sugar rush could be quickly followed by a crash. Replacing square meals with juice will also leave your body lacking some vital nutrition.

Read also: Debunking 10 diabetes myths

Gluten is your enemy

One lifestyle trend that has swept the globe is the gluten-free diet, which many are convinced can do wonders for one’s health.

However, experts have said that only about 1 percent of the population has Coeliac disease, a permanent digestive condition that triggers a serious reaction to gluten. Meanwhile, another small percentage suffers from gluten intolerance.

On the contrary, processed gluten-free versions of whole grain foods are likely to contain high sugar levels and preservatives. Meanwhile, whole grain foods contain high fiber and vitamins that are good for your health.

Skinny people can eat whatever they want

Have you ever been jealous of your skinny friends for eating delicious but unhealthy foods without worrying about their weight? According to Robert D Willix Jr., medical doctor, founder and CEO of Enlightened Living Medicine, even thin people should avoid sugar-loaded food and junk food. No matter how thin you are, they can still harm you.

“Many studies now show that cancer growth can be associated with the food that we eat, especially those high in sugar,” he adds.

Therefore, it is alright to have an occasional cheat day, but we should prioritize quality over quantity. (sop/mut)

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