With all the mixed information out there in regards to and wellness, it can be hard to make educated choices when it comes to your health. So we asked Dr. Frank Lipman, founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, for some of the most common misconceptions about healthy living, from eating to exercising. He sets the record straight.
Top 10 Health Myths
1. You need to count calories to lose weight
"The whole idea of counting calories is non-sense," says Dr. Lipman. Instead, he says we need to focus on choosing the right foods to nourish our bodies.
2. Eating fat makes you fat
Everyone thinks that eating any fat at all is bad, and that couldn't be farther from the truth, says Dr. Lipman. There are good fats and there are bad fats-both men and women need fat in their diet. You just need to steer clear of the bad fats and focus on the good fats (like those found in nuts, coconut oil and omega3-rich fish).
3. Whole wheat is healthy
Just because it's not white bread, doesn't mean it's good for you. Whole wheat does not make you healthy-it's addictive and high in sugar. In fact, two slices of whole wheat bread contain 6 teaspoons of sugar! "It increases our appetites and makes us crave sugar," he says. "The problem is, today's modern whole grain is not what it used to be. Whole grains used to be good for you, but they are so processed now."
4. Cholesterol is bad
Another common myth-Many people take pills and do other things to significantly lower their cholesterol, but there are all different types of healthy cholesterol levels, he says. If your cholesterol is too low, it can lead to serious health problems, like muscle pain and even cancer.
5. Coconut oil is too high in fat
There are so many great benefits to using coconut oil and drinking coconut milk, he says. It contains fat, but it is good fat!
6. A calorie is a calorie
"Eating a 200-calorie candy bar is not the same as eating 200 calories of fruit or nuts,' he says. "That's just nonsense. " It's the type of foods you are consuming that makes all the difference.
7. Running at a steady pace is the most efficient way to work out
Running is a great aerobic activity, but if you want to get the most bang for your calorie buck, it's all about intervals. Run at a high intensity for a minute, then slow your pace to recover. Repeat this method for a full cardio workout and you'll burn calories more efficiently.
8. Dairy is a health food
You do not need to incorporate dairy into your diet to lose weight, he says. I would recommends eating as little dairy as possible. In addition to being chemically altered into something that hard to digest and causes problems, today's milk usually contains steroids, antibiotics, pesticides from treated grains, bacteria from infected animals, and genetically engineered growth hormones.
9. Agave is a good choice for a sweetener
Many people think Agave is a great choice for a sugar substitute, but that is not the case. Agave is actually the same sugar content as same fructose corn syrup! Instead, Dr. Lipman recommends a little bit of 100% pure maple syrup or Stevia, a natural herbal sweetener.
10. You don't need to take a multivitamin
That's not true, you absolutely do! We should be able to get all of the nutrients we need from our food, but the truth is, we usually don't. Even if you're a very healthy eater, most of today's food supply is so chemically altered that often times, a lot of the nutrients are removed. Like a well-cared-for car, a body well-fueled with vitamins and nutrients will run more efficiently, last longer and need fewer repairs!
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