Health myths exposed

Experts bust health and body myths that have been a part of our lifestyle since ages.

Ians August 01, 2014

From drinking eight glasses of water every day to eating food before going to bed helps in storing fat are some of the health guidelines that doctors suggest time and again, but experts bust such health and body myths that have been a part of our lifestyle since ages.

Myth: You should drink eight glasses of water a day: 51 per cent people think this is true

Reality: Fluid intake will be dependent on a number of factors and eight glasses of water a day is not going to be a level which is suitable for everyone. If a person is physically active, either because they play sports or have a demanding job, they will need to drink more. Conversely, if someone is eating lots of watery fruits and vegetables then they may need to drink less to remain well-hydrated.

Myth: A tan can be healthy for your skin: 68 per cent people think this is true

Reality: A tan is a visible indication of sun damage, therefore, there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Healthy exposure should be limited to less than the time it takes to tan or burn. Burning just accelerates the risk of developing skin cancer and can also accelerate the ageing process, damage the skin and causing fine lines and wrinkles.

Myth: Adding fibre to your diet helps with constipation: 45 percent people think this is false

Reality: A high fibre diet is often recommended, especially for those with constipation. Furthermore, a diet rich in healthy fibre is linked to developing an improvement in digestive health. However, for many, adding bran and bran-based cereals to your diet may make constipation worse. Ideally, it is preferable to take soluble fibre found in fruits and vegetables.

Myth: Eating at night makes you store fat: 66 per cent people think this is true

Reality: If you are eating a meal or snack which is rich in carbohydrate and fats in the evening then this is likely to cause some fat storage as your insulin levels will peak in response to the glucose produced. However, this fact is largely dependent on what has been eaten throughout the day and also what level of exercise has been undertaken. 

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2014.

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