Health sciences are evolving so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with the latest recommendations. With every new headline comes more confusion about the “right” way to live a healthy life. But the truth is, there are many ways to live a healthy life, and there is no one “right” way, just a way that feels right for us. Part of figuring this out is learning what health advice is worth following, and what is worth throwing away! Take a look at our top five health tips you can stop following to actually improve your health!
Eat Low Fat
While the “low fat” craze of the 90s seems to have died down, food labels and nutrition articles still seem to be demonizing this essential nutrient. It’s hard to shake the advice to follow a low-fat diet when it’s been so ingrained in our brains as truth. For more than two decades, a low-fat diet seemed to be the antidote to obesity, heart disease, and hypertension. Now, research is finding the opposite to be true. A diet rich in nutritious fats can actually help support heart health, when eaten in the company of fiber rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Spread some butter on that 100% whole grain toast, and drizzle some olive oil on those grilled veggies, to enhance both their flavor and health benefits.
Don’t Eat Past 7pm
This might be a good rule to follow if your bedtime is 8pm, but that is usually not the case for most Americans. It is more beneficial to listen to your body’s hunger signals, and fuel up when you’re hungry, even if that means having a snack after dinner. Going to bed hungry can actually disrupt your sleep, and even lead to overeating the following day. Definitely delete this piece of outdated nutrition advice from your memory!
Egg Whites are Healthier Than the Yolks
When we think about following a healthier diet, we often see a lot of green vegetables, cardboard bread, and egg whites in our future. And while the white part of the egg might be full of protein, the yolk actually houses all of the healthy fats and nutrients. Eggs got a bad reputation during the low-fat craze, because the yolk was also high in cholesterol. However, it’s been proven that dietary cholesterol (that means cholesterol that you get through food sources like eggs and shrimp) actually don’t have an affect on your blood cholesterol. Eating the whole egg is a great way to add nutrients to your meal, ultimately feeling more full and satisfied so you don’t have the urge to reach for less healthy options between meals.
No Pain, No Gain
With this old saying in the back of our mind, it’s easy to have an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to exercise. We either go hard until our muscles are shaking, or we do nothing at all. While it might be hard to shake this mentality, you can find comfort in knowing that doing daily easy to moderate levels of activity may actually be more beneficial to your health than just doing a difficult workout every once-in-a-while. Adding activity to your everyday life, like taking the stairs more often, walking after lunch or dinner, or playing with your kids are really simple ways to increase your activity level without having to put a huge dent in your already busy schedule.
Eat Less Calories Than You Expend to Lose Weight
You’ve likely heard of the “calories in vs. calories out” model to weight loss. And while there is plenty of research to dispel this model, seeing a high calorie count on a nutrition facts label can be alarming if you’re trying to eat more healthfully.Calories are your body’s main source of fuel! Just like your car can’t run without gasoline, you can’t run without calories. A low calorie intake could actually be more detrimental to your health than a high calorie intake, as it can cause your body to go into starvation mode, and overtime slow down your metabolism. Ensure that you’re getting the right amount of calories for you by aiming to balance your plate, and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
Let us know in the comments below, what tips have you stopped following to improve your health?