Nov 29, 2017 Healthy Living

3 Common Health Myths We Need to Stop Believing

by Kelsey Clark
PHOTO:

@alala

In our newly health-obsessed culture, some dieting and exercise tips have become so ubiquitous that they're blindly accepted as fact. Keep in mind that this is the same way of thinking that led us all to believe that low-calorie, high-sugar cereals like Froot Loops were actually good for you. While this particular health myth is native to the '90s and early 2000s, we should always question the health advice that is passed down to us—especially given the subjective nature of the evolving health and wellness space. To help cut through the fat, Glamour Health recently chronicled the worst, most ubiquitous pieces of health advice they've ever heard. Here are the three most surprising myths:

Thanks in no small part to the popularity of the Atkins diet, carbs have been branded the devil since the 2000s. Athletes have been particularly affected by this, instructed to avoid carbs and stock up on fats before a workout.

"Carbohydrate remains the most important fuel during high-intensity exercise, and there are countless studies to prove it," registered dietitian Edwina Clark clarified to Glamour. "Lowering carbs may work for certain elite athletes during endurance training, but it's not something everyday people should be doing, especially without the guidance of a trainer."

It's been widely circulated in the health community that eating soy can lead to breast cancer due to the phytoestrogens in foods like tofu and tempeh. But as Clark points out, only some forms of breast cancer are estrogen-related, and soy will "not likely have this effect," Clark told Glamour. This is especially true if you only consume one or two servings of soy per day.

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This advice has likely informed nearly every diet and workout plan to date, but it's been recently proven that counting calories doesn't actually make you lose weight—a finding that registered dietitian Samantha Bielawski agrees with. "The caloric value on the label is not equal to the caloric value of the food once it's in our body," she told Glamour. What's more, cutting calories can often lead to an unhealthy cycle of weight loss and weight gain as your body attempts to compensate for the lack of calories.

For more health and fitness tips, head to our wellness verticle, THE/THIRTY.

This story was originally published in January 2017 and was updated November 2017.