Health Myths Busted



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Sustaining a healthy lifestyle is no easy achievement. With all the cheese, wine and ice cream on offer it can be easy to buy into a whole lot of health info that’s kind of loopy in the search for a health nirvana. Fear not though, below Zummo has parted the fact from the fiction when it comes to your pilgrimage to health. Here are a few ostensibly healthy things you need to stop relying on.

1. Walking is not exercise
There’s a nasty little rumour flying around that walking is an ineffective form of exercise. If you want to get active, but don’t want to go all out and actually run anywhere, then walking is a perfect alternative. It’s all about getting your heart rate up and increasing your activity levels, which walking is perfect for!

2. Fat is the devil
It totally makes sense that fat would be bad for you, so we can see where this myth got its legs. But the fact is that some fat is essential for your health. It’s a common myth to cut all fats from diet, however  this can be detrimental to your diet as you may start replacing fats with refined sugars and missing out on essential nutrients. Yikes! Around 20-35% of your total energy/ kilojoule intake should come from fats. The healthier kind, that is. Enter: unsaturated fats; monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. You’ll find them in things like fish, seeds, nuts and avocado (yum) and they’re an epic way to add a boost of health to your day.

3. Meh, water
Drinking water is great for you, and such a huge contributor to a healthy, balanced diet. Your body needs water for a whole lotta reasons like maintaining a healthy temperature, digestion and most importantly, absorption and transportation of nutrients (want to know the nutritional value of oranges? Read our article here). While it may seem like you’ve chugged enough water for the day, it’s essential for a healthy and happy bod to be getting at least 8 glasses of water into you ERRYDAY. Bonus points for extra!

4. Carbs will make you fat
Carbs have had a long rep as the enemy of good health, and un-rightly so we say! Complex carbs such as those found in vegetables and wholegrain foods are broken down by your body into glucose, which is converted by your cells into energy. While this may sound like a no-no when you’re trying to be a bit more #fitspo, it’s actually a great thing! The process of converting complex carbs into energy takes a while to happen. It means that you’ll feel fuller, have longer energy bursts and therefore are less likely to hit the snack cupboard. Winning!

5. What to lose weight? Don’t eat
While it is true that you lose weight from burning more kilojoules than you consume, this doesn’t mean that starving yourself is the best option, or even an option. If you’re skipping meals you can wind up malnourished and slow your metabolism or just feel unwell. You’re also more likely to grab a snack or reach for food that isn’t the best option for you. So what should you be doing? Eat a wide range of nutritious foods from different food groups, including vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, lean meats and reduced-fat dairy products to deliver you a meal packed full of nutrients. For a healthy option on the run, grab a Zummo.

6. Gluten free equals optimum health
A gluten free diet has taken of as a bit of a health trend. But is it really so healthy? In a nutshell, nope. Gluten free diets for those who don’t actually have an intolerance mean you could be getting less vitamins, fibre and minerals that your body needs. So, unless you’re ACTUALLY gluten intolerant, stick to wholegrain breads and flours for a healthier take.

7. Microwaves take away any nutritional value
There’s a nasty little rumour flying around that microwaves kill food and zap all the nutrients out. Which is obviously not ideal, if it were true, which it’s not. CSIRO research has actually found that cooking in a microwave is as nutritious as other cooking methods, mainly through vitamin retention. Because you’re heating food much quicker, it enhances the retention of nutrients like vitamin B and C, which are water soluble and can be tossed out with the water when you boil them in. As if that wasn’t enough, microwaves also retain food’s protein quality. Nice!

8. Scales and the be all and end all
This myth needs some serious busting. It’s a long held belief that your weight is the only indicator of your health, which is fictitious. When you burn more kilojoules than your body uses, you lose weight – it’s a simple equation. But more often than not, peeps setting out on their journey to better health give up when they don’t see their hard work showing on the scales. Here’s the thing though, the scales don’t actually reflect your health – they reflect your weight. Things like muscle mass can increase along your journey, therefore portraying a higher figure on the scales. There’s loads of other ways to measure your success, like fitting into jeans that used to be too tight or not being out of breath after climbing the stairs at work.

9. BMI is the best way to check your health
I’m sure we’ve googled BMI calculator in the past and been shocked by the results. You’re fit and healthy but the BMI calculator is telling you you’re overweight? Why? Because your BMI calculation ignores some pretty useful stats: where your body fat is located (around your waist is the most dangerous place) and how much you have. However, BMI does have its uses – and if the BMI calculator says you’re in the healthy weight range you still need to be eating well and getting your exercise.

10. Kilojoules and calories aren’t the same
Kilojoules and calories are both measures of the energy content of food and drinks. In Australia, kilojoules are used as the measure of energy, whilst in other countries, like in the United States, they use calories. 1 calorie is 4.2KJ and 1KJ is 0.2 calories, so 200 calories is the same as 840 kilojoules. If you’re looking to switch to a healthier lifestyle you’re going to need to know what you are looking for when reading food labels, so pay attention! Most labels will only list the kilojoules and on average, adults need 8,700 kilojoules a day.

In saying all of that, there is nothing wrong with splurging every now and again! Your health wont suffer at the sake of a cheeseburger.