This past weekend I reached my breaking point.
A friend sent me a link to an article about 20 health “secrets.” The problem: The content was filled with lies and mistruths. I’m not talking about opinions that run contrary to my own. I’m the first to admit that many different diets approaches work and there are endless forms of effective exercise. But there’s a difference between a health preference (or style of living) and health inaccuracy that’s not based on any substance. It’s a fine line that most people never see or admit. But some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.
I spent the weekend searching for a solution to the misinformation. The biggest problem is that old information seems to dominate the current line of thought. And while we have more access than ever to information, we still struggle with filtering that information and finding the most relevant and updated content.
Unfortunately there’s no quick fix: Health is always in a fluid state. What we know now might not be true in a year-but that doesn’t mean we still can’t work harder to reveal the most up-to-date research on your most pressing issues.
I’ve started my journey to share the latest health information on Twitter. Each day I’m sharing “shocking” research (from research journals and credible sources) that might change the way you think about nutrition and fitness. Keep in mind that what we know now could change, but that these tips should hopefully help you with your healthy life decisions. Here are 9 surprising findings I’ve recently shared, and what you can learn from them.
1. Full body training sessions done 3x/week DOUBLED fat loss compared to working each muscle 1x/week, says Alabama researchers.
Your lesson: You don’t need to spend 5 days a week (or more) in the gym working a different muscle group (arms, legs, chest, back) every day. You can exercise more often if you want, but great results can be experienced in more efficient ways. It’s just another reason why time should no longer be an excuse for a lack of fitness.
2. Cutting carbs can boost your good (HDL) cholesterol, suggests researchers. The reason: Less carbs = more fat consumed.
Your lesson: Not all fat is bad for you. In fact, eating fat can help you lose fat, and improve your choleseterol.
3. Beans really are good for your heart. (who knew?) 3 oz serving decreases risk of heart attack 38%, according to Jou. of Nutrition
Your lesson: Simple, find a way to mix beans into your diet. Not only will they protect your heart, they also provide a healthy dose of fiber.
4. Trouble overeating? Eat more fish. Omega-3 fatty acids keep you fuller for longer, says scientists from Iceland
Your lesson: Just another great reason to eat fat-it’ll help you eat less.
5. Kids are 3x more likely to drink 5 or more sodas/wk if their parents drink them. Before you drink, consider your influence.
Your lesson: For anyone who thinks parents aren’t a strong influence, this research shows that every action can lead to a health-related (and sometimes negative) reaction.
6. Weight Loss Secret: Track your food! Those who do lose 3.5 pounds more than those who don’t.
Your lesson: Visit MyPlate. The reason it works is because research has shown repeatedly that we underestimate how much we eat. This tracking tool ensures that you can’t lie to yourself, and it helps you eat better.
7. Abs Secret: Med ball slams work your obliques more than rotational crunches, suggests researchers.
Your lesson: You want abs? Crunches and twists are not the best way (or the only way)
8. If you’re not sleeping enough (I’m guilty), you’re more likely to be fat.
Your lesson: Get more shuteye. It’s good for your brain and for keeping you healthy and lean.
9. Did you know: Eating an apple before lunch might help you eat nearly 200 cals less for your meal, suggests research.
Your lesson: It goes without saying, but eating the right foods can help you avoid the wrong foods (because you won’t have the appetite for more)
Again, these are not opinions. They are scientific findings that are meant to help you make informed decisions so you can live a healthier life. Much likeMyPlate makes you aware of the foods you eat, I want to make you more aware of the most efficient ways to help you take care of your body.
With that in mind, we’ve provided an entire newsletter full of more myth-busting tips and suggestions to help you live a healthier life. In the end, I can’t completely fight against misinformation. But the LIVESTRONG.COM team can continue on our journey to provide you with the best information, so you can reach your potential and inspire others to search for theirs.