The health and wellness industry is a dynamic and growing market space that experts believe is the next trillion-dollar industry. The most popular products are beauty and anti-aging products, which account for sales of $679 billion each year. Fitness, mind and body products account for $390 billion, while nutrition and weight loss sales top $277 billion. While health products are great at making money for companies, these trends are not always great for consumers. It seems like every day brings a new health fad or beauty trend, and many of the marketing messages are contradictory. Are eggs good or bad this week? Should people drink a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar for weight loss? Does St. John’s wort help depression or is it too dangerous for daily consumption? Consumers are bombarded with so many messages it is hard to even keep up. To help you figure out which products are good for you and which ones are just money-making fads, here is a list of the ten biggest health myths.
#10 Carbs are the Enemy
Everyone from Hollywood starlets to small town moms now orders a hamburger without the bread. Why? Because the health and wellness industry has convinced people to be afraid – very afraid – of carbohydrates. Carbs, which are found in popular food like pasta and bread, were declared the enemy in the battle of the bulge. In the 1970s, the food pyramid suggested that people should eat more carbs and less fat. But people who followed this diet wound up hungry all the time, which created an industry devoted to creating low-fat foods that people were missing. Once people realized that they were gaining weight rather than losing, they shifted to the opposite diet: low carb, high fat. This diet encouraged people to eat all of the butter, heavy cream and fatty meats they could handle, as long as they didn’t dare eat a slice of bread. This diet causes long-term health problems and also is not a good way to lose the weight and keep it off.
In truth, people need carbs to be healthy. Our body produces an important hormone called T3, which helps regulate metabolism. When people don’t eat enough carbs or skip them all together, T3 levels drop, reducing your energy and making you fee fatigued.
We’ve all seen guys at the gym drinking protein shakes during their workout. But the reality is that you won’t gain muscle mass if you don’t eat carbs, no matter how much protein you guzzle. Focusing on health carbs helps you lose weight as long as you are committed to exercising and consumption of healthy carbs, such as whole wheat pasta and grains.
Takeaway: Carbs are Not the Enemy.
#9 High Fructose Corn Syrup is Not the Same as Sugar
America has an obesity epidemic. As a result, scientists and the heath industry are constantly searching for the ultimate boogeyman that is to blame for the crisis. The most vilified product is high fructose corn syrup, which replaced good old sugar in many products. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn. Scientifically, high fructose corn syrup almost identical to table sugar.
They have almost the same level of sweetness. Although people believe that the body treats HFCS, there is no science to back up this claim. In reality, HFCS, sugar, and honey are composed of nearly equal amounts of fructose and glucose. The body absorbs HFCS and honey differently in some ways than it processes sucrose. However, once the sweeteners hit the bloodstream, the body cannot distinguish them from each other. Although they take different pathways into the body, this does not impact the body’s ability to know when it is full. Research that compares HFCS to sucrose has revealed no difference on appetite or satiety control hormones.
People often cite HFCS as a cause of obesity and also type 2 diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity, obesity is ultimately cause by consuming too many calories. HFCS is one kind of calorie a person may over-consume, but it has no special ability to increase a person’s weight.
HFCS is not as ubiquitous as people believe. HFCS accounts for only about 10% of the world’s sweetener, but obesity is rising worldwide, indicating that other factors, like eating more calories than you burn, is to blame.
Takeaway: High Fructose Corn Syrup is the Same as Sugar