Five Health Facts That May Surprise You

Medical science, like any other branch of science, is forever being updated and corrected. Many, like the futurist and lecturer Riva-Melissa Tez, believe that medicine itself is on the verge of revolutionary change. Because science is now moving at such a pace, it is necessary to seek continual updates. The following may surprise you:

1) Not all exercise is good for you. Exercise is vital for good physical and mental health. Indeed, its benefits can hardly be exaggerated. But the best forms of exercise are gentle. This does not mean easy or light of course (you should always exercise until you are out of breath), but brutal exercise can cause inflammation in the body, leading to numerous health problems, including some cancers. It had often been noted that boxers and football players, in spite of their great strength and exceptional fitness, lived no longer than the average person. It is now thought this may be due to the inflammatory effect of their sport. So stick to swimming, walking, and yoga instead!

2) A low-fat diet can do you more harm than good. A UK-based charity, “the Public Health Collaboration”, recently blamed the obesity epidemic not on fatty diets but on diets containing too much sugar. Full-fat foods like milk and yoghurt may even protect the heart. And Dr. Malhotra, a cardiologist involved with the charity, has even called the advice to eat a low-fat diet “the biggest mistake in medical history” because it has led people to replace their full-fat diet with one packed with processed foods and refined carbs.

3) Salt is not so bad for you as people believe. According to the latest research, conducted by McMaster University in Canada, it is only those with high blood pressure who really need to worry about their salt intake. It was concluded that eating around 4g of salt a day may actually be good for you, protecting the body against stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.

4) Too much calcium may harm your bones. Eating moderate amounts of calcium each day (around 300-700mg) will strengthen your bones and prevent fractures. Consuming more than this, however, may have the opposite effect, making your bones more, not less, brittle. And according to a study conducted in China, the source of this calcium also matters. Greatest protection will come from calcium found in vegetables rather than milk and dairy products.

5) Around a third of those living in the rich, developed nations are malnourished. This does not mean that people in the rich nations are not getting enough to eat. On the contrary - they are eating too much! The problem is the poor quality of this food. The 2016 Global Nutrition Report concluded that such malnutrition had now become normal. Bread, for example, has far less nutritional value today than it did in the early 19th century. And far too many people live on a diet of processed and frozen foods. These are packed with “hidden” sugars and stripped of natural goodness in order to extend their shelf life. Even many fruits and vegetables contain far less nutritional value than they would have 150 years ago. Many are picked days, even weeks, before they are eaten, during which time they lose much of their goodness. If possible, try and eat locally grown produce. Ideally, grow your own!

Of course, no medical advice is final, and what is thought to be true today may be found to be wrong tomorrow. Some even believe western medicine itself is fundamentally flawed and ripe for a revolution.

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