< Back

Health Myths Busted

Along with the blues and cold weather, January brings many New Year Resolutions such as losing weight, getting fit or generally eating more healthily. Alongside the usual host of resolutions comes a flurry of new health and wellness misconceptions; our latest blog post busts five big health myths to stop misinformation standing in between you and your New Year health goals.

Myth: Low-fat food is always healthy

It’s normal to feel like we’re carrying a little extra weight after the festive period, but don’t go stocking your fridge with low-fat alternatives just yet. Though low-fat foods are often marketed as being healthier than full fat varieties, this is not always the case. Many low-fat or fat free items replace the sat with sugars or salt and as we all know, too much of either is not healthy.

In any case, your body needs a healthy amount of fat to function properly, so rather than reach for that low-fat packet of biscuits, why not get some good fats from an avocado or a small handful of nuts.

Myth: Only prescribed medication can manage blood pressure

For patients with a blood pressure reading of 140/90 or over, prescribed drugs may be the best and most effective option. However, there are many steps you can take to manage your blood pressure without medication. We recommend:
• Maintaining a healthy weight by taking regular exercise and eating a balanced diet that avoids processed foods that are often high in fat, sugar or salt
• Limit how much alcohol you drink, ensuring you don’t exceed 14 units a week on a regular basis
• If you’re a smoker, try to quit. Similarly, non-smokers should minimize their exposure to second hand smoke.
• Avoid letting stress build up, as it is not only bad for your mental health. Though it can prove difficult for those with high pressure jobs, young children or other stressful factors, it is important to put your health first.
• Monitoring your blood pressure at home with MySelfCare’s blood pressure cuff. Take a look at our previous blog to learn how best to take an accurate reading at home.

Myth: A low BMI means perfect health

With health issues such as high blood pressure, hyperglycemia and high cholesterol often being linked to being overweight, many people believe that a low BMI will mean that they do not need to be concern about such ailments.
This is simply not the case, though obese and overweight patients are more likely to pull high or worrying readings on blood pressure or heart rate monitors, plenty of people who are categorised as ‘overweight’ may receive healthy readings.
Similarly, those who sit on the low side of the BMI scale are not immune from conditions associated with heavier people. To get more accurate readings and peace of mind regarding weight management and body composition, try out our BMI Scales.

Myth: You’ll always know when your blood sugar levels are too low or too high

Some people attribute light-headedness, headaches, fatigue or mild nausea to low or high blood sugar. While this can be the case, signs of decrease or increase in blood sugar levels are often so mild that they may not even be noticed.
For diabetics, this can be dangerous; long-term diabetics sometimes develop ‘hypoglycemia unawareness’, meaning that they become desensitised to changes in blood sugar levels, so do not recognise symptoms. If you are looking for a device to monitoring your glucose levels take a look at our headphone jack glucometer or our hand-held glucometer to make managing diabetes easy.

Myth: You’ll get ill if you go out in the cold

Though many people recognise this myth as an old wives tale, we continue to be told that we’ll catch a cold if we go out in bad weather or don’t wear enough layers on chilly days. It is impossible to get ill from cold or wet weather alone; the cold and flu virus spreads largely through droplets in the air. While keeping your core body temperature at a comfortable level will keep your immune system strong, the best way to prevent getting ill is by washing your hands regularly with warm water and antibacterial soap.