Popular diets and questionable products: what is actually harmful and what is useful

Expert advice for healthy lifestyle in high demand in the modern market of services. Healthy to be fashionable, and where there is fashion, there myths, misconceptions and sometimes outright deception.

Популярные диеты и спорные продукты: что на самом деле вредно, а что полезно

Photo: Depositphotos

Especially a lot errors — partly sincere, partly imposed — has to do with food, and that’s why a large part of the investigation of the BBC journalists in the past year was dedicated to this: what is harmful and what is not.

Who came up with the rule of 10 thousand steps?

Many of us count how many have passed in a day with the help of smart watches, pedometers, mobile apps in smartphones. We rejoice when the figure of 10 thousand steps achieved — well, it’s important! We grieve, when to the coveted number below.

The magic number “10 000” was born in 1964 before the Olympic games in Tokyo, during the then ongoing marketing campaign. A Japanese firm began to sell pedometer called “Ittas-key”: “man” means “10 000”, “at” — “steps” and “key” — “counter”.

Since then, studies have been conducted, during which compared the benefits of daily passing the 5 000 and 10 000 steps. Not surprisingly — won a higher figure.

However, until recently, has not been studied efficacy of the number of steps in the range between five and ten thousand. Even now it is thoroughly tested on adults.

Fresh research Professor, Harvard school of medicine Imin Lee and her colleagues focused on a group of more than 16,000 women over the age of 70 years. Scientists have tried to compare the number of steps travelled during the day, with the probability of death from any cause. Each of the women spent a week with the wearable device, fixing her movement.

The researchers then made a long pause — approximately four years and three months. By the time the 504 women who had participated in the experiment died.

It turned out that the average number of steps, which was done every day these women — 5500, and even a small increase in this figure had a meaning. For example, women who made more than 4,000 steps per day, were much more likely to die than those who did 2700.

Following this logic, you can assume that the more steps you walk per day, the better. For a range of steps so it was — but only up to 7500 a day, and then benefit from them continued to grow.

Any addition steps after this figure already does not affect life expectancy.

The eternal question of the yolk and protein

If I had to name a perfect food, eggs are one of the main contenders for the title. They are always on sale, they are easy to prepare, they’re inexpensive and also filled with protein, that is, the eyeballs.

“The egg should have all the necessary ingredients for cultivation of the body, so it’s only natural that it is full of nutrients,” says Christopher Blesso, associate Professor of nutrition Western Connecticut state University

But for decades, the consumption of eggs viewed with suspicion, due to the high content of cholesterol, which some studies have linked with increased risk of heart disease.

Eggs contain an organic compound choline, which can protect us from Alzheimer’s disease. It is useful for our liver.

But it can have negative effects. Choline is metabolized by intestinal microbiota in a molecule called TMO within the human liver and there converted into a molecule of TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide), which is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

While scientists are still far from understanding why the eggs have different effects on different people, but the vast majority of recent research finds that the egg is not harmful for our health, and even more useful.

Drinking milk is unnatural?

Man is the only animal that drinks the milk of other animals, most of which wean drinking milk in early childhood, as they become necessary for more complex food products. Why do people continue to drink it? And whether it’s good for us?

People living in regions of the world, where they were domesticated cow (including in Northern Europe and North America), only 10 thousand years ago developed the ability to digest lactose.

As a result, the body is about 30% of the world’s population continues to produce lactase (the enzyme needed to digest lactose) into adulthood. The other is terminated with the release of infancy.

But are there any advantages for our health is to give up milk and start drinking only substitutes? Or is it cow’s milk provides us with essential nutrients that are only in it? And is it true that milk actually aggravates lactose intolerance in most people?

In the course of a number of observational studies have confirmed that those who drink milk, the risk of fractures decreased significantly. Moreover, some studies have found that milk just adds the probability of fractures.

But in adolescence, calcium is very important for bone development, emphasizes Ian Givens, an expert in food chains from the University of reading (England).

In one study, the researchers divided the participants into four groups (depending on the amount of milk they consumed). They found that only those who drink more than the others (almost a litre per day) increased the risk of heart disease.

Meanwhile, in the US, cow milk is enriched with vitamin D, and studies show that the benefits of this are about the same as from getting this vitamin naturally during exposure to the sun.

Although not necessary to avoid milk, similarly, not necessarily to drink it. It can be replaced by other products. There is no one individual component of the diet or a particular product, without which it would be impossible to do. All model

Detox? What is detox? The usefulness of fresh juice

Many people believe that drinking fresh fruit juices is a good way to megadose of withmini. About juices also say that they help you lose weight and cleanse the body, remove toxins.

But the truth of it all? Effect of juices on blood sugar and insulin in our blood?

In 2013, researchers analyzed data on health 100 thousand people gathered in the period between 1986 and 2009. They found that consumption of fruit juices is associated with increased risk of type II diabetes.

Scientists believe that one possible explanation for this is the absence in the juices of some components which are in whole fruit, for example, of fiber.

In General, though, drinking juice is better than to live a day without fruit in General, there are limitations.

The risk increases when we consume more than 150 ml of free sugars per day. Or more calories than is recommended by specialists.

Yes, at the same time our body gets a certain amount of vitamins, but fruit juice is not a panacea.

This is a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous meat

Nitrates, saturated fats, salt — meat, it seems, is full of just what doctors recommend to be careful in food. And we do hear from all sides: meat is bad!

One of the latest news stories sparked the appetite of all meat eaters in the world. It turns out that red meat is not harmful as we are trying to prove.

There is no reliable evidence that reducing consumption of red meat will somehow affect the chance of getting cancer in their lifetime. And that evidence about the risks that exist are very weak.

No less important to replace the harmful components in our food. Saturated fats are considered the cause of many diseases, including heart disease. To reduce the risk of heart attack by replacing saturated fats sugars and refined starches.

You can switch from animal fats to vegetable oil. Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated reduces the risk of death from any cause by 19%, the study found.

Approximately 56 people per thousand at risk of developing this cancer in their lifetime. If one thousand people would eat bacon every day, the number at risk would have increased only to 66.

Compare this even with the risk of cancer from Smoking: out of every 100 people who quit this habit, 10-15 will be able to avoid lung cancer, which otherwise they would be threatened.

But we consume much more protein than we need. To add to our diet for more protein is pointless. Most of us and so gets from food more protein than provides the recommended daily allowance.

Fashion on the dopamine deficiency. What science says?

Dopamine fasting resets your brain and allows you again to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, say its adherents. But supported by their ideas scientifically? Maybe it’s just a new fad in Silicon valley?

Dopamine (or dopamine) is a neurotransmitter produced in the human brain and the employee element of the “reward system” of the brain. It is often (and incorrectly!) called hormone of joy, pleasure.

His production in the body can run external stimuli — especially unexpected important events.

Psychologist Cameron SEPA, who works with many clients in Silicon valley, says that dopamine starvation based on the method of behavioral therapy known as “control stimuli” and helping patients with dependencies, removing the triggers.

No one knows any evidence that “starving”, not using modern technology and delicious food, can reduce dopamine levels in the brain.

Every day we are immersed in an overcrowded, full of stimuli reality, drowning in the noise. And now we are able to step back, think and reconnect to this world, but on their own terms.

Just don’t call it dofaminovu starvation, warn some experts.

We like to control what we do. When you think that you have got control over their behavior and make steps that help to cope with problems, you feel better.

Saturated fats: enemy or friend?

Here is another ominous phrase, the Scarecrow of today: saturated fats. The representatives of the official science of nutrition say that the consumption of too much saturated fat leads to a rise in cholesterol levels in the blood, which might result in clogged sclerotic plaques of the arteries, stroke or heart attack.

Because the headlines often contradictory and confusing, but experts do not agree with each other, it is not surprising that people don’t know who to believe in terms of saturated fat.

Some studies have questioned a direct relationship between saturated fats and heart disease, but they are usually not taken into account, what replaced these fats, when the number is limited, and this is very important.

Many international organisations rely on scientific data when recommending reducing the amount of saturated fats in the diet and replace them with unsaturated.

When saturated fats are replaced with sugars and refined starches (like white flour), the risk of heart attack increases.

It is worth considering that some types of saturated fatty acids included in saturated fats are less harmful than others.

Instead of focusing on individual nutrients, we need to look at diet as a whole diet needs to include plenty of heart-healthy products.

Soy: a healthy alternative to meat or… again it’s not so easy?

Contained in soy isoflavones are sometimes blamed for increasing the risk of Contracting breast cancer (and prostate cancer for men). But is it really?

And yet, despite the fact that in the last decade, soy is seen by many as an element of a healthy diet, all of a sudden there were fears that she may be damaging to act on our hormones.

As a result of analytical review of the available evidence of how soy affects the risk of developing breast cancer, it was found that with lower body mass index, this impact is more difficult to install. This means less risk of cancer, possibly related to smaller body mass, but not with the consumption of soy.

For many years, and despite the constant emergence of new research, often containing contrary to previous information, scientists continue to adhere to the opinion that soy beneficial for the prevention of prostate cancer.

Soy thoroughly studied over the last decades. No single study is not ideal and the results often show only a correlation, correlation does not prove causation.

Raw, “living” water. Why would you drink it?

What really is behind the interest in the untreated, raw water and how this interest is healthy?

People drank untreated water for 99% of human existence. Some people think that natural is always the best, and the goal is to return to the roots, to the habits of their ancestors.

“Raw water” contains a lot of beneficial bacteria needed for proper functioning of the intestines, but may also contain many harmful. Remember, some sources can be contaminated — for example, Escherichia coli E-Coli.

For urban residents of the densely populated countries of the treated water remains a much safer option. If you drink tap water, you have to be aware that you are responsible for the possible infection of other people that you become a risk to others, not only to yourself

Hands off grandma’s chicken noodle!

Almost every one of us catches a cold in his life not once, not twice. It seems that there is nothing more versatile than a common cold (SARS) — and therefore in the history of mankind and in the history of every family has accumulated a countless number of tips and “right tool” from this disease. Do they help?

When our body settles virus, to fight with him inside we have two systems: the innate immune system tries to rid the body of invading cells and acquired immunity suppresses the pathogens experience that is already there, and also learns new foes, in future, be ready for them.

However, studies have shown that adding to the diet of some components during a cold, you can quickly get rid of it.

The vast majority of these studies focused on supplements, not food itself. In fact, there is no reliable evidence that chicken soup will help a cold.

Another difficulty is that often operates the placebo effect.So chicken broth, oddly enough, may help us overcome a cold.

Let’s not forget about the fact that the probability to catch a cold this winter depends not only on how much vitamin C our body has accumulated, or how we believe in the magical power of any placebo.