50 Unbelievable Facts About Health, Diet and Exercise

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26Exercise and Weight Loss

Exercise alone does not actually contribute much to weight loss. It helps you get fit, but simply eating better has a significantly bigger impact on weight loss, even without much exercise. As is rightly said by fitness geeks, “Abs are made in the kitchen. So get fit in the gym, lose weight in the kitchen.” It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose a pound. So to lose a pound per week, you need a 500 calorie a day deficit. That’s about 30-35 miles (about 50km) of running per week to lose a pound per week with no change in diet.


27. Cognitive decline is slower for people exercising regularly, and increased physical activity levels can slow down brain aging by 10 years. In fact, exercising makes you both more productive and happier for the day that you exercise. It affects your brain function and memory, and the positive effect lasts for the entire day.


28. Post-workout muscles aren't sore because of lactic acid buildup. That’s a myth propagated by a doctor who experimented on a severed frog. It’s actually a fuel made from glucose and burned by the muscles to maintain energy. The soreness actually comes from micro-tears that cause inflammation in the muscles.


29. Microwaving food does not diminish the nutrients. Actually, it's one of the most nutritionally sound methods in food preparation because the cooking times are shorter.


30. Nike founded and oversees an ultra-elite running group, with state of the art equipment such as underwater treadmills, and whose athletes live in a specially designed house where filters remove oxygen so that the athletes develop more red blood cells in a simulated high-altitude environment.


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31Khalid Shaari’s Weight Loss

Khalid bin Mohsen Shaari was once the fattest man on Earth at 610 kg (1,340 lb). In 2013, Saudi King Abdullah ordered Khalid to come to the country's capital, Riyadh, to undergo a series of dietary and physical programs in order to help him lose weight. By 2017 after only 4 years he had successfully lost 542 kg (1,195 lb) and reached a healthy weight of 68 kg (150 lb). It was the biggest weight loss ever recorded


32. The Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics has said that there is no evidence to support the use of detox diets for weight management or toxin elimination and that considering the financial costs and potential health risks, they should be discouraged by health professionals. In 2007, the science advocacy group Sense About Science contacted the manufacturers of 15 “detox” products. When pressed, not a single detox peddler contacted could come up with a definition of what they meant by detox. If you have properly functioning kidneys and liver then your body is automatically detoxing.


33. The food pyramid is a scam. The original food pyramid given to the US government by nutritionists was altered for the benefit of the food industry and grain growers. There wasn't a single clinical trial of the science behind it.


34. Kegel exercises can be beneficial for men as well. Men who do Kegels tend to have stronger erections and orgasm, they typically last longer in bed, have an increase in angle of the erection and develop increased bladder control.


35. The 1945 Food and Nutrition Board Paper’s often quoted statement “humans require roughly 2.5 liters (8 glasses) per day” is only half of the full statement. The other half was “we get most of the fluid we need from food and other beverages.”


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36Miguel Indurain

At his prime, champion cyclist Miguel Indurain had a resting heart rate of just 28 beats per minute. The heart rate of an average human is 60-90 beats per minute. His blood took seven liters of oxygen around his body per minute, compared to 3–4 liters for an ordinary person and 5–6 liters for fellow riders. His cardiac output was 50 liters a minute; a fit amateur cyclist's is about 25 liters. Indurain's lung capacity was 7.8 liters, compared to an average of 6 liters. His resting pulse was as low as 28 BPM, compared to an average 60–72 bpm, which meant his heart would be less strained in the tough mountain stages.


37. “Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day” was actually a line created by General Mills in 1944 to help sell their new cereal with an aggressive marketing campaign. They would hand out leaflets to grocery store shoppers urging them to eat breakfast, while similar ads would play on the radio. Studies have shown that skipping breakfast does not lead to weight gain, health issues or underperformance.


38. Chiropractic is actually a form of “alternative medicine”, where studies have not found evidence that chiropractic manipulation is effective and collectively found that spinal manipulation was ineffective at treating any condition. Chiropractors are not a type of medical doctor and they cannot practice medicine.


39. The term “nutritionist” is not legally protected nor regulated, so anyone can advertise themselves as a nutritionist regardless of education or credentials. A “dietitian” or specifically “registered dietitian” however legally requires education via credited curriculum and passing a registration exam.


40. Breast milk contains tons of complex sugars that we can't digest. However, when babies drink it, those sugars can be broken down by beneficial bacteria within their gut. So breast milk promotes a healthy microbiome, which is a crucial health factor. Breast milk contains different amounts of fat and nutrients depending on if the baby is a boy or a girl. It also contains cannabinoids in order to calm down the baby and make them feel hungrier.


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41Arguing Parents

Parents who constantly argue can stunt their children’s growth. There’s a link between a reduced growth rate and a stressful upbringing. A study showed that traumatic childhood experiences have a serious effect on later health, causing disease and, in some cases, permanent stunting.


42. A study reviewing 87 past research papers which suggested that drinking alcohol moderately has health benefits found that literally all of them were biased and/or poorly designed and/or pointing to positive effects that were unlikely in reality.


43. 50% of the calories Americans consume come from nutrient-depleted, ultra-processed foods, including refined flours and industrial seed oils. A recent study indicates that US children and adults have high rates of deficiency of vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate, as well as the mineral iron.


44. The Body Mass Index (BMI) was created for a social statistics experiment and was never intended to be an indicator of health. Waist to hip ratio is a much better indicator of metabolic dysfunction than BMI and it is much more applicable to children and athletes (2 populations that BMI notoriously miscalculates as overweight/obese).


45. “Essential Oils” are named such because these oils give off a distinctive scent, not that they’re essential. In fact, many of the most popular essential oils used in homes today are toxic to dogs and cats even if they are simply used in a diffuser. Symptoms of oil toxicity include muscle tremors, lethargy, vomiting, and more.


46Boosting Doping

Wheelchair athletes with spinal injuries will sometimes intentionally injure themselves on the lower body (e.g. break a toe), causing their bodies to respond by raising blood pressure and enhancing their performance. This practice has been banned as cheating.


47. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to many health disorders, including depression. In a survey of almost 8,000 US residents, it was found that those with lower vitamin D levels “are at a significantly higher risk of showing depression.” Also, newborns with a vitamin D deficiency have a 44% increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia as adults compared to those with normal vitamin D levels. The developing fetus is totally reliant on the mother’s vitamin D stores.


48. Seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year. Researchers from the University of Ghent in Belgium believe that microplastics accumulate in the body over time and could be a long term health risk.


49. Taking a daily multivitamin has no known positive health effects for the general population, and certain vitamins have been shown to increase the risk of cancer. This is based on several meta-analyses, authoritative reviews, and expert panel reports.


50. Athletes are more likely to get cavities. Regular exercisers are “mouth breathers”, which causes plaque to dry on their teeth.

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