Health Hacks

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By Alecia Sexton
Layout Manager

Since we are a technology based society, it’s fair to say that we’ve all come across at least one advertisement on a website ashing that “THIS FOOD WILL KILL YOU” or claiming they know a “Secret way to lose half your body weight in one week.” There’s always so much being thrown at us from so many places and oftentimes we don’t know what to believe. Because of this, I decided to do some research and compile a list of facts that can be useful to know for life long health. The following points have been studied by world famous institutions like the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Huffington Post, and independent health advancement research facilities.

Photo by Alecia Sexton
Seemingly ‘healthy snacks’

Studies have shown that eating every 2-3 hours actually does NOT speed up metabolic rate. It was originally thought that by having small, frequent meals throughout the day, that we’d keep our metabolisms at a constant level. While this isn’t completely incorrect, it’s been proven that simply eating when you actually feel hungry is the best way to treat your body.

Next, a good thing to know is that “Gluten free,” “Vegan,” and “Organic” DO NOT mean “healthy.” It’s a common misconception that these terms mean the product is good for you and that you can indulge with no limits. The truth is that often things labeled “Gluten free” are high in sodium, sugar and fat to enhance flavor. Similarly, since vegan products don’t use butter or dairy, many on-the-shelf items have palm oil as the first or second ingredient. Palm oil is extremely high in unhealthy saturated fats and will slow digestion faster than you can say “oops.” Lastly, “Organic” simply means that the product was made without the use of pesticides or herbicides, it doesn’t vouch that the product is at all healthy.

Photo by Alecia Sexton   Seemingly ‘healthy snacks’

 

The third thing I found is that although adding dried fruit to trail mix is convenient, it decreases the healthiness of the snack drastically. Dried fruit actually has 30%-80% less antioxidants than fresh fruit and often contains added sugars to enhance taste. The process of applying high heat and pressure to dehydrate fruit strips not only flavors, but also beneficial properties and nutrients.

 Since February is National Heart Month, I’ll end the article with a few tips for achieving a healthy heart. Aside from steering clear form cigarettes, getting enough exercise, and consuming a colorful, whole foods diet, another healthy heart hack is flossing. Now I know none of you want to hear this, but flossing can add years to your life. Dental research has shown that the bacteria in between your teeth grows at an alarming rate and once swallowed, enter the bloodstream ultimately making their way to valves of the heart. If they do make it here, they cause cardiac stress and increase the chance of developing heart disease.

With so much fake news, ashy advertisements, and rouge information being thrown at us, it’s important to not give up hope of figuring out what is healthy and what isn’t. The key is to be educated consumers so we can make the best decisions for ourselves and our lives.

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