Just because someone said it, doesn’t make it true, especially in the realm of health tips. It’s unsettling, especially in healthcare reporting, what people will say and what people will believe. It’s a 24-hour news cycle and the media is constantly looking for the next big headline. As a result, they aren’t always reporting the information accurately – just giving you enough to stay tuned. For instance:
- Coffee may protect against prostrate cancer
- Coffee may reduce stroke and depression in women
- Sea salt – the healthier alternative
- Chocolate linked to heart health
- Red wine linked to heart health
Health Tips – Check the Source
Well, before you drink your dinner with a chocolate chaser sprinkled with sea salt, I suggest you think again. More often than not, health advice statements like these are made from observational studies that don’t prove cause and effect. Quite often there is a gap between what the study actually says and what is reported to the public. Usually it’s the clarifier that is inadvertently left out. For instance, sea salt is just as ‘salty’ as table salt, however, it’s not as processed. Coffee, who knows? In 1981, it was linked to pancreatic cancer. Today, it’s the new prozac. In other words, it anyone’s guess.
Some 70,000 websites publish health information. Not all of these sources are on the up and up. Please don’t make your health decisions based on what you read – especially on the internet – without verifying it from a credible, scientific, institutional source.
The Best Health Advice
Take what you read with a grain of salt (be it kosher, table or sea). If you’re smoking, quit. Eat your fruits, vegetables and grains. Exercise. Keep an eye on your blood pressure and weight, and, like your mother always said, “all things in moderation” And because your mother said it, it must be true!