Are they really good for your health?
Celebrities always seem to be endorsing a product, diet or exercise routine. Given the power of social media now, these endorsements are constantly being placed in front of us. It doesn’t matter if they truly believe in what they’re promoting or are being paid to recommend it, the bottom line is that it might not be healthy for you. How do you determine this? Why is it important not to believe everything that we hear from celebrities?
Even though we don’t want to think so, celebrities have a huge influence on us, especially when it comes to our health. There’s no question that the American public is confused about how to live a healthy lifestyle and science-free advice from celebrities only makes it more perplexing. Since most celebrities don’t have science credentials, they use their own life stories with their perfect skin and bodies as proof that whatever they’re promoting really works. All types of celebrities, from A-listers to reality stars, are selling obscure treatments and products that they claim will make you look and feel better. They post pictures on social media of products and treatments whenever they want. Some celebrities take it a step further by creating their own products. What most people don’t realize is that the celebrities are earning money by promoting these health fads. Even if they are just promoting ideas, their advice, can lead consumers astray. Unfortunately, some of the most widely shared advice is actually dangerous and puts your health at risk. Also, when look at the demographic of celebrities pushing wellness products and their targeted audience, it’s obvious that the majority are women trying to sell to other women. It’s great that women are comfortable enough with their bodies that they’re willing to talk about anything related to it, but in most cases, we don’t need any of the products or ideas being sold. In order to have a better understanding of how what celebrities are promoting isn’t something we need, let’s take a look at some of the recent topics they’ve endorsed.
When it comes to feminine hygiene, there always seems to be a new products or thing to try. One of the latest is that vitamin D can prevent yeast infections. The way celebrities are doing this by exposing their vaginas to the sun. While there are many health benefits associated with vitamin D, preventing yeast infections isn’t one of them and exposing your vagina to the sun could actually result in sunburn and skin cancer. Vaginas are more susceptible to these is because they don’t have enough skin pigmentation to protect the cells from the UV damage the sun causes. Another idea that has been encouraged is the use of vaginal wipes to help eliminate odors. Most often if you have a persistent odor, it’s got something to do with your vagina’s pH balance, not your hygiene. Since this is due to an internal issue, vaginal wipes are useless at correcting it. In fact, using vaginal wipes can cause irritation, rashes and alter your vagina’s pH balance. Another practice being put forward as a way to keep your vagina fresh is douching. However, this can disrupt the balance of good bacteria, which is the way your body protects itself from bacteria that makes use sick. In order to make your vagina smell nice, some celebrities have suggested putting sugar in it. This could cause a yeast infection because yeast feeds off sugar. For women who have just been pregnant, some celebrities are claiming that eating one’s own placenta helps speed recovery, prevents post-partum depression and restores energy. As of now, there’s no research to support these claims and placenta pills have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Placenta’s role during pregnancy is filter toxins from the mother so that they don’t pass through to the fetus. So, if you ingest pills made from your placenta, you are ingesting these toxins.
A huge topic that celebrities weigh in on is weight loss. Recently, the concept of wearing corsets or waist trainers has been suggested as a way to lose weight. There are no health benefits to wearing corsets or waist trainers. They can actually cause serious damage by squishing your abdominal organs, such as your liver, kidney and intestines, limiting their ability to function correctly resulting in digestive problems and abdominal pain. Also, they can reduce your ability to take a deep breath, which makes breathing more difficult and are definitely not safe to use while exercising. Another celebrity recommendation to help lose weight are hot pants/garments. These are the new version of the old sauna suits. The concept is that you’ll slim down by increasing your core body temperature. With the latest version of the sauna suits, style is in the forefront, so you’ll good as you try to increase the amount you sweat. They do make you sweat, but unfortunately, this is all they do and what you’re losing is water, not fat. The real issue isn’t that they’re ineffective, but that they cause dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, you often overeat and this leads to weight gain. The purpose of sweat is to control your body temperature, not lose weight. Also, hot pants/garments interfere with your body’s natural process for eliminating toxins via your pores.
How much sleep you need, when you should sleep and for how long always seem be something that is debated. The idea of segmented sleep is not a new one. The thought is that by sleeping in smaller chunks of time spread throughout a 24-hour cycle, you’ll actually be more rested, therefore, more productive. This isn’t true. It’s better to sleep seven to eight hours at one time so your body can go through the various sleep stages because each has a specific purpose. During each stage, your body releases lots of hormones that help repair and restore your body. Any type of disrupted, or short, sleep, such as is the case with segmented sleep, interrupts this process, which actually increases levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. Cortisol interferes with insulin and results in blood sugar instability and food cravings.
The idea that you can detox your body by placing some sort of fluid inside your colon has definitely been a fad for several years. The only thing that changes is the type of fluid. The latest fluid to be used is coffee. The problem with coffee enemas is that it could damage your bowels and intestinal tract. Since coffee is a hot beverage, injecting it into the anus can result in burns. Also, if the tubing is inserted incorrectly, it can result in a hole (perforation) in the bowel. Besides these serious risks, it has the potential to disrupt the intestine’s natural bacterial flora, which is a complex community of microorganisms that live in your digestive tracts and helps to digest food. When this happens, it leaves you at an increased risk of getting an infection. It doesn’t matter what type of enema is being put forth as the next best thing, there’s no enema in the world that’s going to detox your body. Some celebrities claim that colonics have helped them to lose weight. While this might be true, it isn’t real weight loss that will last. All colonics do is get rid of the feces in your colon. As soon as you eat anything, you gain the weight back. There is also no scientific evidence that they can cure any diseases or regulate how your bowels function. Also, similarly to enemas, they can mess up the natural bacterial flora that live in your colon.
Besides feminine products and weight loss, the other big area that celebrities focus on is anti-aging. Most of us would love to look years younger or stay looking young. The latest suggest for doing this is oxygen shots. Supposedly, they are said to slow the aging process, boost mental agility, help with fatigue and reduce headaches. In reality, introducing concentrated oxygen is likely to increase the generation of free radicals. The problem with too many free radicals is that the damage they can cause leads to wrinkled skin, stiff joints, elevated fatigue, memory problems and a host of other chronic conditions associated with aging. So, oxygen shots will actually result in you aging faster. Yes, oxygen is essential to life, but it can be toxic in excessive doses resulting in cell damage.
We’ve looked at several things that celebrities sell on a regular basis, but probably number one thing that market are diets. Since most celebrities look like they are in great shape, many people think if they eat like them, they will attain a similar body. While there is no standard definition of a fad diet, they typically gain popularity because of celebrity endorsements and the promise of quick weight loss, which most of us want because we don’t like to have to work hard for results. Often these diets use the elimination mentality resulting in certain food or groups of foods being removed from your diet. Also, when a large number of the people we know are doing the diet, then we’re more likely to give into the peer pressure. If the diet promises that you’ll lose weight fast at an unrealistic pace and the results sound too good to be true, then it’s most likely a fad diet. If the recommendations are based on a single study or no research at all, seem extreme or refers to food as good or bad, then it is probably a fad diet. If personal testimonials of celebrities or other individuals are used to sell the diet, it involves crash dieting (very extreme reductions in eating and drinking) or statements made about the diet are disproven by reputable scientific organizations, then it’s a fad diet. Most scientists state that fad diets are a waste of time. Also, keep in mind that it’s up to the FDA to prove that a food substance is unsafe, rather than it being the job of the manufacturer to show it is safe. Since there is often a time lag from when a product goes on the market until the FDA makes their determination, it can take a while before an unsafe product is pulled off the shelf. So, the best thing to do before trying any diet recommended by a celebrity is ask your doctor about it. Occasionally, some of the things recommended by celebrities are actually healthy and effective.
Chocolate is definitely delicious, but high in calories. So, aerated chocolate was created with the idea of injecting air into chocolate to reduce the amount of pure chocolate and as a result lower the number of calories. While it does have a lower overall calorie content in each bite due to the almost 50% reduction in actual chocolate content, it’s a much more processed chocolate. Even though it has less calories, it still contains a significant amount of added sugars. If you have traditional dark chocolate instead, you have the same satisfaction of enjoying chocolate but you get more antioxidants and minerals. Don’t go overboard, just eat it in moderation.
Some diets only allow you to eat certain colored foods. The purple diet is an example where your only allowed eat purple-hued foods, like cabbage, plums and grapes. These foods are high in antioxidants that are good for your heart, brain and entire body. The problem is that focusing too much on any specific kind of food means your body is missing out on other essential nutrients from other foods. In regards to the purple diet, you’re missing out on carotenoids from yellow/orange vegetables, lignans that are in brown whole grains or iron from red meat. Most dieticians recommend eating a rainbow every day in order to get all the nutrients that you need.
Sugar is high in calories, but obviously tastes great. So, in order to find better calorie option there are several sugar substitutes to choose from. The best to opt is stevia because its leaves contain compounds called steviol glycosides. This compound makes it about 30 to 45 times sweeter than sugar, but it has less calories. For diabetics or very low-carb dieters, this is definitely the better choice. There is some research being done to see if stevia actually helps reverse diabetes, metabolic syndrome and hypertension. Stevia is a natural product, which makes it easy to avoid synthetic artificial sweeteners that aren’t good for you. The key is to make sure that the products contain pure stevia extract, which is stevia rebaudiana.
Coconut oil has had bad wrap because when it was initially being tested to see how healthy it was, only the partially hydrogenated version of it was used and not the unprocessed, virgin coconut oil. As we now know, any partially hydrogenated oil is bad for your health, especially your heart, because they contain trans-fats. The testing has been repeated with non-hydrogenated coconut oil and the results indicate that it’s really good for you. Coconut oil is often recommended as a way to help burn fat because it has a high content of medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs). Your body metabolizes these more like carbohydrates than fats, which means it’s less likely to be stored as body fat than other dietary fats you consume. One of the areas coconut oil targets the most is belly fat. The good news is that it can handle high-heat cooking without oxidation, so it’s a perfect substitute for other oils in recipes and given that the flavor isn’t overpowering you won’t even know the difference. Some doctors suggest adding a small amount of coconut oil to your pre-workout smoothie to enhance both brain function and muscle performance. The key thing to remember is that oil is still oil when it comes to calories, so don’t over indulge.
It’s obvious that there is a substantial amount of misinformation about nutrition fads, including antioxidants pills, juicing and gluten-free diets. Numerous reports have revealed that these trendy celebrity diets are of little use; whereas, lean red meat, low-fat dairy and vegetable oils are not harmful as many claim them to be. The best diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Nuts are acceptable in small portions, but it is recommended to eat eggs sparingly due to cholesterol concerns. Olive oil is healthy, but like coconut oil, should only be consumed in moderation. There are three things that you should consider before adopting any celebrity diet. The first is whether or not it’s balanced. This means that you are getting all of the necessary vitamin and mineral requirements that your body needs. The second thing is does it fit your lifestyle. Many celebrities, especially athletes, consume far more calories than the average American needs because they are far more active than most of us. The third thing you need to check is whether or not you like the food that is allowed. If you can’t stand the majority of the foods, then you are less likely to stick with the diet. It’s essential to find new recipes and ingredients that you look forward to eating to keep you excited about the dietary changes.
With any weight-loss plan, it’s not only important that it’s effective, but that it’s safe and healthy for you. Typically, fad diets only work for a short period of time. Most often, they cause you to drop pounds due to unhealthy calorie reduction or water weight loss. While they succeed at jolting you from mindless snacking, eating junk food on the run and all the calorie and fat-packed extras that we add to our meals, they are not sustainable for a long period of time. Weight loss veterans know that to lose weight and keep it off requires a long-term commitment. Some signs that a fad diet is probably not healthy for you is if you experience muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, fainting, dehydration, severe constipation/diarrhea, mood changes and constant hunger.
The truth is that any diet that results in quick weight loss without meeting your nutritional needs usually leads to rapid regaining of weight when you stop following the diet. This ultimately causes many people to yo-yo diet, which is where you follow a diet for a while lose weight, but because the diet is too hard you gradually go back to your old eating habits and regain the weight you lost causing you to start the cycle all over again. This process sets you up for failure because when the diet fails, you blame yourself and feel demoralization and hopelessness. When you feel this way, it makes it harder to stick with the necessary health changes that result in long-term weight loss. In order to prevent yo-yo dieting, always talk to a doctor before trying any new diet plan. People who are on medication or have chronic health issues should be especially cautious with fad diets. Besides talking to a doctor, do research to investigate the science behind the diet’s claims before you start is key. The best solution, especially if you’re struggling, is to work with a nutritionist or registered dietitian to create a realistic diet plan that will be effective for you over the long-term. The reality of weight loss is that a slow and steady approach brings more lasting results than any fad. The other key component to encourage and maintain weight loss is increasing your activity level. This should be done under the supervision of a doctor, especially if you’re just starting the process or if you have a chronic health condition.
As each new health fad comes along, we tend to forget about the negative things associated with them. We must do a better job of being aware that anything done in extremes is usually not well-balanced and you’ll find your hurting yourself in the long run. This is why before trying any new products or starting a new diet, you need to consider the science that is being presented as the reason why it works. In order to be healthy, we need to eat a healthy diet, exercise frequently, get plenty of sleep and not smoke. Just making these lifestyle adjustments is usually enough to see some weight loss and your overall health improve. Instead of spending your time, money and energy on things that don’t work, put forth the effort into investigating and participating in things that do!