by Julia Scalise, DN, PhD
Summertime and the living is easy……. It’s that time of year for most people to enjoy summer living, getting out and about, socializing, and taking vacations. To honor your respite time, this month’s article will be short and sweet.
I read a lot of articles posted about various health topics. And as always, I am amazed that despite a lot of good information, some misinformation is still circulating.
- Myth #1- If a little of something is good, more must be better. Please be aware of what you decide to start taking and the amounts in which you take it. Just because something is “natural” or considered “holistic,” it does not necessarily mean that any or more is better for YOU. In addition, some nutritional supplements must be balanced with other nutrients. Minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium should be in certain ratios. Zinc and copper also have ratios that should be considered. So, if you choose to take nutritional supplements, be advised that just increasing one nutrient, in excess amounts, can create more problems than actually helping you. Nutritional supplements affect physiology, and just because something is natural, it is not necessarily always safe or safe in higher or unbalanced amounts.
- Myth #2 If a lot of something is bad, then none is better. Another area to consider is assuming that if an excess is detrimental to health, then none must be better. For instance, the current information about cholesterol needing to be so low. The body needs adequate good cholesterol for optimal function, especially the brain and for hormone production. Decreases in cognitive function and hormone imbalances due to unhealthy low cholesterol levels are finally being acknowledged by the healthcare industry. Cholesterol is a by-product of inflammation and it’s best to determine the cause of the excess inflammation and address that, rather than lower cholesterol artificially to levels that brain and hormone function suffer. So again, if excess is bad, low to zero of something is not always optimal.
- Myth #3 The Best___________ for ____________ I see information shared all the time about the best food or nutrients for specific health issues. I reiterate that health is not a one size fits all process. I see how certain foods and nutritional supplements are touted to address specific health complaints but based on my years in practice, I know for a fact that not all foods or supplements are advised for everyone. One must take into account health status, genetics, medications, format, and sensitivities to foods and supplements. So it is always best to work with knowledgeable practitioners on your health team, or do your own good research. There are a lot of good programs, nutrition plans, and supplements and foods that are beneficial, but there are a lot of programs, products and foods that are harmful. If you do change your eating habits and/or begin taking nutritional supplements and don’t feel better, feel worse, or develop new complaints, it may not be the right course for you.
The best course of action is to improve your lifestyle, address cause and underlying contributing factors, use supplements as SUPPLEMENTS and not as your mainstay for health, and get knowledgeable advice from experts to help guide you if you cannot figure it out for yourself.
Wishing you health, enjoying your summer season, getting your goals for health on track, and living your best life.