15 myths to dismantle to lead a healthy life

Many of us know that exercising, eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, drinking enough water, avoiding toxins such as alcohol and tobacco, and going periodically to our medical examinations is fundamental. to lead a healthy life and to prevent risk factors that may endanger our health. However, if we go into details, the The problem comes when our idea of ​​what is healthy or not is wrong.

This is what emerges from the latest international study Cigna 360 Wellbeing Score, the result of more than 15,000 surveys, which analyzes the level of relationship between reality and the perception that Spaniards have regarding health issues such as nutrition, exercise, cancer, stress or aging.


According to this Index, we Spaniards get a fair pass on the knowledge we have on aspects of health and well-being, specifically 59.9 out of 100. However, we are in this aspect above the European average, which barely reaches 53 , 2%, and that shows that there are still many myths to clarify.

5 myths to dismantle about food and exercise

The majority of respondents believe that only 38% of the Spanish population is overweight, when, in fact, it is 60.9%. Several examples show:

1. Myth or reality Eating lots of fruit is good for your health
86% of respondents believe that it is true
14% of Spaniards consider it false
False. Despite being a great source of vitamins, eating too many fruits increases the risk of diabetes or obesity.


2. Myth or reality. Eating fatty foods makes you fat
86% of respondents believe that it is true
14% of Spaniards consider it false
False. They are considered as harmful but some of them are formed by what is known as "unsaturated fats" very good for health.

3. Myth or reality. You have to exercise at least 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes.
82% of respondents believe that it is true
18% of Spaniards consider it false
False. It is shown that doing it for less time, increasing intensity, could be even more effective.

4. Myth or reality. Eat after 8:00 p.m. It fattens more.
55% of respondents believe that it is true
45% of Spaniards consider it false
False. It is not only the time that affects, but also the composition of the food eaten. We sit down carbohydrates before going to bed, not to burn them, they will get fatter even if the calories are the same. It is, therefore, a matter of income-expenditure balance.


3 myths that disassemble about stress

The knowledge index regarding stress is 55.3 percent, according to the Cigna Health and Wellbeing Knowledge Index. An approved scraping means that there are still myths to be revealed.

5. Myth or reality. Stress causes early baldness
68% of respondents believe that it is true
32% of Spaniards consider it false
False. Baldness tends to arise prematurely by genetics, disease or vices such as tobacco.

6. Myth or reality. Stress can cause stomach ulcer
78% of respondents believe that it is true
22% of Spaniards consider it false
False. There is no medical evidence of this.

7. Myth or reality. There are some types of stress that are good for our health and wellbeing
33% of respondents believe that it is true
67% of Spaniards consider it false
True. There is a lack of knowledge of the so-called Eustress - positive stress - that gives us useful tools to face life and that is positive for us.

4 myths that disassemble about aging

60% of Spaniards feel younger than they really are. However, when it comes to speculating about the age of others, it tends to be exaggerated. According to this report, the majority response to the question of what percentage of the population is over 65 in our country is: "40% of Spaniards are over 65 years old". In reality, statistics show that there is only 18% of people in this population group. There are still some misconceptions about aging, and not only in terms of age, but also in many other aspects:

8. Myth or reality. Aging is accompanied by an inevitable physical and mental deterioration
80% of respondents believe that it is true
20% of Spaniards consider it false
False. As shown in various WHO reports, aging can be slowed by increased physical activity, a balanced diet and a good social environment.

9. Myth or reality. There are many chances that forgetfulness indicates the onset of dementia.
61% of respondents believe that it is true
39% of Spaniards consider it false
False. It is true that it can mean an early sign of this disease, but it does not necessarily imply its suffering. It can be caused by other aspects such as a certain medication or depression.

10. Myth or reality. Depression is more common in older people
28% of respondents believe that it is true
72% of Spaniards consider it false
False. Age is only a risk factor, so that depression can not be related to a normal part of growth but as a disease.

11. Myth or reality. Older people are not used to modern work
23% of respondents believe that it is true
77% of Spaniards consider it false
False. Several studies have indicated that some segments of mental growth (strategic thinking, deliberation or comprehensive perspective) can be reinforced with age.

4 myths that disassemble about cancer

Cancer is the health issue that most worries the Spanish. At least that is what 76% recognizes. And for that reason it is convenient to dismantle some errors related to aspects or situations that, according to the respondents, can increase the probabilities of suffering it, but that, in reality, they are not as harmful as you think.

12. Myth or reality. Living in a polluted city causes, over time, lung cancer
60% of respondents believe that it is true
40% of Spaniards consider it false
False. According to various studies, the probability of it happening is very low and only in people with specific occupations.

13. Myth or reality. Drinking bottled water that has been kept in a car for a long time produces cancer
55% of respondents believe that it is true
45% of Spaniards consider it false
False. According to American Cancer Society and Cancer Research UK, it has not been demonstrated that this situation causes or increases the risk of cancer.

14. Eating very cooked vegetables can cause cancer
49% of respondents believe that it is true
51% of Spaniards consider it false
False. Although it is true that they contain heterocyclic amines (HCA), the amount is very small. What you have to avoid is consuming charred meats, as they contain more of this chemical compound.

15. Myth or reality. If you do not have anyone in your family who has had cancer, you do not have to worry
10% of respondents believe that it is true
90% of Spaniards consider it false
False. Only a small proportion of cancer cases come from inherited genes. 90% -95% occur sporadically.

Marisol Nuevo Espín

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