With the information highway that is the Internet, distinguishing facts from the fake ones can be tedious. Fads and false health claims come and go through the years. This is probably the reason why Dr. Michael Mosley never stopped educating people through documentary films for the past 20 years.
In his new show Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, Dr. Michael and a team of experts will investigate the latest evidence behind health claims and headlines. Is sugar really the new tobacco? How much is too much alcohol? Should we worry about air pollution? Known for conducting experiments on his own body, Mosley will look at the benefits of eating oily fish, whether cooking with turmeric can help prevent cancer, and how to increase levels of vitamin D in the body.
On Keto diet
Dr. Michael finds ketogenic diet “interesting.” Popular for its weight loss effects, the diet involves eating what sounds heavenly to many: fatty food. It’s practically indulging on bagnet, liempo, or lechon while on a mission to shed pounds. The keto diet also requires going extremely low on carbs, essentially cutting out bread or rice (a.k.a. Filipino meal essential).
While the diet is proven helpful for epileptic kids and adults, Dr. Michael thinks this low-carb, high-protein diet may not be the best way to go. “The problem with that is it’s very difficult to sustain. You’d go crazy thinking, ‘I must have carbs like bread or rice.’ The other thing is, you often cut out the fruits, the vegetables, and the fiber. Brown rice, for instance, have lots of fiber in it. That means that your gut bacteria will go, ‘Where is the fiber? Where is the good stuff?’ You will be disrupting all that,” he explained.
On staying fit by doing 10,000 steps a day
A Japanese marketing company for the Tokyo Olympics once claimed that doing 10,000 steps a day will keep a person healthy. Truth is, they had to sell pedometers, which counts each step a person takes by detecting the motion of the hands or hips.
“[What] you should know about these things is they lie. When they tell you you’ve burned thousands of calories, it’s just not true. They grossly exaggerate. They’re incredibly inaccurate. They’re quite accurate at measuring steps, but they’re really bad at measuring calories,” he said.
On Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, factory workers were asked to do either 10,000 steps a day or three-minute brisk walks. Monitors were provided to measure the impact on the workers’ health. “The three brisk walks are about 3,000 steps in all, but they’re much more effective in improving the health of the people because it’s more achievable. “There’s better benefit because it’s not how about how far you go but how hard you push yourself. It’s about getting your heart rate up. So when I see people jogging along, I want to shout at them, ‘RUN! RUN!’ Even if it’s only for a hundred meters, there’s so much more benefit from sprinting than running a mile at a slow pace,” he elaborated.
On intermittent fasting being “bad” for you
In an interview with MB Life, Dr. Michael said he’s read so much about how bad of an idea intermittent fasting is – that it is unhealthy and slows down metabolism. A study, however, showed that those who did intermittent fasting were burning more calories in just a week after doing the 5:2 diet compared to how they were beforehand.
“Another myth is that you can eat anything you want. I do not recommend that. I think you should try and aim for a healthy diet in the other days or hours of intermittent fasting,” he said. An ideal, healthy Filipino diet would consist of lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain. Carbs would have to be brown rice, too, instead of white rice. Add lots of oily fish, coconut oil, and turmeric.
Dr. Mosley, who practices the same diet he popularized, also refutes the idea that getting hungry is a bad idea. “Being hungry is a really, really good idea. You’ll discover that you can ride the hunger. You don’t have to eat all the time. You can satisfy your hunger,” he asserted.
Trust Me, I’m a Doctor airs every Monday, 10:50 p.m., on BBC Earth (Cignal Channel 245).
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