90 STASHED IDEAS
Margarine is marketed as a healthier alternative to butter, which is not true. It may seem like butter but is mainly manufactured using vegetable oils, salt, emulsifiers and trans-fats. Most of it isn’t healthy.
Butter, on the other hand, is made from milk, which is a topic of a lot of health debates but has been used without any problem for thousands of years. It is a good source of vitamins and calcium while being high in fats.
Dieting is not as easy as portrayed by the media. Many people abandon the process midway or replace them with realistic and scaled-down versions.
A dieter often believes the diet is the cause of failure, and he or she hasn’t tried hard enough. They overlook their own habits and behaviours and blame their intake.
We like to be in control of any situation, and have false hopes about the benefits of the ‘perfect diet’ we are consuming. The media and marketing companies are also contributing to plant unrealistic expectations in many people trying to lose weight.
Many people continue to practice the same diet fad or routine to lose weight even after the effort is proven to be ineffective. This mentality of dieters is called the False Hope Syndrome and happens due to:
A rich and varied diet, comprising of 18 different foods is the key to a healthy stomach, activeness and longevity among the Okinawans.
The main focus of the diet is a large, diverse assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of gorging on a single superfood or avoiding something (like butter or bananas) just because everyone says so.
Okinawa, an island in southern Japan is known for the longevity of its population and has an extremely low rate of heart disease issues. The elderly are active and happy in the 80s and 90s.
Part of the secret of their longevity and happiness is their varied diet, rich in fruits and vegetables.
Placebos were used in clinical trials in the 18th century to debunk "quack" cures. The so-called "non-quack" cures included bloodletting and feeding patients the undigested material from the intestines of an oriental goat. These needed no trials because they were considered to be so effective.
An example of how powerful placebos are is during the second world war. Supplies of morphine were running out, and a nurse was seen to inject a wounded soldier with saltwater instead of morphine before an operation. The soldier thought it was real morphine and didn't appear to feel any pain.
It is accepted that placebos are not ethical because they require deceptions. But this view does not account for the evidence that we don't need deception for placebos to work.
Further mistaken claims:
A placebo can work even if the patient does not believe it is a real treatment.
This can be because patients have a conditioned response to an encounter with their doctor. Just like an arachnophobe's body can react negatively to a spider even if they know it's not poisonous, so a person can react to treatment from a doctor even if they know the doctor is giving them a sugar pill.
A review of over 50 placebo-controlled surgery trials shows that fake surgery worked as well as the real surgery in more than half the trials.
One famous study is from an American surgeon Bruce Moseley. 180 patients had such severe knee pain that even the best drugs failed to work. He gave half of them real arthroscopy and the other half placebo arthroscopy, where the incision was made, but no real procedure was performed. The placebo surgery worked as well as the real surgery.
A comprehensive study published in 1999 found that placebo effects were caused by both expectancy and conditioning.
But some researchers argue that there is something mysterious about how placebos work. While it is easy to see what happens inside the brain to the amygdala, or the other bits involved, it is less clear what moved the amygdala in the first place.
Early placebo trials that tested the effects of homoeopathy tablets revealed that doing nothing was better than both homoeopathy and allopathic (standard) medicine.
In the 1990s, Danish medical researchers compared people who take placebos with people who take no treatment at all. They concluded that there is little evidence that placebos, in general, have powerful clinical effects, but the researchers made incorrect comparisons. Today it is widely accepted that placebos are effective for some things, like pain, but not for everything.