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Walk 10,000 steps, drink 2 liters, have breakfast – which is really healthy

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Walk 10,000 steps, drink 2 liters, have breakfast – which is really healthy

Invented or well-founded?: 10,000 steps, drink 2 liters, eat breakfast – what is really healthy

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There is no genetic engineering in the plant

But don’t worry: they are genetically modified

Many rules for staying healthy have now been established. Their origins are often not scientifically based. Some came about through clever marketing. There are three of them that you no longer need to stress about – because scientists have refuted them.

Sometimes what sounds like medical research is simply a publicity stunt. Because products can be marketed well if they are good for your health.

1. This is where the health rule of 10,000 steps comes from

In order to stay healthy and prevent illness, people should exercise – the motivational goal has long been to achieve 10,000 steps a day. The 10,000 step mark first appeared in Japan in the 1960s. When the Olympic Games took place in Tokyo in 1964, a pedometer came onto the market. The name of the device Man-po-kei. “Po” ​​means “step”, “kei” stands for “measure”, “man” means the number 10,000.

Harvard Japanese researcher Thedore Bestor told New York magazine: “It sounds plausible to me that the goal of 10,000 steps was chosen to create a good-sounding name for marketing purposes.”

Over the years, the once arbitrarily chosen step rule became established, even at the World Health Organization (WHO).

How many steps you really need to take to stay healthy

A recent study confirms the health benefits of taking many steps – but also shows that significantly fewer steps per day are associated with a lower risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature death.

The research team led by Borja del Pozo Cruz analyzed data from the medical database “UK Biodatabase” from around 78,500 British people between the ages of 40 and 79. They published the results in the journals “ JAMA Internal Medicine ” and “ JAMA Neurology .”

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Risk of dementia can be halved

The benefits of exercise in dementia cases are particularly clear:

People who “only” 3800 steps were able to reduce their risk of dementia by a quarter compared to the comparison group. However, the team achieved even greater success 9800 steps measure: Those who did this daily halved their risk of dementia compared to the control group.

If “optimal number of steps” by the way 9826 measured. And: According to the study, anyone who moves quickly – with 112 steps per minute within 30 minutes – reduces their risk of developing dementia by two thirds. It doesn’t matter whether the steps are taken in one go or collected over the course of a day.

Health risk decreases from 2000 steps per day

The researchers also found a positive connection between exercise and the risk of death in other diseases. According to the study, that decreased Risk of cancer death increased more than tenfold per 2000 steps. The risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was also ten times lower.

Even 9 minutes of exercise can help

And for those who don’t like to exercise: Anyone who gets an extra nine minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day apparently improves their cognitive abilities. Researchers reported this in the “Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health”.

2. This is where the health rule of drinking 2 liters comes from

1.5 to 2 liters of water per day – this is the recommended fluid intake for an average adult. This is what the German Nutrition Society recommends, for example – in the heat or during physical exertion, it can be three liters or more.

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Most scientists don’t know exactly where this number actually comes from. This is what Yosuke Yamada tells the Guardian. He is the author of a study on water requirements that recently appeared in the journal Science.

How much you really need to drink to stay healthy

The research group led by the Japanese bio-scientist Yamada refutes the 2-liter rule. In a study involving more than 5,600 subjects from 23 countries, scientists at the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation determined a guideline for the water needs of an average adult. Their conclusion: There is “no scientific basis for the current recommendations,” as researcher Yamada emphasizes in the Guardian.

The actual water requirement varies from person to person. The scientists explain that the need for water increases with the energy level. In other words, the more energy is used in everyday life due to living conditions, the higher the daily amount of water required.

In addition, we usually cover about half of our fluid needs through food. So how much more should we drink? John Speakman, a metabolism expert at Scotland’s University of Aberdeen, told Spiegel that “the recommendation to drink two liters a day is too high for most people.” 1.5 liters, however, are more realistic.

3. Hence the health rule that breakfast is the most important meal

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”: This sentence was coined by the corn flake manufacturer Kellogg’s in the USA a hundred years ago. The owner, John Harvey Kellogg, was also a doctor. With his marketing he cleverly promoted the sale of corn flakes – and still does today.

How important breakfast really is to stay healthy

How important the first meal of the day actually is is once again very individual. Not everyone needs them. It depends a lot on a person’s energy needs and what activities they do in the morning. A balanced diet is particularly important for health. This applies to breakfast as well as to all other meals.

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Astrid Donalies from the German Nutrition Society (DGE) advises eating and drinking something in the first two hours after getting up. “This is also possible for people who don’t like breakfast,” she says. According to the expert, the purpose of breakfast is to replenish the body’s energy stores. “This is particularly important for children and young people.” Children who eat breakfast in the morning have a lower risk of being overweight and can concentrate better at school.

With regard to young people as well as diabetics, pregnant and breastfeeding women, nutritional doctor and diabetologist Matthias Riedl shares this view. For everyone else, however, eating in the morning is not a must. You can also just drink unsweetened tea or coffee and of course water, he explains.

However, there is a danger: “If you don’t have a rich breakfast, you usually snack more in the morning,” adds Riedl. And you should avoid that if possible – among other things because it is not good for your dental health, weight and metabolism.

Four building blocks for a good breakfast

But what does a good breakfast look like? According to DGE expert Astrid Donalies, it ideally consists of four building blocks:

Drinks, i.e. water, tea or even coffee. Cereals in the form of bread, muesli or cereal flakes. Vegetables and fruit, for example apples, berries or bananas as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers or even crunchy lettuce leaves. Milk or low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt, quark or cheese.

For nutritional doctor Riedl, there can be fewer carbohydrates. He especially recommends protein, preferably plant-based, such as that found in nuts and oatmeal.

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