10 Health Myths People Still Believe

10 Health Myths People Still Believe 10) Myth: Microwaves kill the nutrients in foods Cooking food in the microwave can actually be one of the best ways to retain the vitamins and minerals in food This is because microwaving exposes fruit and vegetables to heat for a small amount of time

It also requires very little water, which allows the food to gently steam from the inside, preventing overcooking Microwaving can even enhance the nutrition of some foods It makes the antioxidants in tomatoes and carrots more available to our bodies, for example, while making the biotin in eggs more digestible Source: CNN 9) Myth: The five second rule The five second rule states that food dropped on the floor is safe from harmful germs if picked up within 5 seconds In a scientific study by Jillian Clarke, gummy bears were dropped on surfaces that were covered with bacterium E

coli The study found that the E coli contaminated the gummy bears within five seconds It has also been discovered that just 10 cells or less of some strains of E coli are enough to cause severe illness – or even death – in people with low immune systems

Source: Discover Magazine, The Guardian 8) Myth: Carrots help you see in the dark The vitamin A present in carrots is good for eye health, but the myth that eating carrots can improve vision gained popularity during WW2 During the war, the British government developed secret radar technology, which allowed Royal Air Force planes to pinpoint and therefore shoot down German planes before they reached England To keep the radar technology under wraps, propaganda was released stating that eating carrots enabled pilots and civilians to see in the dark Source: Smithsonian Mag 7) Myth: Orange juice is healthy Nutritionally, store bought orange juice isn’t much better than soda Despite orange juice being advertised as fresh, healthy, and packed with vitamins, it is in fact heavily processed, in order to maintain its shelf life

Orange juice brands such as Tropicana preserve their juice by removing all of the oxygen from the freshly squeezed juice However, this process also removes all of the natural flavor of the juice, which is then replaced with flavor packs engineered by perfumers To further enhance this flavor, many popular fruit juice brands add more sugar than a serving of Coca-Cola, and studies have found that fruit juice is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes Source: The Atlantic, The Guardian 6) Myth: Muscles turn into fat when you don’t exercise The idea that unused muscles turn into fat is impossible, as muscle and fat are two distinct tissues that never convert into each other When people stop exercising, muscles begin to shrink, creating more space for the body’s fat to grow into

Usually when people stop exercising, they continue to consume the same amount of calories as when they were training This means that rather than using up the excess stored energy, the body transforms energy into fat, giving the illusion that a six-pack has literally turned into a flabby belly Source: NY Times 5) Myth: Sugar makes children hyperactive After eating sugary foods, children are thought to experience a ‘sugar rush’, which makes them hyperactive However, psychologists believe that the ‘sugar rush’ is in fact just the natural high spirits of children when they get together It is merely a coincidence that many events in which children are hyperactive happen to include cakes and sweets

Because of the ‘sugar rush’ myth, many parents interpret their children’s behavior as being hyperactive after eating sugar, because they believe the myth to be fact Source: New Scientist 4) Myth: We should eat like cavemen The Palaeolithic [pay-lee-oh-lith-ick] diet is based on the idea that the human digestive system is unable to cope with a modern diet, and therefore we should only eat the meat, fish, nuts, and berries that were available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors However, biologists argue that humans are constantly evolving One such relatively recent genetic change found in humans is the development of lactase persistence, which has enabled modern adults to tolerate milk Meanwhile, studies have found that those who follow the Palaeolithic diet struggle to reach the recommended daily amounts of calcium, iron and fiber

Source: BBC 3) Myth: Carbs make you fat When people cut out carbs from their diet and lose weight, this can be attributed to the high-calorie ingredients that are often mixed in or eaten with the carbs that have also been cut out, such as butter, cheese, cream, sugar, and oil Gram for gram, carbohydrates contain fewer than half the calories of fat Weight gain is determined not by having a diet high in fat or carbs, but by consuming too many calories In reality, eating carbs can actually help people lose weight, as the high fiber found in carb foods help to bulk out a meal and make you feel full Source: NHS 2) Myth: Fasting rids the body of toxins There is no medical basis to support the idea that prolonged fasting and detoxing diets can cleanse our bodies of environmental toxins

Our liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs are constantly working to eliminate environmental toxins from our body on their own There is currently no known way to improve these bodily functions in an already healthy body Studies have shown that prolonged fasting is actually damaging to the body, leading to vitamin deficiency and weight loss Source: Huffington Post, The Guardian 1) Myth: Multivitamins help you live longer Almost half of the US population take vitamin supplements, with multivitamins being the most popular However, research has shown that if you are healthy, taking multivitamins and high dose antioxidants may actually be killing you

Taking vitamins and minerals as supplements can essentially cause our cells to overdose and prevent them from absorbing the minerals they actually need For example, an excess amount of vitamin A is linked to increasing lung cancer in smokers, while excess zinc is linked to reduced immune system function Source: BBC, Forbes

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