1. Milk is good for your body
One of the most clever marketing strategies ever, pushing the idea that milk is essential for the development of the body. The USDA suggests we need three cups of milk per day for healthy bones, but there are no studies to suggest that there is actually any truth to this idea.
2. Organic food is more nutritious
Despite what you may have heard or been told, organic food is not free of pesticides, and isn’t actually even necessarily better for you. The pesticide levels of both organic and non-organic foods are so low that they are fine for consumption, but organic foods are no better for you than regular foods.
3. The ‘5’ second rule is fine
The ‘Five Second Rule’ is one of the enduring beliefs engrained in our culture; drop a piece of food on the floor, and it’s perfectly fine to eat provided you pick it up within five seconds. However, this is actually false, as bacteria can attach itself to food that falls on the floor within milliseconds.
4. Turkeys make you sleepy
One of the big myths you might remember when growing up is the one that says that the chemical tryptophan in turkeys can make you sleepy. Having your Thanksgiving nap is often attributed to this, but this is actually not the case; in reality, filling up on food and alcohol is more likely to be the contributing factor.
5. Chocolate can give you acne
This is one of the biggest health myths that you have probably encountered, but it’s actually something that has in basis in reality. In fact, science has actually tested this idea, and it is one that doesn’t hold up to testing and scrutiny, and there is actually no link between chocloate intake and acne.
6. An apple a day keeps the doctor away
We know that apples are good for you, just as all fruit is, and is packed full of things like vitamin C and fiber. However, the fact is that there are no additional health beenfits that come with eating apples, and if you wind up getting ill eating an apple will make very little difference.
7. Natural sugar is healthier than processed sugar
It’s easy to assume that natural sugars would be considerably healthier than processed sugars, but it’s actually not that simple. In fact, the sugar in natural products and synthetic products is pretty much the same, so this is actually goiung to have minimal impact.
8. Coffee stunts your growth
One of the big health myths that you might have heard perpetrated was the one about coffee stunting growth in children. In fact, there is no truth to this, and it is believed that this was a rumor started by cereal manufacturer C.W. Post who was trying to market a coffee alternative Postum.
9. Ice cream makes your cold worse
One of the big myths you have no doubt heard about your health and well-being is that eating ice cream when you have a cold can make your cold worse, and this is, of course, nonsense. There is little evidence to support that this is a bad thing, so go ahead and have some if you want it.
10. Sugar is more addictive than drugs
This myth stems from a theory by Dr. Robert Lustig, from his book ‘Fat Chance’ that posits that sugar stimulates the brain’s reward system in the same way as drugs and alcohol do, and therefore must be as addictive. However, the issue here is that certain studies of the brain do not show a definitive sign of addiction.
11. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac
The idea that sugar, and, in particular, chocolate, can ignite desire and sexual stimulation seems to have been one of the greatest marketing ploys of the modern era. In reality, there is actually nothing that supports this notion, so it’s time to change your opinion about chocolate.
12. Sugar makes children hyperactive
One of the most common health theories surrounds sugar causing hyperactivity in kids, but interestingly there is actually no scientific evidence to support this idea. It likely stems from a 1974 claim made by Dr. William Crook, who made the suggestion in a letter to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
13. Blood turns blue when it’s out of oxygen
Blood is always red, it’s never blue, and when it is low on oxygen it actually turns dark red in color. The idea that it is blue when low on oxygen most likely stems from the fact that it comes across as blue in the veins when you are viewing it through multiple layers of tissue.
14. We have five senses
The common misconception is that humans actually have five sense, and no more, but this is not actually accurate. Sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste are the core five, but there are a lot of other senses that we overlook, including things like balance and temperature.
15. Eating carrots improves your vision
Carrots helping you see in the dark was most likely one of those bedtime stories cooked up by parents in a bid to get their kids to eat carrots. Vitamin A, found in carrots. does help improve your vision somewhat, but it’s certainly not going to help you see clearly in the dark.
16. Pregnancy gives you “baby brain”
Ah, the old “baby brain” myth was good whilst it lasted. It’s hard to quantify this because the information on pregnancies is changing all the time. But, interestingly, all the test results actually show that pregnancy has a positive impact on a woman’s brain, rather than a negative one.
17. Your hair and nails grow after death
Your hair and fingernails do not actually keep growing after death; this is a common myth, but it is easy to see how it might have come about. You see, when a person dies, their skin dries out and shrinks, which makes the hair and nails appear to have grown further, even though this is not actually the case.
18. People can’t grow new brain cells
Contrary to popular belief, we are not born with all the brain cells we will ever have, so this is a myth you can chalk off the list. In fact, science shows that through a process called neurogenesis, the brain does actually continue to produce brain cells into adulthood, at least in some regions.
19. Gum can take seven years to digest
Chewing gum in and of itself is not going to cause any digestive problems if you swallow the odd piece, but things can get tricky when you swallow gum that might have other things inside it. Overall, it’s probably the best idea to not swallow gum, and instead throw it away.
20. Wait an hour after eating before swimming or you’ll get cramp
You don’t actually have to wait an hour before swimming when you’ve eaten, as there is no evidence to suggest that swimming just after a meal can cause cramp. Whilst it is true that cramps do occur when you are swimming, they are not caused by anything you might have eaten.
21. Vitamins will keep you healthy
This is quite a controversial one, because many people believe that vitamins play a key role in helping improve your life and well-being. However, despite years of research, there has been no evidence that vitamins improve your health, and some can actually link to illnesses like cancer.
22. You should be drinking eight glasses of water per day
Whilst it is certainly true that water intake is something that can have a positive impact on your health, there is no definitive proof that you should be drinking around eight glasses per day. Water is a wonderful and calorie-free way to detox the body, and this is going to be highly beneficial to your long-term health.
23. Still water hydrates better than carbonated
Fizzy water gets a bad rap, but it’s actually no worse for you than regular still water; it seems like this is more to do with a personal taste preference than anything else. Studies have shown that carbonation makes no difference to the hydration process.
24. You lose most of your body heat through your head
Another myth this one. The fact of the matter is that you are going to lose body heat out of anything that is an extremity, and this tends to make your head a target. However, it is no more of a risk than any other extremity, and as long as you cover up, using a hat or something, you should be fine.
25. Breaking the seal makes you pee more
Breaking the seal is the classic mistake every man drinking beer has no doubt experienced, but it is definitely a myth. The fact of the matter is that alcohol is a diuretic, so it’s already going to make you pee more. When you first break the seal has no bearing on this at all.
26. Hair of the dog is a great hangover cure
You’ll be happy to know that this is as ridiculous as it sounds! When you are hungover, drinking alcohol again (like a Bloody Mary) is not actually going to cure you. If anything, you are actually just prolonging the hangover, and this is just going to make you feel worse later on.
27. Alcohol can kill brain cells
Whilst it is true that excessive drinking can cause damage to the connections between brain cells, it doesn’t actually kill any. However, it is true that feta alcohol syndrome is a thing, and children born with this do tend to be born with fewer brain cells, so this is something to be aware of.
28. Beer before wine is fine, wine before beer ‘Oh dear’
This classic myth purports that mixing alcohol is fine when done in a particular order – in reality, this is nonsense. At the end of the day, too much of any kind of alcohol is going to make you feel sick, and there is no evidence that drinking in any particular order can make any kind of difference.
29. Brown sugar is healthier than white
This is another common myth, but it’s actually one that has been debunked several times. The brown color is actually caused by a syrup called molasses, and brown sugar is essentially just white sugar that has retained some molasses. However, there are no overt health benefits to choosing brown over white.
30. Too much TV will give you square eyes
This was another classic lie pedalled by parents who wanted to cut down on their children’s TV usage. Of course, this is absolute nonsense; the most that will happen is that you’ll get a headache as a result of eye fatigue. So make sure you avoid too much TV where you can, if you want to avoid headaches.
31. Vaccines cause autism
Vaccines causing autism is one of the biggest myths out there. This idea started with a study of just 12 children in 1998, and has since been debunked. The study used misleading information in order to make its point, and subsequent studies on more than one million children have found no link between vaccines and autism.
32. Sugar can cause diabetes
Diabetes is a complex disease, and there is no one factor that can be attributed to it. Whilst it’s true that excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain, which can contribute to diabetes, there is not enough evidence to support the idea that eating sugar can directly cause diabetes.
33. Soda intake is linked to obesity in kids
Another myth to think about when it comes to health is the idea that children who drink soda are at greater risk of obesity. In reality, this is not actually proven to be the case, and soda intake is certainly not the sole cause of childhood obesity. Healthy eating and exercise will be more beneficial to kids than cutting out sugar.
34. Cracking knuckles can give you arthritis
This seesm like one of thse myths that was invented by someone who didn’t like the sound of knuckles being cracked, so made up a fact that it was bad for your joints. Actually, there are no studies that prove that knuckle-cracking can cause arthritis, so don’t worry about it.
35. Microwaves can disrupt pacemakers
Microwaves are largely fine, and they do not pose a lot of the health risks that people might think they do. For instance, microwaves do not interfere with pacemakers, so you don’t need to worry about that; but you need to be wary of things like metal detectors, anti-theft systems, and even some cell phone, which can impact pacemakers.
36. Starve a fever and feed a cold
This will be one of the common ideas you’ve heard before, and this comes from a very small (and now debunked) study from around 20 years ago. In actuality, it seems that reducing your caloriers can actually have negative results; a better approach to take would be ‘feed a fever, feed a cold.’
37. Tourettes always means swearing
Tourettes is about so much more than just swearing. In fact, only a very small percentage of people who suffer with tourettes actually shout out swear words; in most cases, this is a condition defined by involuntary movements, and a number of different verbal tics.
38. Being cold will give you a cold
You probably were told a lot as a kid that being cold will make you cold, and that’s why you need to wrap up. There is no evidence that going outside without wrapping up is going to make you sick, provide you don’t get hypothermia; sickness happens more in the winter because we spend more time in close proximity indoors, which spreads bugs faster.
39. Stress causes high blood pressure
Whilst it is true that acute stress can temporarily increase blood pressure, in general, stress does not play a key role in chronic high blood pressure. Hypertension can be caused by a lot of other factors, such as lifestyle choices, smoking, drinking, and more.
40. Shaving causes hair to grow back thicker
Shaving does not impact thickness or rate of hair growth, despite this being a commonly held belief. In fact, this idea was debunked by scientific study as early as the 1920s, and yet it is a myth that continues to perpetuate even more than 100 years later.