In a world rot of “fake news” and misinformation, it can be hard to figure out what’s true and what’s not. Between new research claiming that one food is better than another, coupled with old tales passed down from your parents, it can be confusing to separate fact from fiction.
Here are some of the most popular food myths debunked:
1. Milk and fish are a dangerous duo
Our mothers, grandmothers and their mothers have all told us that drinking milk with or after eating fish can have harmful side effects, including a peculiar kind of skin disorder. There is no factual evidence to prove that drinking milk or having dairy products immediately after eating fish can be harmful or could result in patches or pigmentation of the skin. Scientists and doctors agree that eating fish and milk together does not pose any risk of vitiligo or skin disease.
2. It takes 7 years to digest chewing gum
The old urban myth that terrifies children. When you were young, you probably were told that if you swallowed gum, it would take seven years to pass through your gut before it is digested. However, it has been proven that the gut just keeps moving the gum along the track until it makes it all the way through the intestines and ends up in your lavatory – on average in only two days.
3. Eggs are bad for your heart
You may have been told by older relatives that having too many eggs will raise your cholesterol and therefore can be bad for your heart. However, doctors recommend including eggs in your diet every day. Eggs do contain cholesterol, but the cholesterol from eggs doesn’t impact significantly enough on blood levels to affect your health.
4. Adding salt to your pot of water will make it boil faster
One of those food myths that just won’t die, adding salt to your pot of pasta water will not actually make it boil faster. In order to change water’s boiling point appreciably, you would have to add so much table salt (and dissolve it completely) that the resulting salt water would be nearly inedible. However, the salty water will make your pasta taste better.
5. Drinking caffeine stunts growth
Many parents only let their kids drink Coke, Pepsi, or other sugary drinks on special occasions. Most parents never let their children drink coffee or chai because it is believed that drinking caffeinated drinks stunts the growth of a child. Too much caffeine may lead to other health problems, but it has proven to not have any effects on growth patterns.
6. Sugar makes kids hyper
Many parents swear that a bit of candy holds the power to morph their sweet, polite child into a crazed monster that lurches around voicing eardrum-piercing shrieks. According to comprehensive studies, no substantial evidence exists to support the claim that sugar causes hyperactivity. Since sugar is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, your blood sugar rises quickly, which can lead to higher adrenaline levels. Hyperactivity is usually in the parent’s head.
7. Energy drinks give you energy
Many people drink energy drinks to stay up late to cram, to start their day, or to become more energized. However, the sugar in energy drinks will give you a short burst of adrenaline and the caffeine will prevent drowsiness for a short period. Unfortunately, you will not gain any real energy.
8. Vitamin C saves you from a cold
You might want to stop chugging all that vitamin C to cut down on sick days. Experts find little to no impact of using vitamin C to prevent or treat a cold. Some researchers have suggested that taking 200 milligrams of vitamin C every single day of the year (not just on days when you’re sick) may make cold symptoms go away about one day sooner – but you’re better off fighting a cold the old-fashioned way.
9. Eating papaya while pregnant leads to a miscarriage
Papaya has been used as an emergency contraceptive measure and an abortifacient in Asian countries. The latex in a rare, unripe papaya may cause pre-mature induction of labor, which can sometimes cause abnormalities in the fetus. However, a “fully” ripe papaya is a good source of vitamins and minerals and can be eaten while pregnant as the latex concentration in a fully-ripened papaya is significantly reduced.
10. Eating ice cream makes a sore throat worse
Our parents often warn us not to eat ice cream and other cold treats when we have a bad throat. However, because ice cream is so cold and soft, it can actually help soothe your throat and get rid of the irritation briefly, by reducing inflammation. Plain flavors of ice cream with a smooth consistency work best to soothe a sore throat.
11. Storing bread in the refrigerator will make it last longer
If you’ve been storing that last half of the loaf of bread you just can’t seem to finish in the refrigerator….you might want to reevaluate your life. Storing bread at a cold temperature will cause the starch in the bread to crystallize faster – doing the exact opposite of preservation. Wrapping it up and keeping it at room temperature will make bread last the longest it possibly can.
Which one of these have you fallen for?
cover image source: dresspk.com