Your Childhood Was a Lie - Health Myths De-bunked
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Hey! We are glad that you are here. Now that you are reading our blog, it’s our responsibility to always be 100% honest with you. To begin with, the first ultimate truth might hurt you a little, so brace yourself.
A majority of the supposedly ‘healthy and beneficial’ stuff you parents told you to make sure you eat all your vegetables and lead an active life were lies! Trust us when we say that there are health myths are all around us and they just make our lives difficult. So here we are, busting some of the most common health myths and we have tons and tons of proof to back ‘em up. Let’s get on with this!
Myth: Carrots help you see in the dark.
Truth: This one ‘roots’ back to the WWII propaganda campaign. The British Airforce developed a new radar technology that assisted pilots in shooting down German air planes at night. But like every other thing back in the war days, this technology was supposed to be kept a secret and that’s when the army used carrots to their rescue. Advertisements during the war touted the benefits of carrots for nighttime vision, including one that read “Carrots keep you healthy and help you see in the blackout,” Smithsonian Magazine says. A high source of Vitamin A, carrots help maintain eyesight but there’s no evidence supporting the myth that it increases sight and night vision. And just so you know, even Bugs Bunny couldn’t see in the dark.
Myth: If you swallow chewing gum, it stays in your system for 7 years.
Truth: Let’s ‘spit out’ this myth out of our head once and for all. We have all swallowed chewing gum at least once and if this myth was true, every person who has swallowed gum in the past 7 years would still be ‘stuck’ with it. However, no such case has ever come up because a substance as small as a piece of chewing somehow manages to find it’s way out of the digestive within a couple of days. According to Rodger Liddle, a gastroenterologist at the Duke University School of Medicine, “nothing would reside that long, unless it was so large it couldn’t get out of the stomach or it was trapped in the intestine.”And let’s just face it, people keep swallowing coins and fish bones all the time, so chewing gum is indeed a lightweight.
Myth: Muscles turn to fat when you don’t exercise.
Truth: Now, visually this might seem true but biologically, it is practically impossible. Muscles and fat can never convert into each other. Muscle cells and fat cells are two entirely different things. Think of it this way, muscle is the hard working kid who works his ass off at the gym and fat is the lazy kid who is wasted all day. Now let’s study them individually. When you exercise, your muscles expand thus eliminating the excess fat from the body. Now on the other hand, if you stop working out, your expanded muscles start to shrink thus giving room to body fat. These are two entirely different internal body functions which when falsely clubbed together give birth to this myth. Think about it. Exercise your brain a little!
Myth: Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight.
Truth: Every time you cover yourself up with a bed sheet, turn on your dim light and start reading a book, your mom’s voice echoes in your head, “Don’t read in the dark. You will turn blind.” Well, we can assure that this is entirely false and is enforced on us owing to the ‘blind faith’ of our ancestors.Richard Gans, MD, FACS, an ophthalmologist with the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute says, “ Dim light might make it difficult for the eyes to focus, which can cause short-term eye fatigue, but there is no scientific evidence that reading in the dark does any long-term harm to your eyes.Challenging visual work, such as reading in insufficient light, can also lead to short-term drying of eyes because you blink less often.” So don’t worry child! Take out your favorite book, draw your blinds and read till you fall asleep.
Myth: Sugar causes hyperactivity in children.
Truth: That’s a sweet, sweet lie. Through various experiments over the years, scientists have discovered that no substantial evidence exists to support the claim that sugar causes hyperactivity. In 1982, the National Institute of Health announced that no link between sugar and hyperactivity had been scientifically proven. In one such study, parents were told that their children were given drinks with sugar. After a while, when the kids started to act in a hyperactive manner, parents accused the ‘rush caused by sugar’. At the end of the experiment, the parents were told that the drinks contained no sugar at all. However, scientific studies show that children are hyperactive when they are in groups like at birthday parties, carnivals, etc. These events usually serve sweet snacks and drinks which allows to parents to draw parallels and be psychologically convinced that sugar is the cause of the hyperactivity.
Myth: Microwave kills the nutrients in food.
Truth: This one always leads up to a ‘heated argument’ between the traditional moms and the modern moms and it seems like science is in favor of the modern moms. According to Harvard Health Publications, certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, will break down when exposed to heat, regardless of whether you cook using a microwave or through more conventional methods. However, because microwaves cook foods quicker, they may actually do a better job of preserving nutritional content that can be destroyed as a result of high heat exposure. Also, microwaves use minimal water for cooking purposes and nutrients are better preserved when minimal amounts of water are used.
Myth: Frozen fruits are better than fresh fruits.
Truth: Say whaa? You will fight this myth owing to popular belief but let us give you a ‘fresh’ perspective on this. When companies pack frozen fruits and keep it for later use, they quick freeze it which helps to retain the nutrients in them. Contrary to this, when you pick up fresh fruits from your local vendor, you might think that you are making a smart and healthy decision but what you don’t realise is that you are actually buying a fruit that has been selected from a faraway field, packed somewhere in a factory and transported across hundreds of kilometres. During this journey, as the fruit ripens, it tends to lose its nutrients and enzymes. However, if you have the option of eating a fruit right off the vine, eat it.
Myth: The food won’t be contaminated with bacteria if you pick it up within 5 seconds of it falling down.
Truth: The 5-second rule is undoubtedly one of my favorite myths because it is extremely superficial but at the same time, it’s challenging as hell. I have had my days when I dropped a Dorito, picked it up in the next 4 seconds, felt like a champion and then rewarded myself with that ‘clean and healthy’ Dorito. However, I was scammed. According to Myth busters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, “Even if something spends a mere millisecond on the floor, it attracts bacteria. How dirty it gets depends on the food’s moisture, surface geometry, and floor condition – not time.” So, the next time you pick something up within 5 seconds of it falling on the ground, make sure you enjoy your complimentary share of bacteria.
After reading this article, don’t lash out on your parents. It’s not their fault because even they probably didn’t know that all these ‘ so called facts’ were merely false statements. Let them know about this article. Share it with your friends. Have we missed out any myths? Let us know in the comments section below.