You need to drink eight glasses of water a day. Cold, wet weather causes colds. You only need to wear sunscreen if the sun is out.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
Myths regarding health such as these have been around since the beginning of time. And with the advancement of technology and social media, finding and spreading information is even easier and faster and its reach has expanded exponentially like never before. This means that there's also a great deal of false, unverified information out there and we thought it was time we helped clear up the confusion.
So, whether it's a myth you heard from your grandma growing up, or you saw it on a viral video on Tik Tok, we put together this list to debunk 5 common health misconceptions.
Myth #1: Eating eggs causes high cholesterol
In 1968, the American Heart Association announced that adults shouldn't eat more than 3 whole eggs a week. That advice would lead to 50 years of consumers avoiding/limiting a source of high-quality nutrients from their diet.
Research has debunked the notion that eggs cause high cholesterol and put you at risk for heart disease. Harvard University's 2018 study even suggests that eggs can improve heart health. In fact, even people with heart issues are encouraged to eat eggs because they are filled with HDL, which is known as a “good” cholesterol that helps to improve the function of the liver and flush harmful cholesterol from the body.
Myth 2: You need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
Everyone's hydration needs are different, so we are here to squash this centuries-old myth. Yes, water is an excellent source to keep your body hydrated and healthy, but the idea that you need exactly 64 ounces of water every day is wrong.
Instead, adjust your water intake based on your activity level, the climate you are in, and whether or not you are showing any signs of dehydration.If you aren't urinating as frequently or your urine is dark yellow, you need to up your fluid intake. Water-rich foods like fruit, vegetables, and soup and drinks like juice, tea, and coffee can also help keep you hydrated.
Myth #3: Swimming right after eating may cause you to drown
Chances are that while you were growing up, you heard your parents or grandparents say you needed to wait at least 30 minutes after you eat before going into the pool or ocean. This theory came from the belief that blood will be redirected from your arms and legs to your stomach's digestive tract after eating. And as a result of your limbs not getting enough blood flow to properly function, you could drown. While the body does supply extra blood to aid in digestion, rest assured it is not nearly enough blood to keep your arm and leg muscles from working the way they should. Yes, you can possibly experience minor cramps after swimming, but nothing that could cause drowning. It's always best practice to be sure you have enough energy before swimming, so stay hydrated and bring snacks!
Myth #4: Organic foods are much healthier for you
From milk and beef to crackers and yogurt, organic foods are becoming more and more popular. For a food to be considered "organic," it must meet certain requirements, including how it's grown and which ingredients it contains.
While there is evidence that shows some potential health benefits of organic foods, there is limited information to conclude how the differences between organic and conventional foods translate into overall health benefits. You are still getting the same nutrients from both, so organic isn't necessarily always the better option, according to the lack of clear evidence out there right now.
Myth #5: Cold, wet weather causes the common cold
After our parents told us repeatedly not to swim right after eating, they most likely also reminded us to never go outside with wet hair. Or to remember to bundle up, because surely, otherwise we would catch a cold. However, cold weather and wet hair won't make you come down with the common cold's sniffles, cough, and sneezing.
The common cold is caused by one of the 200 different viruses that create inflammation in the membranes in the nose and throat. It is easily spread from person to person, so staying home while you are sick and practicing good hygiene (washing your hands, covering your cough and squeeze, etc.) is critical.
The list of health myths is endless. While scientific research and studies are supported sources of information, the internet and social media can often inflate and spread misconceptions rapidly, and false information will likely continue to circulate. Therefore, we always encourage you to talk to a physician or healthcare provider your trust for factual information on anything health-related.