10 Most Popular Health Myths Debunked

We all have heard myths about certain habits, foods or behaviors that can help or hurt our health. When myths are repeated from generation to generation we begin to accept them as fact. Below are the 10 most popular health myths debunked with sound medical reasoning.

Myth #1:  “Starve a fever, feed a cold.”

Do you starve a fever and feed a cold when you’re feeling under the weather? Or is it the other way around? Starving is never the correct answer. When you eat a nutritional, well-balanced diet, many other factors fall in place that keep your body functioning optimally. Foods that are rich in nutrients help fight infections and may help to prevent illness. A wide array of nutrients in foods; some of which we may not even know about, are essential for wellness. When you rely on dietary supplements for good nutrition you may limit your intake to just the known nutritional compounds rather than getting the full benefit of all nutrients available in food.

Myth #2: “Reading in dim light damages your eyesight.”

Good news, according to researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis: Reading in dim light doesn’t lead to permanent eye damage. While it may cause eyestrain and temporary dryness; you can read a menu in a dimly lit restaurant without it causing any long-term impairment. Likewise, the common belief that sitting too close to the TV set will ruin your eyesight is yet another old wives’ tale.

Myth #3: “Can’t sleep? Drink warm milk.”

Today there’s no scientific evidence that milk has the slightest impact on drowsiness. Milk does contain the nap-inducing amino acid tryptophan, but only in trace amounts. Eggs and cheese have more, but even an egg and cheese sandwich won’t knock you out. However, if a hot-milk nightcap seems to help you catch z’s, drink up. A little placebo effect never hurt anyone.”

Myth #4: “Cold weather will make you sick.”

In terms of infectious illnesses, germs make you sick, not cold weather itself. To catch a cold you have to come in contact with rhinoviruses and you need to be infected with influenza viruses to contract the flu. Rhinoviruses peak in spring and fall, and influenza viruses peak in the winter. While there isn’t a connection between being chilled and getting sick, cold air may contribute to conditions that lead to illness.

Myth #5: “You can catch something sitting on a public toilet seat.”