Post the stir caused by certain infamous food controversies, the newspapers, Internet and every other form of social media is brimming with advice on healthy and unhealthy foods. Suddenly a lot of people are more conscious about what they consume, how much they consume and even when they consume it! Enter age-old food myths. This current ‘ being healthy’ streak has acted as catalyst in resurrecting some food myths that have made food experts and nutritionists facepalm! Here’s a list of 7 myths that are anything but true.
Never Cut Meat On Wooden Cutting Boards
This rule comes from the notion that using a wooden cutting board will result in tiny scratches and cuts from your knife, and if you use that cutting board with meat -especially raw meat – all those meat juices will settle into those tiny cuts in the board, and no matter how much you scrub, those germs won’t come out. Unfortunately, there’s a great deal of research that disputes this notion. One of the most famous studies points out that there’s no significant antibacterial benefit from using a plastic cutting board over a wood one. The researcher notes that even if you apply bacteria to a wooden cutting board, its natural properties cause the bacteria to pass through the top layer of the wood and settle inside, where they’re very difficult to bring out unless you split the board open.
So go on, take out your wooden chopping boards and slice away!
Dairy Is The Best Thing For Healthy Bones
Too many people confuse “dairy” with “calcium,” assume they’re the same thing, and think that dairy is the best thing for healthy and strong bones. Dairy contains calcium, but so do dark-leafy greens. Milk is fortified with vitamin D, just like all milk alternatives. Additionally, bone health goes beyond calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin K is important for bone health (dark leafy greens have it, dairy doesn’t). Magnesium (present in foods like almonds, cashews, oatmeal, and potatoes, but missing in dairy products) also plays an important role in bone health.
The horrid sight of boneless, lactose intolerant people just crossed our minds and we are more than happy to bust this myth!
Everyone Should Drink 8 Glasses Of Water Everyday
This myth is a leftover of a poor attempt by a number of doctors who wanted to fight an ill-researched campaign against fizzy and sugary drinks. We are not questioning their intentions, but the fact of the matter is that there’s no uniform rule for how much water a person should drink in a given day. Water’s been peddled as the cure for all sins, and in some ways, it’s true—proper hydration is necessary for just about anything body and mind-related. However, sixty-four ounces per day isn’t going to always be the right number for you. “Nutrition is an individual science, and there will be days when your body and mind require less than the average recommendation,” food expert Alannah DiBona explains. “Remember that water is available to you through all liquids, fruits, and vegetables, and that the mark of proper hydration is very light yellow-colored urine”, she adds.
Good, so the queue at washrooms will be shorter now!
Aluminum Foil and Cookware Is Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease
If you haven’t heard this one in a while, it was repeated often in the late 80s and through the 90s, and even though it’s fallen out of fashion (most probably because it’s just not true) there are still a lot of people who believe it. This myth has its roots in research from the 1960s and 1970s that showed elevated levels of aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The alarm was subsequently sounded, and for years people were warned off of aluminum pots and pans, and even aluminum foil to store food. However, a great deal of research has been done into what possible connections aluminum may have with Alzheimer’s Disease, and at best has failed to show any substantive link or connection between aluminum and risk for the disease. At worst there have been conflicting results. Most experts at this stage believe any aluminum absorbed by the body is processed by the kidneys and urinated out, and it does not pose a threat for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Don’t Eat After Sunset (or 7/8 PM)
Garbage! Food eaten after 7 does not magically turn to fat. This is also a ridiculous tip for someone who goes to bed at midnight or 1 AM. This tip often “works” because people end up reducing their total caloric intake. This myth comes from a half-scientific understanding of how digestion works. The idea is that if you eat too late and go to bed on a full stomach, your body’s metabolism will slow down and instead of burning the food you just ate, you’ll turn it all into fat and gain weight. That statement is only partially true, and isn’t universal for all people. While it’s true your metabolism slows down when you go to sleep, it doesn’t stop, and you still churn through the food in your stomach, albeit slower. If your diet, exercise, and activity habits mean that a meal is more likely to metabolize into fat because you sit at a desk all day, eating it at 5pm versus 7pm isn’t going to change that.
No, this does not give your midnight snacking a clean chit!
Radiation From Microwaves Creates Dangerous Compounds In Your Food
“Radiation” might bring images of nuclear plants to your mind, but it simply refers to energy that travels in waves and spreads out as it goes. Microwaves, radio waves and the energy waves that we perceive as visual light all are forms of radiation. So, too, are X-rays and gamma rays—which do pose health concerns. But the microwaves used to cook foods are many, many times weaker than X-rays and gamma rays, state experts. And the types of changes that occur in microwaved food as it cooks are from heat generated inside the food, not the microwaves themselves. Microwave cooking is really no different from any other cooking method that applies heat to food. Also, the appliance does not suck the nutrients out of your food. The nutritional value of food depreciates depending the amount of time for which you heat it, be it in a microwave, a charcoal grill or a campfire. That said, microwaving in some plastics might leak compounds into your food, so the trick is to use only microwave-safe containers or glass dishes.
Go ahead, those instant popcorns aren’t causing any nuclear reactions in your system!
You Crave Certain Foods Because You Are Deficient In The Nutrients That They Provide
Nope! Human food cravings tend to be more about satisfying emotional needs, say nutritionists. Cravings tend to occur when your diet is restricted or boring, or when you know that you can’t have something. If it’s forbidden, you usually want it more (story of our lives!).
Although, there is one nutrient deficiency that’s clearly associated with cravings in humans: iron. But instead of longing for iron-rich liver or steak, people severely deficient in iron stores tend to crave things like ice cubes, clay or even cement. Researchers don’t know what causes this strange, rare condition, called “pica,” but some suspect that a lack of iron might somehow affect the body’s appetite mechanisms. So basically, we weren’t actually crazy when we secretly nibbled on chalk in class!
So, which of the above food myths do you believe in?
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