Nine Health Myth Busters

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  • Drink 8 8-ounce glasses of water every day. This rumor was started by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board back in 1945. It’s important to keep your body hydrated, but keep in mind that we get plenty of water from the foods we eat and other fluids such as coffee, tea and milk.

  • Stress can make you go gray. A little stress is great for motivation, a lot of stress means it’s probably time to start taking it easy, but is there such thing as enough stress to actually make your hair turn silver?  Doctors agree that excess stress does have an aging effect on the body by releasing stress hormones and free radicals, but the jury’s still out on it’s ability to change your hair color.
  • Reading in dim light will ruin your eyesight. Actually, the worst it will do is give you a bit of a headache and some worry lines from squinting. No permanent damage has been linked to extended period of reading in less-than-bright conditions.
  • Stop drinking coffee. Sure, a little too much of anything can be detrimental to your health, and it’s common knowledge that too much caffeine can make you feel nervous, anxious and even paranoid.  Taken in moderation, though, coffee can be a great antioxidant.  Plus, it gets you out the door in the morning.

  • Feed a cold, starve a fever. Nope.  Ask any medical practitioner today and they’ll tell you the same thing:  colds, viruses, fevers, flus – they go away when they’re good and ready.  You can treat the symptoms – nothing soothes a scratchy throat like a steaming bowl of chicken soup – but nothing we do has any impact on how long the cold or virus lasts.
  • Fresh veggies are better than frozen. Actually, open-air produce loses quality and vitamin content the longer it sits in the sun, while frozen fruits and vegetables retain their original nutritional essence.
  • Eggs are high in cholesterol. Turns out the real culprits behind heart disease are saturated and trans-fats, while an egg a day is a good source of lean protein, vitamin A and vitamin D.
  • You can catch cold from being cold. Well, not exactly. Most people catch colds from exposing themselves to a virus.  Stay warm enough to avoid hypothermia, but don’t blame your next cold on whoever left that window open all night.
  • Lipstick had lead poisoning. No more lead than your average candy bar.  Lots of things contain minuscule amounts of lead, says the American Cancer Society, but serious lead poisoning is more likely linked to faulty plumbing.


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Ian Britton