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Myth Busting Time! Health Advice Proved Totally Wrong?

Dec 23, 2017

An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Eight glasses of water a day? MSG in Chinese food will make you sick? Nope, nope and nope. It's time to put an end to these alluring myths, misconceptions, and inaccuracies passed down through the ages.

Below we've rounded up the most popular health "facts" that we've heard.

1. Organic food is pesticide-free and more nutritious

FACT: Organic food isn't free of pesticides. Farmers who grow organic produce are permitted to use chemicals that are naturally derived — and in some cases are actually worse for the environment than their synthetic counterparts. 

The pesticides that are allowed for organic food production typically have natural substances like soaps, lime sulfur and hydrogen peroxide as ingredients.

2. An apple a day keeps the doctor away

FACT: Apples are packed with vitamin C and fiber, both of which are important to long-term health, but they aren't all you need. And if certain viruses or bacteria get into your system, an apple will unfortunately do nothing to protect you. 

3. Taking health products will keep you healthy

FACT: Health products such as vitamins sound like a great idea: One pill that can provide you everything you need to be healthy. However, decades of research on vitamins hasn't found any justification for our multivitamin habit, and in some cases, vitamins have actually been associated with an increased risk of various cancers. Besides, vitamin pills do not contain dietary fiber which are rich in vegetables and good for digestive system health. 

Don't rely too much on health products to keep healthy. Similar case in China — some people assume falsely that if they take tonics regularly then they wouldn't need to see the doctor or take medications. We wish you good health, but should any ailments occur, please do not hesitate to go to hospital for help.

4. Holding breath after someone sneezes/coughs can stop bacteria

FACT: When someone sneezes or coughs without covering their mouth or nose, their bacteria shoots out into the air at speeds approaching 50 to 200 mph. If you're nearby, holding your breath won't do much good in preventing them from landing on your mouth, nose, or eyes.

5. More sports time is better

FACT: If you do sports every single day, you could injure yourself or overtrain, which keeps your muscles from rebounding and your body from improving. So be sure to take regular breaks and keep your sports varied! Doing the same training pattern can lead to injuries. 

Should the injuries occur, please go to see a doctor.

6. Eight glasses of water a day

FACT: The idea that eight glasses of water is essential is a strange one. In healthy people, researchers have not found any connection between fluid intake and kidney disease, heart disease, sodium levels, or skin quality. A good rule is to drink when you're thirsty — you don't need to count the glasses.

7. It's okay to have a sports drink after exercise

FACT: Unless you're exercising intensely for more than an hour or in extreme heat, plain old water is sufficient to quench your thirst and replenish any fluids lost. After your typical 30-minute speed walk or treadmill jog, consuming a sports drink is just added calories.

8. MSG in Chinese food will make you sick

The myth that MSG is bad for you comes from a letter a doctor wrote to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1968, where he coined the term "Chinese restaurant syndrome" to describe a variety of symptoms including numbness and general weakness.

FACT: In fact, however, MSG is nothing more than a common amino acid with a sodium atom added. Only when consumed in huge quantities on an empty stomach, It can temporarily affect a few, but it's perfectly safe for the vast majority of people.