Food myths debunked

Author: Female For Life | 23 Aug 2011

Tagged: Sports Nutrition

We’ve all heard them – the silly old wives tales that tell us to eat this or eat that, but how many of them are based on fact?

When you have diarrhoea drinks flat Coke / Lemonade. This one is false. When you are dehydrated (which diarrhoea inevitably results in), the best thing to do is increase your electrolytes. Soft drinks contain massive amounts of sugar, but no electrolytes so you are far better going to the pharmacy and getting a fluid replacement there

Eating chocolates gives you bad skin. This is false (halleluyah). There were a number of tests done decades ago but they were not well done and the results were inconclusive.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. As a metaphor for a moderate intake of a fruit a day this is true. But no need to have an actual apple, choose to vary your fruits and choose those with a high GI and full of antioxidants. However avoiding fruit is a bad idea.

Drink cranberry juice for bladder infections. This is true only as a preventative measure NOT to cure an already established infection. This you need anti-biotics for so see you GP.

Fish is brain food. This is true. Eating fish has a variety of benefits, including a significant decrease in the risk of heart disease and stroke. This is because oily fish is high in Omega’s 3’s and 6’s. Studies have shown that if you eat more fish you have 20% less chance of Dementia later in life. Keep in mind that canned tuna (no matter what the packaging says) is very low in these minerals so stick to fresh fatty fishes like salmon.

Don’t drink milk when you have a cold as it makes mucus. This is false. Enough said, drink away

Eating carrots improves your eyesight. There is some truth in this. Eating carrots regularly can help avoid certain types of night blindness. This is due to the high Vitamin A count, but in the end your genes are going to be more of a factor in your sight that eating carrots.

Spicy foods give you ulcers. Definitely NOT true. 95% of ulcers are caused by the Heliocobacter pylori virus. The other 5% are unknown. Eating spicy food, coffee and peppermint oil can agitate an ulcer (and your bowel for that matter), but cannot cause the ulcer.

Feed a cold, starve a fever / flu. This is untrue. People with fevers need to have nutrition to fight off the virus. Although they are not usually hungry, the best way to get them to eat is to give them a paracetamol and then half an hour later when they are feeling better you can follow it up with some food as they will be feeling slightly better to start eating.

Exercise makes you gain weight. This is a new one going around. The theory is exercise makes you hungry so you eat more. This is completely untrue. Being active is vital for healthy body and mind. This is a lazy man’s excuse. Start Getting Active

Eat yoghurt to cure thrush. This is unfortunately false. No evidence at all. If you suffer from thrush – see a professional.

Ginger / Camomile tea calms your tummy. Although it tastes oh so yummy, these herbal remedies are unfortunately false – but if it makes you feel better, no hard done!

Eating crusts makes your hair curly. Just plain silly J

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