Popular health myths: It may be a shock to some people, but I have to tell you this stunning fact: everything you read on the internet is not always true! In our age of fake news, let's examine a few of the popular myths that you've been told are facts:
1. Flouride in Water is Bad:
There's been an uprising in certain corners of the internet against flouride in public tap water. Somehow it's gotten a bad rap as being unhealthy, or some kind of tool of government mind control. Flouride helps strengthen your teeth, and has a track record of reducing cavities for decades. It's a big reason why our generation has fewer cavities than our grandparents. In fact, it's such a good thing that the Center for Disease Control has called it, "one of the top 10 achievements of the 20th Century." Wow, doesn't sound bad to me!
2. Vaccines Cause Autism:
Oh, boy. This online myth has probably done more harm than any other when it comes to children's health. Basically, in 1997 a British surgeon published a report claiming that vaccines increase risk of autism in children. Turns out, a lawyer looking to prove a link paid the surgeon about a half million dollars to write the report. While the report was soon discredited, the claim spread like wildfire, and thousands of parents still believe this myth. As a result, a number of conditions like measles, mumps, and rubella that should have been eradicated, have made a resurgence in the 21st Century.
3. You Only Use 10% Of Your Brain:
About 2/3 of people questioned believe the myth that we only use 10% of our brain. However, modern science and imaging confirms that we actually use the whole thing! Sure, we can learn to optimize it and make new connections, but the whole "10%" thing is crazy. Maybe it's just the people who believe everything they read that need to use their entire brain? Sorry, had to!)
4. Garlic Repels Mosquitoes
Before you gobble down a plate of scampi and march confidently into the jungle, you should know that there's no evidence to support the myth that mosquitoes hate garlic. The only thing you'll repel smelling like garlic is your friends and family! (and possibly vampires?)
5. Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart:
Eating an egg or two each day has not been shown to raise your risk of heart disease. Yes, the yellow yolks have cholesterol, but the nutrients, protein, and omega-3's in eggs more than make up for that. All things considered, eggs are a healthy addition to your diet.
6. Deodorant / Antiperspirant Causes Breast Cancer:
A number of scientists have been concerned with the idea that antiperspirants and deodorants can be absorbed through your underarm. The fear is that this may be unhealthy and increase your risk of breast cancer. However, the National Cancer Institute claims that there is no evidence that antiperspirant or deodorant increases risk of breast cancer.
7. Eating Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight:
A lot of people believe that eating a big breakfast will help you be less hungry throughout the day, and eat less. There's no evidence to support this myth, and in fact, research shows that people who skip breakfast actually consumed about 400 fewer calories per day. Popular diets like Weight Watchers have recently retooled their point system to discourage empty carbs (waffles, pancakes, toast, hash browns) in favor of fruit, which now cost zero points." So, if you're on a diet or looking to lose weight, consider a smaller, healthier meal at breakfast.
Don't Believe Everything You Read Online! Ok, that's our list of common health myths! Remember, the internet is full of fake news, so before you change your lifestyle, political views, or diet because of an article that your friends shared, do a little research on a respected website.