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Top 10 Food Myths You Still Believe!

Every day, we are bombarded with facts about food. What’s good to eat, what’s not good to eat, and loads of other tidbits of information about the things we put in our bodies. Yes, it’s actually true that Coke can be used to clean your toilet. But just because that one fact is true, doesn’t mean that all of the other myths are true. So, come with us as we channel our favorite Discovery channel show and BUST the Top 10 Food MYTHS You Still Believe!

10. White Meat Is Healthier Than Dark Meat

If given a choice, many people will pick white meat over dark meat when chicken is on the menu. However, that choice is usually done for health reasons and not for the taste – because, as anyone who knows anything will tell you, dark meat tastes way better than white meat. But, we’ve always been told that white meat is healthier, so that’s why so many people lean toward white meat and forget about the true delicacy that is dark meat. All in an attempt to do right by their bodies. But do you really have to sacrifice taste for your health when it comes to chicken? The answer is no! So, technically, yes, white chicken meat does have fewer calories than its dark counterpart. However, the difference is only about 30 calories per serving – which really isn’t that much – and as long as you aren’t overeating, it should barely affect your overall calorie intake for the day. Now, we also know that what makes dark meat taste better is all the extra fat that white meat doesn’t have. But again, the difference might surprise you. A skinless chicken breast (white meat) weighing in at 100g has about 2.5g of fat. Whereas a baked or grilled 100g, skinless chicken thigh (dark meat) has 7g of fat. Yes, it’s a bit more but far less than what we were lead to believe. It should also be noted that, while a little fattier and higher in calories, dark meat is richer in nutrients and has more iron and zinc. Just something else to think about when you’re trying to decide if you should grab the breast or the leg next time you’re eating chicken! 

9. Brown Eggs Are Healthier

While there actually is a little difference between dark meat and white meat, when it comes to dark and white eggs, there’s absolutely none! Most marketing has told us that brown eggs were healthier, and they’ve done quite a job of supporting this statement, given how prevalent this myth is even today. But it just isn’t true. The only difference between brown and white eggs is the type of chicken that laid them. White eggs come from white-feathered chickens with white ear lobes (yes, apparently chickens have ear lobes – who knew?), and brown eggs come from red-feathered chickens with red ear lobes. That’s it. What really affects the nutritional value of the eggs is what the hens who lay them ate. The diet of the chicken is most important to the nutritional value they will pass on in the eggs they lay. So, if we are to assume that the hens had similar diets, then their eggs would be similarly nutritious and taste the same – regardless of whether they come out white or brown. So, why are brown eggs generally more expensive? Well, hens that lay brown eggs are generally bigger than white-feathered hens and therefore require more feed, which is a cost that ends up being added on to the price of the eggs at retail. So get that myth out of your head – they may look fancier than their generic white counterparts, but now you know, brown eggs are almost exactly the same.

8. Swallowed Gum Stays in Your Body for 7 Years

We’ve all heard this one growing up. Grownups were always telling us to throw our gum in the garbage and to never ever swallow it because if we did, it would stay in our stomachs for 7 years. AKA – how to give a kid a panic attack whenever they accidentally swallowed that big glob of Hubba Bubba. There’s no doubt that this myth was scary enough to keep many kids from purposely swallowing their Trident. Well, as it turns out, we can all just go ahead and calm down. There’s no need to set a Google Calendar alert for 7 years in the future if you swallowed a piece of gum. The truth is, the gum should be out of your system in no more than a few days. So, where does this myth come from? Well, it is still based on a little bit of truth. It’s true that your stomach can’t break down the gum resin as it does with other food items you ingest. But, the gum doesn’t get stuck in the stomach. Rather it gets pushed along the intestinal route – like everything else – and eventually leaves your system during a routine trip to the bathroom. Now, in some freak cases, if someone was to swallow a whole lot of gum in a short period of time, then it could possibly block the digestive tract. But this is a very rare occurrence and isn’t something you really need to worry about. Although, keeping this myth alive in order to keep kids from swallowing too much gum isn’t the worst idea (and if they really get scared, just come clean and tell them the truth).

7. Microwaving Food Removes Nutrients

While it’s true that cooking food in the microwave, instead of on the stove or in the oven, can lead to less tasty outcomes, your food will not, in any way, be less nutritious. The myth that microwaves remove the food’s nutrients is a pure falsehood. In fact, it can actually make food healthier. The best way to remove nutrients from vegetables is to cook them in water – and the longer they are in said water, the more time the nutrients have to leach out of them. Well, if you are using the microwave to gently steam your veggies, the quick heat of the microwave actually means they’re given less time to lose nutritional value. There were even studies done to show how the carcinogenic compounds in bacon are lessened when cooked in a microwave. And cooking eggs, carrots, and tomatoes in the microwave can actually increase the level of certain nutrients, which adds even more health benefits than when cooked conventionally. And by the way, cooking with a microwave doesn’t have to mean lesser-tasting food either. One of the greatest food minds of our time, Alton Brown, recommends using a microwave for certain food preparations, from cakes to asparagus. And if it’s good enough for Brown, then it should be good enough for us all!

6. Don’t Cut Raw Meat On Wooden Cutting Boards

If you’re even just a recreational cook, then you’ve probably come across this myth on multiple occasions. The idea here is that wooden cutting boards are more porous, and therefore they trap in the raw meat’s bacteria, making them less sanitary to use. This doesn’t necessarily make sense, as plastic cutting boards can just as easily be the host of bacteria. Anyone who’s used a plastic cutting board before can vouch for the fact that, after only a few uses, you’ll start to see knife cuts in the board – which would seem like the perfect place for bacteria to dig in and hide. Well, there have been some pretty hefty studies done, and they’ve all found that neither wood nor plastic cutting boards are more preventative when it comes to bacteria. The important thing is to clean them well, regardless of the material they’re made of. Plastic boards can go in the dishwasher, while wooden ones need to be hand-washed. If you’re cleaning them properly, you should be ok with just one cutting board, although it definitely wouldn’t hurt to have separate boards: one for meat and poultry, one for fish, and one for veggies. And that way, you don’t ever have to worry about washing your boards until after you’re done cooking, now, that’s luxury!

5. Multigrain Is The Same As Whole Grain

The truth is, that while both terms have the word “grain,” they don’t actually mean the same thing at all. However, the good news is that they’re both good for you, so regardless of which one you’ve been choosing, don’t worry, it’s been a good choice. While there’s plenty of food products that don’t exactly live up to their names, Whole Grain and Multigrain are, as it turns out, pretty much exactly what they say they are. A food item labeled “multigrain” means that there are multiple grains in it. And when the term “whole grain” comes up, you know they used the entire/whole grain. So, which one should you be looking for? Honestly, it’s just a matter of personal preference. What tastes best to you? Whole grains might provide a little more fiber and nutrients than their multigrain counterparts, but both are pretty healthy options. If we are talking bread, you’re on the right track by choosing either multigrain or whole-grain – what you need to look out for is extra added sugar and stuff like that. But as far as the grains go, you are golden!

4. Late Night Eating Causes Weight Gain

Don’t eat after 7 O’Clock! Don’t eat within 2 hours of going to bed! Don’t have that midnight snack! These are all things we’ve heard at some point in our lives with the basic idea that doing any, or all, of those things will make you gain weight. Well, true, they could have that effect on you. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the time you decide to eat. As many experts will tell you… calories can’t tell time. So, that big piece of chocolate cake you are scarfing down, while the Oreos are just waiting there, waiting their turn?  it doesn’t know if it’s 1 pm or 1 am. All it knows is that it is delicious and full of calories, and those calories will have the same effect on your body – and your attempted weight loss – at 1 pm or at 1 am. So, where does this late-night eating myth come from? Well, it comes from the assumption that if you’re eating late at night, it’s probably extra intake above your daily meals and snacks. Now, when you look at it that way, it makes sense, but only if that midnight snack actually is a snack. If your schedule makes it so that you can’t have dinner at a “regular time,” then that’s totally okay! The only thing you have to look out for is what type of food you eat during that late-night feast. Some studies show that the later it gets, the more likely you are to eat fatty foods, which ultimately will make you gain weight. So, as long as you’re making smart and somewhat healthy choices, you should be in business. You know, maybe have that McDonald’s before 7 o’clock, just for the sake of it.

3. Celery Has Negative Calories

Has anyone ever told you that eating celery burns more calories than you’re taking in simply by consuming the celery itself? Well, next time you hear someone say that you can tell them that they don’t know what they’re talking about because it just isn’t true. There’s no such thing as “negative calories.” Celery does have only 10 calories per serving and is full of fiber, so while you won’t technically lose weight by eating it, you will get tons of nutrients. The dietary fiber it contains also helps to curb hunger cravings, making celery the snack of choice. So that simple, sturdy green stick is not only a healthy treat but also the perfect way to stay away from those high-calorie snacks possibly responsible for the future few added pounds. So, go pick up your celery and dip it in your peanut butter jar, or in ranch, or in whatever floats your boat, and enjoy your new (kind of) healthy snack! 

2. Nuts Are As Bad for You As Junk Food

This is one thing you hear a lot from your friends trying to make you feel bad for not joining them in their junk food craze and eating your bag of Trailmix, while they’re stuffing themselves with donuts. Well, the joke’s on them, because while they’re out making bad food decisions, you’re over here, treating your body to some healthy royal respect. It’s amazing how this myth even caught on in the first place. The nutritional value of nuts compared to any junk food is just so much higher, it makes you wonder who could come up with it in the first place. Sure, you don’t want to down a whole mason jar of nuts in one sitting, but as long as you eat them in moderation, nuts are a very healthy snack. Nuts are a great source of protein, and studies have shown that eating nuts more than four times a week can reduce your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes and heart diseases, which is what that box of 12 donuts would probably end up giving you. And while we all wish that a can of coke, a tin of Pringles, and a 3 Musketeers bar a day would keep the doctor away, there aren’t any studies telling us that. So, better stick to nuts for now!

1. Carbonated Drinks Aren’t Good For You

We should clear something up right out of the gate on this one. When we say carbonated drinks, we mean the no-calorie beverages, like Perrier. We’re not talking about those carbonated sodas will all the sugar and additives; those aren’t good for you and can have serious detrimental effects on your health. But back to the refreshing and perfectly good for you carbonated drinks. While the myth partly comes from the idea that too much carbonation intake is bad for your teeth, these drinks actually have very little effect on your dental health, and there’s no evidence of any negative effects on your bones. In fact, there’s even some evidence to suggest that carbonated drinks like sparkling water can have a positive effect on your digestion and reduce constipation. Also, given that it offers up no calories, it makes for a nice and pleasurable alternative to plain, still water. So, next time you’re at a restaurant and the waiter asks you if you want “sparkling” water for the table… go ahead and say yes with confidence and enjoy the bubbles without all of the baggage that comes with a soda.

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