Even with the great advances that have been made over the last century in medicine, there are many prevalent health myths that persist throughout time. While not every health myth is as damaging as the anti-vaxxer movement, there are plenty of misconceptions that could be harmful to your health and nutrition. Below you can separate the myths from the facts so that you’re able to live well amidst a world of misinformation and wives’ tales.
Myth #1: Fat makes you fat.
Diet fads tend to rely on the belief that one particular nutrient makes you gain weight. In reality, fat is part of a healthy, balanced diet, and it will not account for significant weight gain on its own. However, there are good and bad fats that you should be aware of, as saturated and trans fats will pose a risk to your heart health.
Myth #2: No pain, no gain.
On the subject of weight loss myths, you do not need to work out to the point of soreness every time you hit the gym in order to shed pounds. Muscle soreness is a normal post-workout sensation, but a lack of soreness does not necessarily mean that you haven’t worked hard enough. If you use a balance of cardiovascular exercise and weight training, you should see results without overexertion.
Myth #3: Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis.
Cracking knuckles has long been associated with arthritis, but the truth is that there is no connection between any type of arthritis and this common habit. However, cracking your knuckles frequently can weaken your hands and fingers and have a lingering effect on your grip strength.
Myth #4: The 5-second rule is effective.
Next time you drop food on the floor, you should rethink the safety of the 5-second rule, since this is still plenty of time for food to pick up significant amounts of bacteria. Ironically, food that falls on carpet picks up less bacteria, but looks dirtier with the presence of carpet fibers. In any case, food that has hit the floor is best thrown in the trash.
Myth #5: Gluten-free foods are healthier.
Gluten-free products have become more and more common on grocery store shelves as more people have (falsely) assumed that these products are healthier. Gluten-free eating has become a popular dietary trend, which is unnecessary for most of the population. Unless you have a diagnosed gluten intolerance, there is no reason to go gluten free. In fact, many prepackaged gluten-free baked goods tend to be less healthy, because they compensate for a lack of wheat and other sources of gluten with added sugars and fats.
Myth #6: Green mucus means you have a sinus infection.
There is not much reason to take stock in the color of your mucus when you have a runny nose, though many people think that there is an association between green mucus and sinus infections. This assumption might lead a person to use antibiotics when they are not actually needed, adding to the serious public health concern of antibiotic resistance.