Common Health Misconceptions Demystified

Here’s the ugly truth: some of the health information we know are often outdated if not entirely wrong. The health tips your friends share on social media from the so-called health and fitness gurus may well be just another myth. Consult Google and expect to get conflicting results that will only add up to the confusion. Let’s take a look at the five commonly known misconceptions about health and uncover the truths behind them.

Myth 1: You need to take eight glasses of water daily to keep your body healthy.

Truth: Water is an essential nutrient that the body requires to function properly. Although it needs to be replenished daily, there’s no science behind the eight glasses of water requirement.  The amount of water a person needs depends on his activity level, body built and other food and drinks he consumes daily. Coffee, tea, juice, as well as fruits and vegetables also contain water, so your source of hydration doesn’t come from water alone. This study failed to find any significant positive results in increasing fluid intake among healthy elderly men.

Myth 2: Sugar makes children hyperactive (also known as sugar rush or sugar high).

Truth: This myth has been debunked as early as 1995. A double-blind study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed that sugar didn’t affect the children’s behavior. A lot of factors, such as temperament, emotional disturbance, and sleep problems can contribute to a child’s  hyperactivity.

Myth 3: Eggs contain unhealthy cholesterol.

Truth: According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, the yolk of one large egg contains about 186 mg. of cholesterol. It is one of the main reasons why eggs are deemed unhealthy by a lot of people, even by those considered experts in the field of nutrition. But studies confirmed that egg consumption only minimally affects blood cholesterol levels compared to the effects of saturated fat and trans fat. In fact, eggs are a good source of high-quality protein and essential amino acids, as well as vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin B12.

Myth 4: Breastfeeding will keep a woman from getting pregnant.

Truth: It’s an old wives’ tale that never dies. Although there’s some truth behind it, relying on breastfeeding as a form of contraception is not a wise decision. Breastfeeding will cause temporary amenorrhea or absence of menstruation (up to six months postpartum). Because you’re not ovulating, you will not get pregnant. But only if you exclusively breastfeed your baby, without the help of supplement milk formula. You may start ovulating again without you knowing it, so there’s still a risk of having an unplanned pregnancy.

Myth 5: Vaccines cause autism and other chronic illnesses.

Truth: This is one of the most controversial and dangerous misconceptions about health. Andrew Wakefield, the British surgeon who published the article about autism risk and vaccination lost his license because of this study. The paper was also discredited and removed from The Lancet, where it was published. Other studies validated that there are children showing signs of autism even before they were vaccinated. It is even possible that autism develops while a child is still in the womb. If you don’t vaccinate your children, they will be at greater risk of contracting infectious diseases.

About the Author - Aileen Barro

Aileen Barro holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and loves to educate people about health and diseases through writing.
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