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Top 10 Food Myths

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Brandon Stuhr. These are the (possibly) false truths we convince ourselves to believe in regards to our food. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 food myths. For this list, we’re focusing on popular adages about food or common diet tips, some of which have merit, some of which don’t, and some of which are but not for the reasons you’d think. But as always, be sure to consult a medical professional when it comes to your health. Special thanks to our users Philip Folta, Lars Mikalsen, and ViolaCello for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Brandon Stuhr.

Top 10 Food Myths


These are the (possibly) false truths we convince ourselves to believe in regards to our food. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we are counting down our picks for Top 10 Food Myths.

For this list, we’re focusing on popular adages about food or common diet tips, some of which have merit, some of which don’t, and some of which are but not for the reasons you’d think. But as always, be sure to consult a medical professional when it comes to your health.

#10: Microwaving Food Destroys Nutrients
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

We begin our list with the big, bad microwave. Any new technology attracts its share of critics, and the microwave was no different. It’s long been suggested that cooking food this way can rob it of its healthy properties; but for the most part, that’s just not true. It’s actually the cook time and heat level that is most likely to destroy nutrients, and since a microwave takes less time than most conventional cooking methods, in many cases it might actually help retain more of the healthiness. Pro tip: try steaming vegetables in a sealed, microwave-safe dish with a small amount of water for delicious and nutritious veggies.

#9: Pop Rocks + Soda = Ka-Boom!
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

Coca-Cola hit the market in 1886. Pop Rocks hit the market in 1975. Rumors claiming that ingesting these junky products at the same time would cause your stomach to explode due to excessive carbon dioxide from the combo of the fizzy candy and the carbonated drink weren’t far behind. Everyone heard this urban legend when they were growing up, and many of us may’ve actually believed it: the people of Seattle believed it so much, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had to set up a hotline to calm them down. But the truth is: the worst thing it could likely do to you is cause a nice, satisfying belch.

#8: Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

This food factoid has been debated for years. But here’s what we know: eggs contain cholesterol, and too much cholesterol can lead to health problems like heart disease. So how is this a myth? Well, contrary to what you might’ve been told, eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can consume, as they’re full of vitamins, minerals and protein. If you’re healthy and don’t have a history of heart problems, you can likely eat an egg a day without it adversely affecting your cholesterol levels, as your body will offset it by producing less cholesterol itself. So, will that be scrambled or sunny-side up?

#7: Red Wine Is Good for Your Heart
Myth or Fact: FACT!

All you wine drinkers out there, prepare to rejoice! Scientists have been studying the connection between wine consumption and heart health for years, after looking at the French diet and noticing relatively low rates of heart disease even though their traditional foods are fatty. But it’s true: red wine features heart-healthy properties that can possibly protect against heart attacks or strokes, among other things. However, like most things when it comes to diet, moderation is key: about 2 glasses a day for men and 1 for women is the optimum amount to drink for your health. We’ll drink to that!

#6: A Gluten-Free Diet Is Better for Anyone
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

Gluten is a rather new buzzword in the mainstream; but boy, has it gained steam fast: it’s described as “the fastest growing food intolerance category,” selling over $10.5 billion in the U.S. in 2013 and only growing since then. And, while those suffering with celiac disease are unable to digest gluten, only about 1% of the population suffers from it and therefore should follow a gluten-free diet. Doctors recommend that anyone without this condition can and should include whole grains in their balanced diet for help with digestion, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, maintain a healthy body weight and more. Pass the whole wheat toast, please.

#5: It Takes 7 Years to Digest Swallowed Gum
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

We’ve all been there: one minute, you’re chewing some gum; the next, something startles you and…you swallow it. Better hope your mom’s not around to lecture you about how swallowed gum will not be digested by your system for seven years, and will just fester in your gut until it’s finally excreted. Okay, gross, and patently untrue. While gum has been described as “indigestible,” that doesn’t mean it stays in your stomach; it just means that when you do pass the gum through your system in the regular amount of time, it’ll be in pretty much the same shape as when you swallowed it. But we don’t suggest checking it out to be sure…

#4: Eating Turkey Makes You Sleepy
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

We were surprised about this one too, considering how lethargic we are after Thanksgiving dinner every year. So, why do you feel tired after you stuff your face with turkey? A common assertion blames Tryptophan, an amino acid found in many meats that’s connected to the sleepy-time hormone melatonin. But, the holiday bird actually contains less Tryptophan than a food like cheddar cheese, for example, so experts point to other culprits when it comes to after-meal exhaustion: it’s probably the combo of carbs and booze that cause you to snooze. Whatever: bring it on.

#3: Oysters Are an Aphrodisiac
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

Well, it’s probably a myth anyway. The oyster has long been considered a vital food of love, partly because of its vague resemblance to female sex organs, and partly because the legendary lover Casanova was said to eat 50 of them each morning. But there have been many studies over the years, none of which has proven the oyster’s role as a definitive aphrodisiac. What they have found, however, is that oysters are rich with zinc and amino acids that may increase the sex drive. Hmmm, maybe there’s something to this one after all…

#2: Acne Is Caused by Chocolate, Greasy Foods, Etc.
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

Call them pimples, call them zits; but whatever you call them, they’re an unfortunate part of life, and they often crop up at the worst possible time. Now, the uninformed might blame foods like chocolate or greasy foods for their facial blemishes, while others might cite poor hygiene. But, they’d all be wrong: acne’s caused by bacteria, excess oil or clogged pores, and there’s not a ton you can do about it. Stress and hormones may trigger a breakout, as can some medications, and there are even some studies that suggest diet can be an aggravating factor. But all in all, zits are a rite of passage we all must deal with.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Aspartame Causes Blindness, Seizures, Death
Myth or Fact: MYTH!
- Eating Melon Seeds Will Cause Melons to Grow in Your Stomach
Myth or Fact: MYTH!
- Calories Eaten at Night Cause More Weight Gain Than Those Eaten Earlier
Myth or Fact: MYTH!
- Artificial Sweeteners Are Safe Sugar Replacements for Diabetics
Myth or Fact: IT DEPENDS!
- Margarine Is Better Than Butter
Myth or Fact: IT DEPENDS!

#1: Organic Food Is Always Healthier
Myth or Fact: MYTH!

Many people think the “organic” label gives foods some supernatural nutritional value, but it actually refers to the way the farmers grow or raise their products. In many cases, organic farming might encourage soil and water conservation while decreasing pollution. It’s also more likely to be free of preservatives and synthetic flavors. However, thus far, test results have gone back and forth on whether organic food is healthier. If you want to support small farmers and sustainable development, then by all means look for an organic certification; however, an apple is an apple no matter how it’s grown, so as long as you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet, you should be fine.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite food myth? For more enticing top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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