There are facts we take for granted. Egg yolks are bad for us. The human body temperature is 98.6 degrees. It takes seven years to digest chewing gum. These are things many of us have ‘known’ to be true our entire lives. But as it turns out, moderate consumption (1 per day) of whole eggs or yolks is not linked to heart disease in healthy people and a good chunk of the nutrition is actually found in the yolk. There’s a variation in ‘normal body temperature’ and the 98.6 degrees comes from a conversion from 37 degrees Celsius that was rounded up from 36.6 (average may actually be closer to 97.9 degrees F). And chewing gum NEVER digests, it simply passes through your system! It seems that every day there are new articles available on how something we think is healthy turns out not to be or what we considered nature’s cure-all turns out to have negative side effects…
A couple of things that have become ‘common knowledge’ in recent years are that you need to drink 8 glasses of water per day and that High Fructose Corn Syrup is the worst thing you can put in your body.
Surprise! There’s contradictory evidence on these bits of ‘science’ too!
We’ve all heard the rule of drinking at least 8 cups (8 oz) of water per day to stay healthy and hydrated. But in actuality, individual water requirements take a lot of factors into account and vary quite a bit and so there’s no hard and fast rule on how much water each person needs to consume. Outdoor temperature and humidity, activity level, and diet are among the many factors that determine the amount of water we need. About 20% of our hydration needs are met by foods and water that’s part of foods is absorbed slower, so eating water-rich foods helps maintain hydration over a longer period. Rather than making it your daily goal to hit that 64 oz water mark, it’s better to pay attention to your thirst and accommodate it accordingly. Most of your beverage intake should be water, but don’t discount the benefits of including fruit juices, milk, coffee and tea, which will also help hydrate you and have their own natural health benefits.
I’m sure you’ve seen high fructose corn syrup under attack in recent years too. From claims that HFCS is single-handedly responsible for the obesity epidemic, diabetes and heart disease, this popular sweetener has gotten a pretty bad rap. Objectors purport that because it is processed differently than table sugar -which comes from sugar cane – (even though chemically the two are similar), corn derived HFCS is unhealthy. Studies, however, yield mixed results and the research is ever evolving. Diets high in sugar have, in fact, been linked to weight gain, dental problems, poor overall nutrition, and increased triglycerides. However, these results are for all forms of sugar, not HFCS alone. Also, research has not uncovered a significant difference in the production of insulin, leptin, ghrelin (a hormone responsible for signaling hunger), or blood glucose levels. So really, it seems there isn’t much difference in the way the body reacts to HFCS and sugar (sucrose).
So with medical advice constantly changing, what do we do? We’re always discovering more and more about the human body and what we put in it. Enjoying things in moderation and being in tune with your body seem to be the most reliable keys to health and wellness. Be mindful, listen to your body, and keep active, and things will probably be okay!
Check out this list of other debunked popular myths.