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Popular Health Myths: Fact or Fiction?

Certain health myths have been around for generations, but that alone does not make them true. Keep reading to get the facts.
Certain health myths have been around for generations, but that alone does not make them true. Keep reading to get the facts.
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In today's post, we're discussing 10 of the most popular health myths out there. You may have heard them from a friend or family member -- many have even been dubbed "old wives' tales." But are they true? 

Health Myth No. 1: Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.
Fact or Fiction: FICTION

Probably the health myth you were told the most when you were growing up, you can rest easy as cracking your knuckles won't cause osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is caused by damage to the joint as a result of injury or natural breakdown from wear and tear. Cracking your knuckles releases air trapped within the joints and while the noise may be unsettling, it isn't harmful.

Health Myth No. 2: If you swallow chewing gum, it will remain in your stomach for seven years.
Fact or Fiction: FICTION

Another one of the myths you were probably told as a child to remind you to properly dispose of your chewing gum, this one is definitely false. Gum is subject to the exact same processes of the digestive system, just like any food you swallow. This means it will leave the body through your waste in less than a week.

Health Myth No. 3: Sleeping on one side of your face causes wrinkles.
Fact or Fiction: FACT

Sorry side sleepers, this one is true. Sleeping primarily on one side of your face, especially on a cotton pillow case, is a surefire way to cause creases in your skin you may be stuck with. Sleeping on your back is the best, allowing gravity to work its magic, but if you still want to sleep on one side or the other, try a satin pillow case, which won't pull on the skin.

Health Myth No. 4: Going out in the cold with wet hair will make you sick.
Fact or Fiction: FICTION

Nope, not a chance. Although, it definitely won't help you stay warm. What will give you a cold or the flu is exposure to germs as well as a weakened immune system. Keep yours strong year round with plenty of vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc.

Health Myth No. 5: You will lose weight faster if you train on any empty stomach.
Fact or Fiction: FACT and FICTION

If you were counting on this as your secret weapon, you're doing more harm than good. The body needs protein, fats and carbohydrates to use as fuel during a workout to prevent injury and build lean muscle while burning fat. If you forgo food, you may see some weight loss, must it's not the kind you want -- your body will be losing muscle mass.

Health Myth No. 6: Antibiotics counteract medications.
Fact or Fiction: FACT

This one, often told me to women who are using birth control, is true for a variety of medications including blood thinners and anti-fungals. If you're taking one of these medications, make sure your doctor knows before prescribing you antibiotics. When it comes to birth control, using two methods while taking antibiotics and immediately thereafter is also paramount. 

Health Myth No. 7: If you go swimming right after eating, you'll get a stomach ache.
Fact or Fiction: FICTION

We all remember summer barbecues when we had to be dragged from the pool to eat and then sped through the meal to get back into the water. While your mother might have told you to wait a while, it wasn't because swimming would cause you physical discomfort . . . she probably just wanted you to finish your veggies (and so do we).

Health Myth No. 8: To lose weight, eat a diet low in fat.
Fact or Fiction: FICTION

The low-fat diet has been debunked time and time again thanks to the realization it's the type of fat you consume that matters. Lean proteins with essential fatty acids as well as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats provide the fat the body needs to to remain energized and keep the metabolism moving to burn calories. Avoid the trans and saturated fats.

Health Myth No. 9: Staring at the computer screen all day will damage your eyesight.
Fact or Fiction: FACT, sort of

Calm down, it's not as bad as you think, but staring at a computer screen all day can lead to computer vision syndrome. The symptoms include dry, itchy eyes, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. In order to prevent and/or treat this issue, make sure you're not sitting too close to the screen, blink often, take breaks every couple of hours and use eye drops. You can also try a bilberry or vitamin A supplement.

Health Myth No. 10: Sleeping in means you can "catch up" on sleep lost during the week.
Fact or Fiction: FICTION

This is a myth many of us put into practice each and every weekend. After a long week of work, school or household obligations and not enough sleep, we spend Saturday and Sunday sleeping well into the day. However, catching up isn't physically possible. The best way to stay feeling rested all week long is to set a bedtime and waking time and stick to it, no matter the day.

Got a health myth you want investigated? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter and we'll check it out!

Legal Disclaimer:
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.
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