15 False Medical Beliefs That Are Still Widely Accepted As True
We hear a lot from our well-wishers about what to do and what not to do to keep ourselves healthy and fit. What if we tell you that they are not always 100% correct? As science continues to progress, it’s becoming evident that many of the long-lived medical beliefs are actually wrong.
Bright Side has compiled a list to help you and your loved ones know which health tips are worth following and which are better left in the past.
1. "If you are overweight, you are unhealthy."
Are you suffering from obesity? The next time you hear this question, you can immediately remove the word “suffering” from it. An overweight person may not necessarily be unfit, so it’s incorrect to assume that an overweight person is suffering.
In a study conducted by Dr. Steven N. Blair and his team, it was established that the death rate of an overweight person who exercises regularly is actually half of the death rate of a person who falls into the normal weight category. BMI (Body Mass Index) is something else to keep in mind when determining whether or not a person’s weight falls into an unhealthy category.
2. "Too much salt is unhealthy."
“If you want to lose weight, reduce your salt intake. If you want to get your blood pressure back on track, cut back on salt.” If you've never questioned these two phrases, it's time you do so. If you’ve heard this advice before and have never questioned its validity, it’s time to think again.
According to studies, there are actually some health conditions requiring you to increase your salt intake. Low salt levels can lead to the probability of diabetes, increased fat storage and a decrease in sex drive. So go ahead and sprinkle some salt on your food - have no fear.
3. "Organic food is free of pesticides, and it is more nutritious."
Organic food has become a widespread trend now. Everyone wants to switch to organic food due to the purity and health benefits it promises. But, unfortunately, this isn’t exactly correct. There is a list of more than 20 chemicals that have been approved to be put in organic food production by US Organic Standards.
It must also be kept in mind that despite regulations, even organic food is susceptible to chemical flow from fields or nearby factories. So, where can you get pure organic food? Well, you can become a farmer and grow food exclusively for yourself.
4. "Honey is a natural sugar, and it is better than processed sugar."
The next time you want to put a spoonful of honey in your healthy green tea, keep in mind what you read below:
What if we tell you that honey has more calories than sugar? Although honey is used in lesser quantities since it is sweeter when compared to sugar, the fact remains that a lot of honey can also lead to weight gain. Medically, honey is just as harmful as sugar and can lead to diseases like diabetes, heart problems, and liver diseases if overused.
5. "Eating carrots can give you excellent night vision."
We all learned that one of the great advantages of carrots is that they’re a good source of vitamin A, which can help improve your vision. Thanks to the World War II Propaganda, carrots were seen as the best health food possible. During World War II, the British Air Force developed a new type of Radar technology and tried to hide it from the world by claiming that their newfound success was due to the improved vision of their pilots, who ate many carrots.
The presence of vitamin A in carrots can help improve your eyesight, but it’s merely a myth that it can help you obtain night vision.
6. "You use only 10% of your brain."
You may have come across this phrase at least a few times in your life. But when we say it’s not true, you can believe that even Albert Einstein would’ve raised an eyebrow at this revelation.
Several scientists and experiments have proven that almost the entire brain is active during a person's lifespan. The brain’s different parts are all responsible for our body’s performance and 10% of the brain could not handle the functioning of your entire body.
7. "Using microwaves can give you cancer."
Microwaves do not cause cancer and this has been confirmed by some of the top researchers. If we look at the heating method of microwaves, we’ll see that they produce radiation that heats up the water molecules present inside the food, thus making it warm. In no way does it change the food or make it cancerous.
The only thing to be kept in mind is to use dishes and plastic containers that can be put in the microwave.
8. "Yogurt/curd can improve digestion."
Yogurt or curd have both been popular for their various health benefits including weight management and digestion regulation. The probiotics have slowly entered our systems and they’re ruling it. These probiotics are said to be the “good kind of bacteria” which helps regulate our gut.
However, when your body is already full of different kinds of bacteria, how can it be determined that it’s the bacteria coming from yogurt that is helping? Additionally, most yogurts are sweetened, and the amount of sugar in many yogurts is harmful instead of healthy.
9. "Eating at night will make you fat."
It’s time to forget the famous saying, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a peasant.” Weight gain is directly proportional to the amount of exercise you get. The US Department of Agriculture's Weight Control Information Network website states, “It does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight.”
Just don't forget to exercise the next morning and the refrigerator is yours to open during the night.
10. "Milk is good for you."
Apparently, we were wrong to associate drinking milk with strong bones and a sufficient amount of calcium in the body. The most reecnt studies have claimed that there is no association of milk intake with healthy bones and the prevention of calcium and Vitamin D deficiency.
So, the next time you are offered a glass of milk in the name of health, you know what to say!
11. "Humans have 5 senses."
Anyone who has seen The Sixth Sense will remember being under the impression that humans have only 5 senses. It turns out that we actually possess more than 20 more senses. According to recent research, there are many more prominent senses such as Nociception, the ability to feel pain, Equilibrioception, the sense of balance, and Thermoception, the sense of temperature.
What's interesting to note is that there are more senses that are found in animals like Electroception, the ability to feel natural electrical stimuli, Magnetoreception, sensing the earth's magnetic field, and Polarized Light, the ability to use polarized light to decide which direction to go in. Is it possible that such senses can exist in humans too?
12. "Blind people can't see anything."
If you were convinced that all blind people cannot see anything except pitch-black darkness, let us tell you that most of them sometimes actually miss being able to see darkness. It’s incorrect to believe that blind people cannot see anything at all. There are conditions where blind people can see blurred patterns, shapes, and even outlines.
13. "You should always stretch before you begin exercising."
We all spend a few minutes stretching before we exercise. But is this really necessary? Turns out stretching before a workout may actually make you less efficient. As per Italian researchers, overstretching before running of cycling may actually reduce your efficiency by as much as 5%.
So next time you go to the gym, you can spend the first few minutes of your workout to catch up with friends instead.
14. "Your tongue is divided into 4 parts."
You may have heard that the tongue is divided into 4 separate parts and the taste buds of each part are responsible for differentiating sweet, sour, salty, and bitter food. This is wrong. There are actually 5 tastes instead of 4. The fifth taste is umami, which is like the taste of glutamate.
There are actually thousands of taste buds on our tongue and they all work together. Don't believe us? Try putting salt on the tip of your tongue. The salty taste you’ll feel is enough to prove the tongue map wrong.
15. "Only a direct blow to the head can cause a concussion."
"It was just a minor fall.” Think again before you let it go so easily. Any serious head injury that can affect brain function is a serious matter. While it is generally believed that a concussion can be caused only by being directly hit on the head, this is not actually the case.
Any kind of blow to your head or upper body strong enough to shake your head can cause a concussion. The brain is set into motion and slams into the inside of the skull. Thus, you need to be cautious and get checked out by a doctor after any kind of head injury.
Bonus: 6 hours of sleep is enough for humans.
Health gurus tell us to correct our sleeping habits. 8 hours is a must, or so they say. In this fast-paced life, few of us get this luxury. So will it make us unhealthy?
Studies have proved that our ancestors had 6-7 hours of sleep at the max, thus disproving the fact that modern life has taken away sound sleep from us. So don't waste time sulking over not being able to get 8-9 hours of sleep as anxiety can cause more harm than sleeplessness.
Sometimes, we get used to blindly believing old wives’ tales. That’s why it’s important to do some research. Do you know of any more health myths that you might have come across? Let us know in the comments section below.