23 Health Myths We’ve Believed Our Whole Lives That Aren’t True

There are a lot of commonly believed myths that just won't go away. Few of us can tell if one particular health fact is true or false. We've been told that if we read in dim light, it'll worsen our vision or if we sit on a toilet seat in a public restroom, we'll inevitably get covered with germs and bacteria. However, these two facts are just old myths we continue to believe.

At Bright Side, we have decided to find out which facts provide useful information and which ones should be forgotten once and for all.

Myth #23: Fresh products are healthier than frozen ones.

Most people believe this myth to be true. Although it seems like there's no doubt about it, studies have come to opposite conclusions. In fact, frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as fresh ones since they're packaged at their peak ripeness.

Myth #22: Foods reduce the risk of getting drunk.

Most of you probably believe that if you have a meal before drinking alcohol, you won't get drunk. Well, it's not quite true. Food helps our bodies absorb alcohol. Being full will lower the absorption rate of alcohol into the bloodstream but it won't stop the intoxication process.

Myth #21: Wait to take painkillers until the pain becomes unbearable.

It's not clear where this idea comes from, but it's a general misconception. Don't wait until you can't bear the pain any longer to take your pills. Painkillers need to be taken whenever you start feeling the pain, and even before that if you have a chronic condition.

Myth #20: The bigger your size is, the slower metabolism you have.

People tend to believe that if a person has excess weight, he or she has a bad metabolism. Scientists debunked this myth. As it turn out, overweight people have a better and faster metabolism than those who are skinny.

Myth #19: Reading in dim light ruins your vision.

Obviously, it's more comfortable to read with proper lighting. But it doesn't necessarily mean that reading in dim light damages your vision. This is one of the most commonly believed myths. Dim light makes it difficult for your eyes to focus, but it doesn't worsen your vision.

Myth #18: Light from the computer screen damages your eyes.

It's impossible to imagine modern life without computers. But everyone has heard at least once that the screen exposure is harmful to our eyes and that it has a negative impact on our overall health. Luckily, in reality, computer monitors emit radiation in such a small amount that it can't harm your health. This radiation has nothing to do with the deterioration of your eyes.

Myth #17: Shampoo and conditioner can help you get rid of split ends.

No shampoo or hair conditioner can treat split ends - not even the most expensive ones. All these hair care products can do is temporarily make your hair silkier and softer. The only solution to the problem of split ends is a pair of scissors.

Myth #16: Men think about sex every 7 seconds.

Seriously, if men really thought about sex every 7 seconds, how would they be able to work, exercise, and live a normal life in general? This certainly is a myth. Although men do think about it much more often than women do, this '7 seconds' thing is obviously an exaggeration.

Myth #15: A human body can develop antibiotic resistance.

It's bacteria that can develop such a resistance, not a human being. That is the reason why your medicine stops working effectively if you've been taking it for too long.

Myth #14: Vitamin С prevents the cold and flu.

Most people are advised to eat lemons and other sources of vitamin C, especially during cold seasons. Vitamin C does help the immune system, but it can't prevent you from getting a cold or the flu. Nor will it ease their symptoms.

Myth #13: After a bath, your fingers wrinkle because they absorb the moisture.

Have you ever wondered why our fingers and toes become wrinkly in the bath? If you think it's because they absorb a certain amount of water, you couldn't be more wrong. Those wrinkles are the result of blood vessels that constrict below the surface of the skin, which is an autonomic nervous system reaction.

Myth #12: Antibiotics cure a cold.

Never use antibiotics to treat the common cold. They just don't work. Colds are caused by viruses, while antibiotics fight bacterial infections.

Myth #11: If a person swallowed something poisonous, it's better to induce vomiting.

Some people, when getting food poisoning, feel better after they throw up. However, if you swallowed poisons, don't induce vomiting before consulting a professional. Most poisons are acidic or alkaline substances that may cause more harm to your throat than to your stomach with gastric acid in it.

Myth #10: Licking wounds is safe.

If you have the instinctive habit of licking wounds, it's time to forget about it. It's not that safe: whenever you lick a small cut, you transfer all the bacteria from your mouth to the damaged tissue.

Myth #9: If your snot is green, you have a viral infection.

Can you remember where you got this green mucus myth from? Some zombie movie? Because in reality, the color of nasal discharge has nothing to do with the fact that you have an infection or not. It only depends on the protein content in your blood.

Myth #8: A cold shower can sober you up.

People have come up with a lot of methods to feel better after partying a little too hard. For example, taking a cold shower to sober up faster just doesn't work. Although you may feel very hot, alcohol actually lowers your body's temperature. Plus, a cold shower may cause hypothermia and lead to fainting.

Myth #7: A person feels severe pain during a heart attack.

Many of us tend to believe that during a heart attack one feels severe chest pain. In fact, the majority of heart attacks occur without any symptoms, and those who did experience a heart attack report mild pain that feels more like a tooth pain or heartburn.

Myth #6: We get the flu because of cold temperatures.

We often hear that someone got the flu because it was too cold outside. However, it's a common misconception as no one gets the flu because of cold temperatures. It's your weak immune system which is very vulnerable to viruses. Cold temperatures can only worsen your condition.

Myth #5: Coffee is responsible for reduced bone mass in children.

There's no verified proof that coffee has a negative effect on bones. You should probably stop believing this myth. Maybe it was made up just to keep kids away from coffee?

Myth #4: Organic food is pesticide-free and more nutritious.

Going organic has become a very popular trend. People believe it's good for their health as organic products don't contain any pesticides and they're more nutritious than any other foods. As it turns out, organic foods can actually contain pesticides as well. Farmers are allowed to use organic pesticides that sometimes harm the environment even more than their synthetic analogs do.

Myth #3: Women become more stupid while they're pregnant.

During pregnancy, a woman's brain actually works much more effectively than ever before. What still remains a mystery is where this myth came from in the first place.

Myth #2: Yogurt helps your digestive system.

Yogurt does contain live bacteria, but its amazing properties have been greatly exaggerated. Even without yogurt, your body is full of friendly bacteria. However, yogurt does contain a lot of bad added sugar.

Myth #1: Canned products are less nutritious.

Many believe that canned products lose all of their nutritional value. But in fact, canned foods preserve all the nutrients and are just as nutritious as fresh ones.

Do you happen to know any other health-related myths that need to be forgotten as soon as possible? Tell us in the comments.

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