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Old Wives Tales, Food Myths and Fun Facts

1. Do Carbs make you fat?  Not necessarily. As it is true that your body will store energy that it consumes and is unused (fat), gram for gram, carbs contain half the calories of fat and are full of fiber – a necessary nutrient for a balanced diet. Spikes – your body breaks down carbs into sugar – creating an upward spike. As this happens, your pancreas produces insulin which combats the sugar spikes by absorbing the sugar, making the high levels of sugar in your blood drop.


2. Turkey makes you sleepy. Turkey contains tryptophan – your body breaks down tryptophan into niacin which aids in digestion and serotonin that creates a better mood, which also helps you sleep better. But the tired feeling generally comes from over-eating.


3. Chocolate causes acne. Chocolate on its own does not cause acne. It is all of the added sugar from the manufacturing process that causes pimples.


4. Swallowed gum stays in your stomach for 7 years. No, swallowed gum passes right through your body.


5. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. No, just clever marketing.


6. Carrots improve your eyesight. No, WW2 lie about radar (planes) from England to Germany. Vitamin A is good for the eyes though.  The Brits claimed that they fed their radar detectors more carrots which improved their eyesight, when in fact, the Brits didn't want to admit that they had developed the radar system.


7. “Hair of the Dog” will fix a hangover. No, water/food/time are the only ways to get the alcohol out of your body. Adding more alcohol upon wake up may help temporarily by making you buzzed again, but overall can make you feel worse.


8. Cranberry juice prevents UTIs. Cranberry juices does contain proanthocyanidins which prevents bacteria like e.coli from adhering to bladder walls, but does not contain enough to truly be effective.


9. Do you need to wait 30 minutes after eating before swimming? No, though it is true that more blood goes to your stomach to help aid in digestion, not enough leaves your arms and legs to restrict movement. Anyway, on average (depending on the meal), food takes about 6-8 hours to pass from the stomach to the intestines.


10. Salads are healthier. This is a common misconception – a salad of veggies (base+veggie toppings) is very healthy, the benefits can quickly be overridden by adding in less healthy options like bacon, cheese, and other processed foods. Then, consider the type of dressing used…


11. Caesar salad is Italian. Caesar salad (Aviator salad) is from Tijuana, Mexico and was invented in 1924.


12. Sugar is better for you than High Fructose Corn Syrup. Nope. They are both made up of glucose and fructose (simple sugars). Sugarcane & sugarbeets vs. corn derivitives.


13. Washing chicken removes the bacteria. No, cooking chicken kills the bacteria. Washing chicken (meat) will remove stagnant blood and liquids that have collected on the surface and have an off-putting smell.


14. Diet soda is better than regular soda. As regular sodas are full of naturally occurring sugar, diet sodas are laden with aspartame which is artificial and man-made. Because of how we digest aspartame it is actually very harmful to our bodies, being linked to a painter’s palate of different cancers include brain and breast, and also the chemicals in aspartame have to linked to over-eating. Also – aspartame breaks down into methanol, which your body breaks down and converts into formaldehyde and can pass through the blood-brain barrier.


15. I can skip a few meals to lose a couple pounds. No – skipping meals actually messes with your body’s metabolism and can make it store more energy (fat) to compensate for the lack of food. Exercise and diet is how to lose weight.


16. Salt raises the temperature of water at sea level. True. As salt will raise the boiling point up to 4 degrees (216 degrees) it will take water longer to boil. Also, you need about 1 ounce of salt per lb. of water.


17. Searing meats seal in the moisture. Searing meat is beneficial for the Maillard process which aids in browning/flavor/appearance, but the moisture content of the meat comes from marinades, cooking process, and letting the meat rest before cutting.


18. Gluten Free food contains no gluten. The government actually allows up to 20 PPM gluten in food labeled as gluten-free.


19. Aluminum foil causes Alzheimer’s. Your kidneys filter out the aluminum. This was proven in the 70’s.


20. Celery has negative calories. A celery stalk has about 10 calories and your body burns about 5 calories digesting it.


21. Oil your pasta water to prevent sticking. Oil is not water-soluble so it pools on top of the pot, effectively doing nothing during the cooking process. It will however make an oily noodle that sauce will not stick to. Stirring so the starches that release during the cooking process do not adhere together is the only way to prevent sticking.


Fun Facts -

Chicken Soup – veggies and stock (bones) contain zinc and zinc can help shorten the length of time you have a cold if caught in the first 24 hours.


You can’t drink a gallon of milk in an hour or you will vomit. True, for nearly all people. The three things in milk that are vomit-inducing include: 1) The lactose (also known as milk sugar) 2) The calcium 3) The casein

The problem with lactose is that your body can only process so much of it at a time. You need the enzyme lactase to deal with lactose. People who are lactose intolerant can't process any lactase, and they may throw up from just one glass of milk. In drinking a full gallon of milk, most people burn through their available lactase and then become lactose intolerant. (You might be able to take supplemental lactase to solve this problem, but then you get the same kind of blood sugar spike you get from drinking soda, and that may cause you to vomit anyway)

The problem with calcium is that milk contains a lot of it - about 300 mg per 8-ounce glass. A Tums chewable tablet contains about 200 mg of available calcium. So in drinking a gallon of milk, it is like downing 25 Tums tablets at once. That is a big handful of Tums. It messes up the acid balance in the stomach, giving your stomach another reason to consider purging.

The problem with casein is that it also wants to react with the acid in your stomach and instantly turn to cheese, so your stomach fills with stringy curds, which is yet another reason to vomit.


Brown vs. White Eggs – brown eggs are more expensive to produce because of the variety of chickens that produce them. Also, these chicken are larger and eat more. White feathered, white ear-lobed chickens lay white eggs – red or brown feathered chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs. There is no difference in yolk or taste. Brown eggs have more omega 3 fatty acids.