17+ Health “Facts” You Had No Idea Were False

Most of us want to optimize our lifestyle choices to create a healthy body and mind, right? Well, what if we told you that a lot of what you think you are doing right is actually wrong? According to Business Insider, all too often the health facts we hold dear are actually old wives tales, misconceptions, or outdated medical information.

Click through to discover the 48 health “facts” you had no idea were false. #25 will make you think twice about taking your “daily” vitamins.


48. Oxygen-starved blood turns blue.

Health "Facts"

Your blood doesn’t turn blue when it lacks oxygen, tt actually turns dark red. It just appears blue because of the many layers of tissue that filters the color.

47. Sugar is comparable to heroin.

There was a claim in the book called “Fat Chance” that sugar is as addictive as heroin. Thankfully, this is untrue!

46. Gum takes 7 years to digest.

Health "Facts"

This is far from the truth. The only scientific basis behind this is when a young girl suffered blockage due to 4 coins wrapped in gum. Yikes!

45. Drinking more alcohol cures hangovers.

Health "Facts"

Nope, sorry. You’re just delaying the inevitable. Put down the mimosa and face the music.

44. Milk builds healthy bones.

Health "Facts"

Sure, anything is good for you in moderation. But the idea that you need to drink 3 glasses a day has some rocky foundational facts to it. The idea behind this health craze is that the calcium in milk leads to fewer bone fractures. Unfortunately, this is an unfounded claim.

43. Alcohol kills brain cells.

Health "Facts"

Alcohol does damages the connection between brain cells, but not the neurons themselves.

42. It’s fine to eat food if it fell on the floor… as long as it’s within 5 seconds.

Health "Facts"

That 5-second rule you used to shout as kids so you didn’t waste the last cookie? Ya, that isn’t true. Not only do germs contaminate an object in under 5 seconds, they can do it as quickly as a few milliseconds. While germs are more attracted to moist objects over dry ones, the actual deciding factor on how “clean” your food is after being dropped on the floor depends on the cleanliness of the floor itself.

41. Microwaves cause cancer.

Health "Facts"

This old wives tale is a falsity. This is believed by many because of the radiation that is used to heat up food.

40. Turkey makes you sleepy.

Health "Facts"

An age old myth, that turkey makes you sleep, has been debunked. Turkey contains a chemical called tryptophan which for years people believed induced drowsiness. Any drowsiness you experience after your families Thanksgiving feast is likely linked to overconsumption of carb-rich foods and alcohol.

39. People suffering from Tourettes will randomly yell swear words.

Health "Facts"

This isn’t true, and a very small amount of people with Tourettes actually yell swear words. Most people with this condition have involuntary movements and tics.

38. Organic food is more nutritious.

Health "Facts"

There is always a back and forth battle about organic food being more nutritious or less pesticide contaminated than its non-organic competition. However, studies have shown that neither is more nutritious than the other and that the levels of pesticides in non-organic foods isn’t considered harmful at all.

37. Chocolate is linked to acne.

Health "Facts"

There are many myths surrounding the dreaded acne debate, but chocolate is one of the more common ones. Chocolate does not, in fact, cause acne. So eat up!

36. Natural sugars are healthier than processed sugars.

Health "Facts"

Sorry, wrong again. Natural sugars are registered the same on the biological level that high fructose corn syrup is!

35. An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Health "Facts"

If you feel like your entire childhood is a lie, you’re not alone. For years our parents have told us that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” in an effort to get us to eat more fruit. While apples do have flu-fighting vitamins, they aren’t the only thing you need to “keep the doctor away”. Go get that flu shot,  you germ fighting warrior.

34. Ice cream makes your cold worse.

Health "Facts"

Maybe this is just a way to encourage children to eat healthy when they are sick, maybe it is just an evil ploy to make you more miserable when you are sick. Luckily you’re an adult now and can make your own choices here so you need to know that eating ice cream does not make your cold worse! It can actually help soothe a sore through and give you some much-needed calories. Thank goodness.

33. Coffee will stunt your growth.

This myth stems from the truth that caffeine affects calcium absorption. However, there is no proof that coffee stunts your growth!

32. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac.

Health "Facts"

Sorry, this is another false one. Many people believe the old wive’s tale that sugar and chocolate are aphrodisiacs but this isn’t true. In fact, there haven’t been any foods linked to sexual stimulus.

31. Sugar makes kids hyper.

Health "Facts"

Thank goodness, there is actually no link to sugar and hyperactivity in children. Maybe it’s just all that natural, childlike energy.

30. There are 5 human senses.

There are much more to our senses than just sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. We also have balance, temperature, time, and other senses that occur naturally within the human body.

29. Carrots give you night vision.

Health "Facts"

Not so fast. Carrots are not linked to any night vision, although they do contain high amounts of Vitamin A which is fantastic for the eyes.

28. Pregnant women get “baby brain”.

Health "Facts"

Some pregnant women feel more confused or less smart while pregnant, leading to the term “baby brain”. There are no studies that support this belief, in fact, a study on rats showed that pregnant rats were smarter and more organized.

27. You can’t grow brain cells.

Health "Facts"

Your brain actually produced more brain cells as you age! Who woulda thought?

26. After you die, your hair and nails keep growing.

This is a creepy and old myth. Your hair and nails don’t keep growing, it just looks like they do because your skin shrinks after it dries out.

25. Swimming too soon after eating leads to cramps.

Health "Facts"

There is no evidence to support this, so eat up and jump in!

24. You’ll get holes in your brain from drug use.

Health "Facts"

We aren’t saying you should do drugs by any means. In fact, drug consumption seriously alters the brain’s chemical makeup. But the idea that drugs put holes in your brain is false.

23. You need to drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Health "Facts"

Drinking when thirsty is a better rule to live by then drinking 8 glasses a day. It is also a healthy alternative to soda and other sugary drinks.

22. Vitamins keep you healthy.

Health "Facts"

Not only is there not much correlation between vitamins and health, some are actually linked to cancer.

21. Yogurt helps reset your digestive track.

Health "Facts"

Yogurt is definitely healthy, but there isn’t any supporting research that it helps reset your digestive track.

20. Regular water is more hydrating than carbonated water.

Health "Facts"

Just because one is bubbling and one isn’t does not t affect the hydration level!

19. Heat is lost through the head.

It is a common belief that 90% of your bodies heat is lost through the head. In reality, heat escapes from anywhere that is uncovered.

18. “Breaking the seal” causes you to pee more.

Health "Facts"

When out at the bar, some people say that going to the bathroom that first time will lead to you having to go frequently all night long. You’re more likely to have to go to the bathroom frequently by, you know, drinking alcohol.

17. You’ll stay sober if you eat before you drink.

Health "Facts"

This common belief stems from the fact food absorbs alcohol, but it doesn’t prevent you from getting drunk.

16. “Beer before liquor”.

Health "Facts"

This rhyme has falsely assured many of college students that if they drink liquor before beer they won’t suffer from a hangover later on. Alcohol is alcohol and chances are if you drink too much, you can expect to feel it the next day.

15. You can remember events during alcohol black outs.

Health "Facts"

These are often called “false memories” and there is no proof that you can remember any of the events that occurred during an alcohol black out.

14. Sitting near the TV will harm your eyes.

Health "Facts"

While you may get a headache your eyes won’t suffer. This myth stems from old TVs that had X-rays in them.

13. White sugar is worse for you than brown sugar is.

Health "Facts"

Your body registers white and brown sugar the same. Brown sugar is just white sugar that gets its color from molasses.

12. Sugar is the cause of diabetes.

Health "Facts"

While obesity and excessive sugar consumption can put you at a higher risk for diabetes, it isn’t a direct cause.

11. Vaccines are linked to autism.

Health "Facts"

This is a dangerous myth that actually ended up causing previously eradicated diseases, such as measles, to return. Vaccines are not in fact linked to autism.

10. MSG infused Chinese food can make you sick.

Health "Facts"

While eating excessive amounts of MSG laden foods can potentially have an slight affect on very few people, there is no backing that proves that MSG in Chinese food actually makes you sick.

9. Children who drink soda will become obese.

Health "Facts"

This is one of those incidents where children who drink excessive amounts of soda likely have an unhealthy lifestyle. While soda won’t cause obesity in itself, poor dietary and lifestyle choices will.

8. “Starve a fever, feed a cold”.

Health "Facts"

This isn’t true at all. When you are sick, you should eat when you can and drink plenty of fluids.

7. Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis.

Health "Facts"

Arthritis is a very common condition, and the people who crack their knuckles aren’t proven to be any more at risk for arthritis than those who don’t.

6. Detox your body after a food binge by doing a juice detox.

Health "Facts"

Juice won’t hurry your body to detox itself from any harmful chemicals or excess food. All of this is filtered out through the kidneys, liver, and GE track.

5. The color of your snot can indicate what is going on inside.

Health "Facts"

Many people think that the color of your snot indicated whether or not you have a cold or a virus. Whether your snot is clear, green, or yellow, it doesn’t mean anything aside from the fact that you are sick.

4. Intercourse with a monkey causes HIV.

Health "Facts"

This is a common misconception. HIV was likely transferred due to humans hunting and consuming monkeys, causing blood to blood contact.

3. Stress causes high blood pressure.

Health "Facts"

You can relax a little, stress does not directly cause high blood pressure. Bigger factors in high blood pressure are genetics, smoking, and poor diet.

2. People get warts from frogs.

Health "Facts"

Warts are transferred from person to person and caused by HPV. It’s a disease that is unique to humans and isn’t transferrable between humans and animals.

1. If you go out in the cold you will get a cold.

Health "Facts"

This is a long disproven old wives tale, and the idea that people get sick more often during the winter is likely because we are in close proximity with each other and have a higher chance of coming in contact with an infected person.

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