Everyday we’re bombarded with bits and pieces of information regarding food. You get to see them on TV, hear about them on the radio and read about them on the internet.
But is X food really good for curing or healing X health problems? Which is the truth?
It seems that the old ways are still the best. For instance, listening to your mother. Or, heeding time-honored conventional truths regarding food and health. But among those truths could spring some untruths as well.
North Carolina resident Annette Frain, who is a registered dietitian over at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center located in Winston-Salem, has something to say.
While it is true that there’s some years of experience which backs the validity of some food truths, there are also plenty of old wives’ tales and fictional sayings that have been passed over for generations.
Here’s where we can help. We tackle the most widely held food and health notions and bring medical findings and research to help shed some light on whether a certain belief is truth or a bunch of baloney. Are you ready? Let’s get going
MYTH OR FACT? FISH IS GOOD FOR THE BRAIN
Is eating fish really helping fuel our gray matter? It seems so. Research has found that there’s definitely a direct correlation between an individual eating fish and having an overall improved cognition.
Fish that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids like DHA are more beneficial than fish without the fatty acids. Program coordinators warn against this popular notion, stating that eating omega 3 fatty fish won’t be a quick fix.
What it means is that you won’t score higher on a test just because you ate plenty of fish last night. The benefits of this brain food is built up over time. The recommendation is that you should start this habit sooner than later!
So which kind of seafood should you start eating now? Some examples of seafood that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids include the following- herring, sardines, mackarel, albacore tuna and of course, salmon. It’s worthy to note that these fish types aren’t really popular nor are they plentiful.
What you’ll often see in menus are flounder and tilapia, which aren’t really bad, but they aren’t the top choices when it comes to eating for brain food. Plus, these fish foods are served mostly fried or breaded, which really adds on the extra calories. Steaming and grilling them are the better cooking alternatives.
MYTH OR FACT? EATING CHOCOLATE TRIGGERS ACNE
It’s a popular belief that has been passed down for generations. Some of you might even remember memories from long past. Teenagers are especially susceptible to this kind of warning.
But after all that warning and wagging of fingers, the truth is that chocolate does not cause acne. The great cocoa product has been put under the microscope, and there isn’t any shred of hard evidence that it does.
How does acne occur in the first place? It all starts when your skin’s pores become clogged. Hair follicles produce natural oils that traps dirt, dead skin and bacteria, eventually causing irritation and blemishes. Thus, the acne formation.
There’s no single cause for acne. The trigger could be many. It could be due to the rapid hormonal changes as one enters their teenage years. It can be caused by heredity. But according to science, eating chocolate isn’t one of them. It would even surprise you to know that eating greasy food such as cheeseburgers, fries, pizza and potato chips won’t cause an acne invasion.
That doesn’t mean you can eat anything you want and be acne-free. There are some foods that can be connected to the appearance of unsightly acne. For instance, eating non-organic dairy products such as ice cream, milk, cheese or yogurt will increase the likelihood of acne forming on your skin.
Dietitians warn consumers that they should eat or drink only organic dairy products to help out their acne situation.
MYTH OR FACT? CARROTS HELP YOU SEE BETTER
While not entirely true, the humble carrot does have some beneficial nutrients that can help your eyesight. As you may have learned in kindergarten, carrots are a great source of vitamin A, which is one of the essential components of good eye health. Doctors say that vitamin A is great for your body, but they do little to improve your vision.
The carrot is currently the best food to get your daily vitamin A. Other sources of vitamin A include liver, fish, eggs and dairy products, fruits such as tomatoes, mangoes and peaches and vegetables such as red bell peppers, peas, broccoli, kale and spinach. These foods are also abundant in antioxidants and other nutrients that can lead to a better eyesight.
So what can one do to gain better vision? Doctors and experts say it’s all about living a healthy lifestyle. A well-balanced diet can also do wonders for your eyes. The key here is not to rely on any one food when it comes to promoting good health.
MYTH OR FACT? SPICY FOODS GIVE YOU ULCER
Eat too much spicy food, and you just might wake up with painful ulcer. Sound familiar? But the truth is that habaneros and chili peppers aren’t really to blame.
Let’s start with ulcers in general. Ulcers are the sores that are found inside your small intestine, esophagus or stomach lining. They develop when the stomach acid penetrates through the protective mucus layer that normally protects your sensitive digestive tract. Studies have found that spicy foods don’t really have an effect on ulcers and whatnot.
Dr. Joel Bruggen, a gastroenterologist states that a certain type of bacteria called the Helicobacter pylori is the organism that’s mainly responsible for about 75% of all ulcer cases. Other ulcer types can develop from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin and the like.
Ulcers can cause a painful burning sensation somewhere in your midsection. The same goes when you down a particularly spicy food in large amounts. You may say that you are getting ulcer-like symptoms, but the reality is that the spicy food is just passing through your stomach.
Oh, and another thing- stress and alcohol, which were thought by many to cause ulcer, is a total myth. The aforementioned bacteria is the likely culprit. This fact has been proven since the 80s.
Source: All facts and research content given by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.