Health

10 Health Myths Everyone Believes That Are Actually False

I'll admit it, I turn to the internet for a lot of my health advice. If it's super serious, I'll head to the doctor. But for the most part I find myself relying on the advice of strangers, or even friends and family, when it comes to basic health tips.

But as it turns out, that might not be my best option. Shocker, right? It's almost as if the best medical advice comes from those who actually know what they're talking about.

1. Water Consumption

MYTH:

We need to drink 8 glasses of water per day in order to stay hydrated.

REALITY:

If you drink a glass of water whenever you get thirsty, you'll be fine. Research shows that people who only drink when they're thirsty consume enough water to stay hydrated and healthy. Of course, if you live in a warmer climate, are exercising, or find that your urine is dark yellow, then it's probably best to up your intake. There are also other ways to get your fluid intake, like soup, fruits, veggies, juice, coffee, or tea.

2. Chocolate Consequences

Independent

MYTH:

Eating chocolate gives you acne.

REALITY:

It does nothing. I mean, it's not good for you, but eating chocolate doesn't affect your acne outbreaks at all. Scientists conducted a month-long study which saw dozens of people fed real chocolate bars which contained 10 times the usual amount of chocolate, and others fed fake chocolate bars. At the end of the study, there was "no difference" between the groups. Looks like my mother lied to me...

3. Eggs and your Heart

MYTH:

Eating eggs is bad for your heart health.

REALITY:

They're actually pretty good for your heart as long as you're in good health. The yolks contain cholesterol which can be bad for your heart, but the amount of cholesterol in an egg yolk isn't that big of a deal for most of us. Plus, eggs have a lot of nutrients, such as omega-3s, which can lower your risk of heart disease.

4. Carrots and your Vision

Health

MYTH:

Eating carrots means you'll be able to see better at night.

REALITY:

While the vitamin A in carrots is beneficial to your sight, it doesn't help you see at night. The myth is believed to have started during World War II, when the British government used it as propaganda in order to hide the existence of a secret radar technology they'd developed.

5. Digesting Gum

MYTH:

If you swallow a piece of gum, it stays in your system for seven years.

REALITY:

Your body can't really digest gum, but it doesn't sit in your intestines for years on end. It just comes out the other end, same as anything else your body can't process. Swallowing gum really only becomes an issue if you swallow it along with other things you shouldn't. For example, a four-year-old girl swallowed a wad of gum with four coins inside it. THAT will cause you problems.

6. Cold vs Cold

9Coach

MYTH:

Being outside in the cold gives you a cold.

REALITY:

There's really no correlation between the cold and getting a cold. You're actually more likely to get sick from being shut indoors all the time, as germs are passed more easily when there's not a lot of airflow. That's not to say that being outdoors in the cold doesn't open you up to other illnesses, but a cold isn't one of them.

7. Swimming Cramps

MYTH:

You have to wait an hour to go swimming if you've eaten, or else you'll get cramps.

REALITY:

There's no evidence to support this theory at all. The general idea is that when you're digesting food, more blood is drawn to your stomach which leaves your muscles with less, causing them to cramp. But there hasn't been a single documented case of someone drowning due to muscle cramps after swimming on a full stomach. Of course, this could all be a ruse set up by lifeguards to prevent people from getting sick in public pools.

8. Breakfast Benefits

MYTH:

You have to eat breakfast in order to lose weight.

REALITY:

While breakfast is an important meal to start your day off right, it's not a necessity when it comes to losing weight. In fact, a study conducted at Cornell University showed that people who don't eat breakfast consume an average of 400 fewer calories per day, despite rumors that skipping breakfast causes you to overeat later.

9. TV Troubles

MYTH:

Sitting too close to the television ruins your eyesight.

REALITY:

The worst side effect you'll get is a headache from eye fatigue. There's really no concrete answer as to where this rumor started, but maybe it was just our parents wanting us to move so they could see the screen too.

10. Knuckle Knowledge

MYTH:

Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis.

REALITY:

While it may be annoying as all get-out to the people around you, cracking your knuckles doesn't actually increase your chance of developing arthritis later in life. A study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine concluded that "a  history of habitual knuckle cracking—including the total duration and total cumulative exposure—does not seem to be a risk factor for hand osteoarthritis."

How many of these myths did you believe?

[h/t: Business Insider, WedMD]

Meagan has been a writer with Shared for two years and has an intense love for Netflix, napping, and carbohydrates. CONTACT: meagan@shared.com