Carrots give you night vision. Swimming after eating will give you cramps. You need to drink eight glasses of water a day. Organic food is more nutritious and free of pesticides.
Nope, nope, nope, and nope.
Who hasn't shared these and other amazing-sounding notions about about health and the human body, only to feel embarrassed later on — when you find out the information was inaccurate or flat-out wrong?
It's time to put an end to these alluring myths, misconceptions, and inaccuracies passed down through the ages.
To help the cause we've rounded up and corrected dozens of the most popular health "facts" that we've heard.
Have any favorites we missed? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MYTH: Milk does a body good!
This is an incredibly successful bit of advertising that has wormed its way into our brains and policies to make milk seem magical.
The US Department of Agriculture tells us that adults should drink three cups of milk a day, mostly for calcium and vitamin D.
However, multiple studies show that there isn't an association between drinking more milk (or taking calcium and vitamin D supplements) and having fewer bone fractures.
Some studies have even shown an association with higher overall mortality, and while that doesn't mean that milk consumption itself was responsible, it's certainly not an endorsement.
MYTH: Organic food is pesticide-free and more nutritious.
Organic food isn't free of pesticides and it isn't necessarily better for you.
Farmers who grow organic produce are permitted to use chemicals that are naturally derived — and in some cases are actually worse for the environment than their synthetic counterparts. However, pesticide levels on both organic and non-organic foods are so low that they aren't of concern for consumption, according to the USDA.
Eating organic food also doesn't come with any nutritional benefits over non-organic food, according to a review of 98,727 potentially relevant studies.
MYTH: Eating food within 5 seconds of dropping it on the floor is safe.
It's the worst when something you really wanted to eat falls on the floor. But if you grab it in five seconds, it's ok, right?
The five-second-rule isn't a real thing. Bacteria can contaminate a food within milliseconds.
Mythbusting tests show that moist foods attract more bacteria than dry foods, but there's no "safe duration." Instead, safety depends on how clean the surface you dropped the food on is.
Whether you eat it or not after that is up to you, but if the people that walk on that floor are also walking around New York City, for example, we wouldn't recommend it.
MYTH: The chemical tryptophan in turkey makes you sleepy.
Who doesn't love the post-Thanksgiving nap? After all, turkey contains tryptophan — an amino acid that is a component of some of the brain chemicals that help you relax.
But plenty of foods contain tryptophan. Cheddar cheese has even more than turkey, yet cheddar is never pointed out as a sleep inducing food.
Experts say that instead, the carbs, alcohol, and general size of the turkey-day feast are the cause of those delicious holiday siestas.
MYTH: Eating chocolate gives you acne.
For one month, scientists fed dozens of people candy bars containing 10 times the usual amount of chocolate, and dozens of others fake chocolate bars.
When they counted the zits before and after each diet, there was "no difference" between the two groups. Neither the chocolate nor the fat seemed to have any effect on acne.
MYTH: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Apples are packed with vitamin C and fiber, both of which are important to long-term health, but they aren't all you need.
And if certain viruses or bacteria get into your system, an apple will unfortunately do nothing to protect you.
Go ahead and get that flu shot, even if you eat apples.
Source: Business Insider
MYTH: Natural sugar like honey is better for you than processed sugar.
A granola bar made with honey instead of high-fructose corn syrup is not better for you.
That's because sugar in natural products like fruit and synthetic products like candy is the same: "Scientists would be surprised to hear about the 'clear superiority' of honey, since there is a near unanimous consensus that the biological effect of high-fructose corn syrup are essentially the same as those of honey," professor Alan Levinovitz told Business Insider.
The problem is that candy and other related products typically contain more sugar per serving, which means more calories — a difference you should actually be watching out for.
MYTH: Coffee stunts your growth.
Most research finds no correlation between caffeine consumption and bone growth in kids.
In adults, researchers have seen that increased caffeine consumption can very slightly limit calcium absorption, but the impact is so small that a tablespoon of milk will more than adequately offset the effects of a cup of coffee.
Advertising seems to be largely responsible for this myth: Cereal manufacturer named C.W. Post was trying to market a morning beverage called "Postum" as an alternative to coffee, so he ran ads on the "evils" of Americans' favorite hot beverage, calling it a "nerve poison" that should never be served to children.
MYTH: Eating ice cream will make your cold worse.
If you're home sick with a cold, you can totally go ahead and comfort yourself with some ice cream.
The idea that dairy increases mucous production is very fortunately not true, according to researchers and a doctor at the Mayo Clinic, who says "in fact, frozen dairy products can soothe a sore throat and provide calories when you otherwise may not eat."
MYTH: Sugar is as addictive as heroin.
In the 2009 book "Fat Chance," the author, Dr. Robert Lustig, claims that sugar stimulates the brain's reward system the same way that tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, and even heroin does, and therefore must be equally addictive. Lustig even cites studies that show parts of our brain that light-up from a sugary reward are the same parts that get excited for many types of enjoyable activities, from drinking alcohol to having sex.
The problem, however, with these types of scientific studies of the brain is that "In neuroimaging, there is no clear-cut sign of addiction," Hisham Ziaudden, an eating behavioral specialist, told Levinovitz.
So, scientists don't know what addiction in the brain looks like, yet, and until that mystery is solved we should not be living in fear from something as fanciful as sugar addiction.