10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

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    Oct 07, 2011 4:41 PM GMT
    http://lifehacker.com/5847591/10-stubborn-food-myths-that-just-wont-die

    For the list:
    Myth 1: Never Use Wooden Cutting Boards with Meat
    Myth 2: Adding Salt to Water Changes the Boiling Point, Cooks Food Faster
    Myth 3: Low Fat Foods Are Always Better For You
    Myth 4: Dairy Is The Best Thing For Healthy Bones
    Myth 5: Everyone Should Drink 64-Ounces or 8 Glasses of Water Every Day
    Myth 6: High-Sodium Foods Taste Salty, So Avoid Salty Snacks
    Myth 7: Eating Eggs Will Jack Up Your Cholesterol
    Myth 8: Searing Meat Seals In Juices
    Myth 9: Aluminum Foil and Cookware Is Linked to Alzheimer's Disease
    Myth 10: Don't Eat After 6, 7, 8PM
    Bonus Myth: Wine Has Health Benefits, Beer and Liquor Do Not

    Highlights (but I recommend reading the whole thing... at the link above... it's interesting):

    Every other week, new research claims one food is better than another, or that some ingredient yields incredible new health benefits. Couple that with a few old wives' tales passed down from your parents, and each time you fire up your stove or sit down to eat a healthy meal, it can be difficult separating food fact from fiction. We talked to a group of nutritionists and asked them to share the food myths they find most irritating and explain why people cling to them. Here's what they said.

    Myth 1: Never Use Wooden Cutting Boards with Meat

    This rule, one that I myself have repeated, comes from the notion that using a wooden cutting board will result in tiny scratches and cuts from your knife, and if you use that cutting board with meat-especially raw meat-that all those meat juices will settle into those tiny cuts in the board, and no matter how much you scrub, those germs aren't coming out. The point has even been made by people as esteemed as Alton Brown. The solution is to use plastic cutting boards, which can be dishwashed and sanitized, and therefore must be safer, right?

    Unfortunately, there's a great deal of research that disputes this notion. One of the most famous studies was conducted at the University of California: Davis, by Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D of the UC-Davis Food Safety Laboratory. His research points out that there's no significant antibacterial benefit from using a plastic cutting board over a wood one. He notes that even if you apply bacteria to a wooden cutting board, it's natural properties cause the bacteria to pass through the top layer of the wood and settle inside, where they're very difficult to bring out unless you split the board open.

    [...]

    Myth 4: Dairy Is The Best Thing For Healthy Bones

    When I asked Andy Belatti about the most stubborn food myths he's encountered, he noted that too many people confuse "dairy" with "calcium," assume they're the same thing, and think that dairy is the best thing for healthy and strong bones. He explained, "Dairy contains calcium, but so do dark-leafy greens. Milk is fortified with vitamin D, just like all milk alternatives. Additionally, bone health goes beyond calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin K is important for bone health (dark leafy greens have it, dairy doesn't). Magnesium (present in foods like almonds, cashews, oatmeal, and potatoes, but missing in dairy products) also plays an important role in bone health." Photo by Quinn Dombrowski.

    [...]

    Myth 5: Everyone Should Drink 64-Ounces or 8 Glasses of Water Every Day

    This myth is a holdover from a poor attempt by a number of doctors who wanted to wage an ill-researched campaign against sodas and sugary drinks. Their hearts were in the right place, but the fact of the matter is that there's no uniform rule for how much water a person should drink in a given day. Alannah DiBona explains, "Water's been touted as the cure for all sins, and in some ways, it's true—proper hydration is necessary for just about anything body and mind-related. However, sixty-four ounces per day isn't going to always be the right number for you." Photo by Michael McCullough.

    My old nutritionist explained to me that I should try to drink my body weight in ounces of water, divided in half. She noted that's a good guideline for most people, but also noted that it's a goal—not a rule. When I asked her whether there would be real health benefits from it, she explained that it's not going to make my body work better or somehow stave off disease magically, but it will give me energy, prevent dehydration, get me up away from my desk and walking to the water fountain, and she pointed out that often our bodies interpret thirst signals as hunger. It's anecdotal, but I have to admit that drinking more water made me feel better by leaps and bounds.


  • joacsosmith

    Posts: 2

    Nov 24, 2011 11:07 AM GMT
    Looking nice.. The information was really wonderful.
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    Nov 24, 2011 11:47 AM GMT
    Myth #2 is true as supported by basic chemistry.
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    Nov 24, 2011 12:48 PM GMT
    conscienti1984 saidMyth #2 is true as supported by basic chemistry.


    this is true. Dissociated ionic salts in solution raise the boiling temperature of the solution.
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    Nov 24, 2011 1:32 PM GMT
    tokidokiau said
    conscienti1984 saidMyth #2 is true as supported by basic chemistry.


    this is true. Dissociated ionic salts in solution raise the boiling temperature of the solution.


    Except not? Here's what their argument is -

    Myth 2: Adding Salt to Water Changes the Boiling Point, Cooks Food Faster

    This is one of those food myths that doesn't want to die. You'll hear it repeated by home cooks and professional chefs, but any first year Chemistry student (or in my case, a Physics student taking Applied Thermodynamics) will be able to show you how little the amount of salt you would add to a pot of boiling water in your kitchen actually alters the boiling point.

    Yes, strictly speaking, adding salt to water will alter the boiling point, but the concentration of salt dissolved in the water is directly related to the increase in the boiling point. In order to change water's boiling point appreciably, you would have to add so much table salt (and dissolve it completely) that the resulting salt water would be nearly inedible. In fact, the amount of salt you're likely to add to a pot of water will only alter the boiling point of water by a few tenths of a degree Celsius at most.

    So this is one of those food myths that rings of chemical truth, but only on scales that wouldn't be applicable for cooking. One thing is for sure though, adding salt to your pasta water definitely makes the resulting pasta tasty.
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    Nov 24, 2011 7:45 PM GMT
    Myth 10 definitely has no truth to it because most people in Europe and Latin America eat dinner/supper anywhere between 8pm and 11pm. That's normal for them. And look, they don't have as big of a problem with obesity as North Americans.

    The time of day when I eat has definitely not affected my weight that I've noticed. It's all depended on what I eat and how much I eat.
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    Nov 24, 2011 7:49 PM GMT
    Also, I'm really glad that Myth 1 was busted because that one has long bothered me. Nearly all the cutting boards I have are wooden, so I just keep one marked "V/F" and another marked "M". I just make an effort to clean them really well after using them.
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    Nov 24, 2011 7:51 PM GMT
    I wish they had addressed the myth of adding oil to water when cooking pasta to prevent sticking because it doesn't. In fact, it doesn't do anything at all since oil just sits on the surface of the water boiling away and gets dumped as soon as you drain the pasta. But yet a lot of people do it anyway. Although I've often heard that adding oil is to prevent a starch boil over, too.

    You can prevent pasta from clinging together by making sure you cook pasta in a really big pot with a lot of water. By giving the pasta room to cook and stirring occasionally, your pasta should be good to go once you get it to your preferred texture.
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    Nov 24, 2011 10:00 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    tokidokiau said
    conscienti1984 saidMyth #2 is true as supported by basic chemistry.


    this is true. Dissociated ionic salts in solution raise the boiling temperature of the solution.


    Except not? Here's what their argument is -

    Myth 2: Adding Salt to Water Changes the Boiling Point, Cooks Food Faster

    This is one of those food myths that doesn't want to die. You'll hear it repeated by home cooks and professional chefs, but any first year Chemistry student (or in my case, a Physics student taking Applied Thermodynamics) will be able to show you how little the amount of salt you would add to a pot of boiling water in your kitchen actually alters the boiling point.

    Yes, strictly speaking, adding salt to water will alter the boiling point, but the concentration of salt dissolved in the water is directly related to the increase in the boiling point. In order to change water's boiling point appreciably, you would have to add so much table salt (and dissolve it completely) that the resulting salt water would be nearly inedible. In fact, the amount of salt you're likely to add to a pot of water will only alter the boiling point of water by a few tenths of a degree Celsius at most.

    So this is one of those food myths that rings of chemical truth, but only on scales that wouldn't be applicable for cooking. One thing is for sure though, adding salt to your pasta water definitely makes the resulting pasta tasty.


    I'm anal. In the context of cooking I see their arguement, but labeling the issue as a myth is still incorrect. Oh well... I won't lose sleep over this.
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    Nov 24, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    Regarding #2, even if you can noticeably change the boiling point of water, it wouldn't cook the food any faster, right? It's not the activity of the boiling water that is cooking the food, it's temperature. In fact, if you lowered the boiling point, you'd put the food into the water at a lower temperature, and the food would cook slower, right? I'm not sure my brain is clear enough right now to think that through.
  • sloughwest

    Posts: 210

    Nov 24, 2011 10:48 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    tokidokiau said
    conscienti1984 saidMyth #2 is true as supported by basic chemistry.


    this is true. Dissociated ionic salts in solution raise the boiling temperature of the solution.


    Except not? Here's what their argument is -

    Myth 2: Adding Salt to Water Changes the Boiling Point, Cooks Food Faster

    This is one of those food myths that doesn't want to die. You'll hear it repeated by home cooks and professional chefs, but any first year Chemistry student (or in my case, a Physics student taking Applied Thermodynamics) will be able to show you how little the amount of salt you would add to a pot of boiling water in your kitchen actually alters the boiling point.

    Yes, strictly speaking, adding salt to water will alter the boiling point, but the concentration of salt dissolved in the water is directly related to the increase in the boiling point. In order to change water's boiling point appreciably, you would have to add so much table salt (and dissolve it completely) that the resulting salt water would be nearly inedible. In fact, the amount of salt you're likely to add to a pot of water will only alter the boiling point of water by a few tenths of a degree Celsius at most.

    So this is one of those food myths that rings of chemical truth, but only on scales that wouldn't be applicable for cooking. One thing is for sure though, adding salt to your pasta water definitely makes the resulting pasta tasty.


    try a tablespoon of olive oil , 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs and 1 clove of garlic (whole) to make tasty pasta icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 25, 2011 3:50 AM GMT
    According to wiki,


    10 g of salt per 1 kg of water = rise of 0.17 deg C


    there you go
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    Nov 25, 2011 4:16 AM GMT
    sloughwest said
    riddler78 said
    tokidokiau said
    conscienti1984 saidMyth #2 is true as supported by basic chemistry.


    this is true. Dissociated ionic salts in solution raise the boiling temperature of the solution.


    Except not? Here's what their argument is -

    Myth 2: Adding Salt to Water Changes the Boiling Point, Cooks Food Faster

    This is one of those food myths that doesn't want to die. You'll hear it repeated by home cooks and professional chefs, but any first year Chemistry student (or in my case, a Physics student taking Applied Thermodynamics) will be able to show you how little the amount of salt you would add to a pot of boiling water in your kitchen actually alters the boiling point.

    Yes, strictly speaking, adding salt to water will alter the boiling point, but the concentration of salt dissolved in the water is directly related to the increase in the boiling point. In order to change water's boiling point appreciably, you would have to add so much table salt (and dissolve it completely) that the resulting salt water would be nearly inedible. In fact, the amount of salt you're likely to add to a pot of water will only alter the boiling point of water by a few tenths of a degree Celsius at most.

    So this is one of those food myths that rings of chemical truth, but only on scales that wouldn't be applicable for cooking. One thing is for sure though, adding salt to your pasta water definitely makes the resulting pasta tasty.


    try a tablespoon of olive oil , 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs and 1 clove of garlic (whole) to make tasty pasta icon_biggrin.gif


    I pour the cooked pasta through a strainer then run cold water washing off the extra paste mixing the pasta with my hand. I then run hot water over the pasta again to heat it back up and put it back into the hot pot that it was cooked in. The paste is gone, the pasta is still warm, and the hot pot that it was boiling in keeps the noodles at a great temperature.
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    Nov 25, 2011 11:06 PM GMT
    There are some good stuff in that list of ten myths worth consideration.
  • Cole0505

    Posts: 70

    May 08, 2012 3:39 PM GMT
    Just a quick question in reference to Myth #1
    I know that it is stated in many cases that the difference between wooden and plastic chopping boards in terms of bacterial growth and hygiene is negligable. However in both cases cuts do damage surface of the board creating an area for difficult cleaning and increased bacterial growth. In wooden boards it "sinks into a layer below the surface but then again with each new cut you are breaching the outer surface of the board...

    My Question after all that nonsense above is: Is there a noticeable difference between food safety/ bacterial growth between wood/plastic and Glass boards (which are not susceptable to superficial cuts)?
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    May 08, 2012 3:50 PM GMT
    All I can say it that this thread is gonna to explode!!!...

    F*****!!! but I luv BEER!!! icon_cry.gif
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    May 08, 2012 3:54 PM GMT
    #10. When someone informs me that it's unhealthy to eat at all at a specific time of day... I want to do bad things to them.

    funny gifs
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    May 08, 2012 3:55 PM GMT
    All great points, though myth #10, the way they exaplin it works correctly. Much of this myth, though, is related to the fact American's tend to eat their smallest meal of the day at Breakfast, (if they eat it at all) and eat their largest meal of the day at night. In reality this should be the other way around: fuel up in the morning, or better still eat several medium size meals throughout the day. Too many Americans skip meals all day and then pile it on in one big meal at night and this does wreck your metbolism when combined with skipping/skimping on other meals during the day. That's the actual truth. Somehow the weight loss companies turned this into "don't eat late." Go figure....
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    May 08, 2012 3:59 PM GMT
    MuscledHorse saidAll great points, though myth #10, the way they exaplin it works correctly. Much of this myth, though, is related to the fact American's tend to eat their smallest meal of the day at Breakfast, (if they eat it at all) and eat their largest meal of the day at night. In reality this should be the other way around: fuel up in the morning, or better still eat several medium size meals throughout the day. Too many Americans skip meals all day and then pile it on in one big meal at night and this does wreck your metbolism when combined with skipping/skimping on other meals during the day. That's the actual truth. Somehow the weight loss companies turned this into "don't eat late." Go figure....


    I agree with what you're getting at. I think the concept of losing weight because a person doesn't eat at night is a very dumbed down way to describe a logical, healthy eating pattern. The truth is, though, that eating late doesn't have to impact weight at all. My dad swears by the rule of eating a "moderate" breakfast, a huge lunch, and a sparing dinner. But his lunches are fucking huge. He sees no results from doing this. He might as well eat that meal at night.
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    Jul 20, 2012 4:10 PM GMT
    GordonLee90232 saidI also have read recently that chocolate the dark chocolate that is not processed is very high in anti oxidants and is very good for you.

    That's racist
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    Jul 20, 2012 4:29 PM GMT
    In Myth #10: "DiBona had something specific to say about meal skipping, and how dangerous it can be: '. . .If a meal is skipped, the body begins a process of metabolic slowing commonly referred to as ‘starvation mode. . . Keeping one's blood sugar balanced with small meals and snacks throughout the day is a much more successful approach for weight maintenance and mental alertness.'"

    Intermittent fasting says no.