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Fact or Fiction?



We're bombarded with so much information about our health that sorting the truth from the lies is a daunting task. Let's see if we can debunk the myths and old wives tales.


Five portions of fruit and veg isn’t enough, we actually need 20.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Five-a-day is based on research that shows about 1lb or 400g of fruit and veg a day lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Eating more can only help.

Chocolate gives you spots.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Acne is caused by hormones and their effect on sebaceous glands, not diet. An unbalanced diet may make the condition worse, but there is nothing to link chocolate with spots.

Cracking knuckles gives you arthritis.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
A study of knuckle crackers shows no increased risk, but swelling and grip issues may result.

Eggs give you heart attacks.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
A paper written for the British Nutrition Foundation this week shows no link between egg consumption and an increased risk of heart disease. Eggs are highly nutritious and you don’t need to restrict your daily intake.

Shaving causes hair to grow back thicker.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Stubble hasn’t the tapered end of unshaven hair, so it just looks thicker.

We only use 10 per cent of our brains.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
We use about 60% of our brain even when we are asleep.

You lose most heat through your head.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
If it were true, people would be colder going hatless than trouserless, which is patently not the case.

Sugar makes kids hyperactive.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Trials into children with different sugar levels have not shown behavioural difference between kids who had sugar and those who did not.

Sugar causes diabetes.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
This isn’t true either. Adult onset diabetes is much more likely to be caused by eating too much and not exercising enough.

Carrots may help you see in the dark.
Fact or fiction? Fact
There is some truth in this one in that carrots are high in vitamin A. This vitamin supports the light sensitive cells called rods that help us to see in the dark.

Reading in the dark damages your eye sight.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
While dim lighting can cause eye strain, the effects are not permanent, according to experts.

Sit-ups won’t get rid of a fat tummy.
Fact or fiction? Fact
You'll only get a six-pack if you get rid of the overlying fat first. You’ll then be able to see the perfect abs emerging as you do your sit-ups.

An apple between meals cleans your teeth.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Far from cleaning and protecting teeth, apples may encourage decay because of their acid and sugar content. Watch sweet varieties like Pink Lady and Braeburn.

Cutting salt can reduce your blood pressure.
Fact or fiction? Fact
Less salt can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, says the Food Standards Agency. Losing weight, exercise and cutting back on alcohol can also help.

Vitamin C will stop you getting a cold.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
The vitamin is needed for healthy functioning of white blood cells, but it can’t stop you getting a cold. A supplement might reduce the duration of symptoms, but it’s not a cure.

Your heart stops when you sneeze.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Pressure in your chest rises as you inhale and drops when you exhale, so your heart rate is affected, but it does not stop beating.

Eating late makes you fat.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Subjects monitored in a metabolic unit show no more tendency to put on weight if they eat their evening meal at 8pm than if they eat it at midday.

Going out with wet hair gives you a cold.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
You can only catch a cold if you come into contact with the cold virus.

Fat people have a slow metabolic rate.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
The bigger you are, the more calories you burn, because you use more energy in carrying your weight around.

Pull out a grey hair and 10 will grow in its place.
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Plucking a grey hair will simply get you one new one in its place, not 10. Only one hair can grow per follicle.

Vitamins can’t give you energy.
Fact or fiction? Fact
Vitamins don’t contain calories, so unless you have a severe vitamin deficiency, whereby you can’t efficiently process food into energy, your energy level will not be affected.

Fish is good for an unborn baby's brain.
Fact or fiction? Fact
Why? Fish contains omega-3 fats, in particular DHA, which are vital to foetal brain development. However, eating fish later in life will not increase intelligence.