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The Biggest Health Myths of All Time

By Sara Butler

Myths can persist even when there’s solid evidence that directly proves them false. Often, these myths are so embedded in a culture that you may have no idea that they’re not true. Sure, your Great Aunt Edna means well giving you that tidbit of health advice that her grandmother taught her, but not everything that has been repeated for years is true. Here are some of the most pervasive health myths ever and the truth behind them!

Myth No. 1: If You’re Thin, You’re Healthy

You can’t tell how healthy someone is, or isn’t, only based on how they look. It’s possible for someone who is thin to be unhealthy compared to someone who is heavier. If a thin person smokes, for example, or lives a completely sedentary lifestyle fueled by Big Macs and soda, then they may not be as healthy as someone who exercises regularly and eats a balanced diet who may be larger. Generally speaking, the body mass index (BMI) is actually not a great way to measure overall health all on its own.

Myth No. 2: You Need Eight Full Glasses of Water a Day

Though it is true you need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy, the number of glasses you need daily depends more on your own body composition than anything else. Plus, drinking water isn’t the only source of water in a balanced diet, since fruits and vegetables contain water that factors in, too.

You should endeavor to drink about half of your body weight in ounces of water per day, and judge how hydrated you are by the color of your urine. You should aim for pale yellow urine – the darker in color it is, the more dehydrated you generally are.

Myth No. 3: Vitamin C Will Cure a Cold

How many times have you felt a cold coming on and reached for some orange juice? Well, it turns out this isn’t going to do anything to help you feel better. The only way Vitamin C can make an impact on a cold is how much of it you get before you ever feel a cold coming on. After you’re already feeling ill, a dose of Vitamin C isn’t going to help you feel any better or shorten the duration of the illness.

Which of these health myths did you think still stood the test of time? Well, now you know better!

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