Health Myths That Never Seem To Want To Die

Health Myths That Never Seem To Want To Die

There are many people who wish they were as healthy as some of these goofy health myths, because they would seemingly be assured of living forever. These are tales as old as people talking about food and it's time to put them to rest.

Eating Eggs Will Raise Your Cholesterol

This is a fallacy that the Harvard Medical School has finally debunked. Cholesterol is a lipoprotein that simply gets digested just like any other lipoprotein. (1) Not much of it can enter your blood stream as it's far too large to pass the mucosa of the intestinal tract and can only be allowed in via the random sampling of the Peyer's Patches. (2)

Eggs also have what is called egg yolk lecithin, which is similar to soy lecithin and would nullify the effects of the cholesterol anyway. 

Succinctly, eggs do not raise your cholesterol and never have. Sugar, stress and a high fat diet on the other hand.... well....

Searing Meats Seals In The Juices

This came about due to the writings of a 19th century German chemist named Justus von Liebig (interesting last name since he was espousing and untruth...). Liebig said that by searing the meat at a high temperature prior to cooking it would seal in the meats juices. 

If this were true then you wouldn't still lose all the juice in the pan after your seared it. His assumption came from noticing that when you cauterized a wound you stopped the bleeding.  

Then another gentleman debunked this in his book - On Food And Cooking. Harold McGee confirmed this as he took two steaks seared one and the other not. He then cooked them normally and measured the fluids that exited each. He found that the non seared steak actually lost a little less fluids that did the seared steak.

Of course, you could replicate this at home if you choose, but suffice it to say that there are no scientific reasons why a seared steak or meat would lose less of its fluids.

Fresh Vegetables Always Beat Frozen Or Freeze Dried Vegetables For Nutrients

Unless you're picking the food yourself and immediately walking into the house washing it and eating it, then for the most part this will be untrue.  

The reason being is that fruits and vegetables are generally a minimum of 7 days old by the time you buy them and then may stay in your refrigerator or on your counter for up to another 7 days. While they are in transit, sitting on the store shelves or in your refrigerator, they lose quite a bit of their nutritional value. 

How much value do they lose? Well here are just a couple of examples: Vitamin C losses in vegetables stored at  39°F for 7 days range from 15% for green peas to 77% for green beans. (3) Vitamin C was used as the measure because it's both easy and accurate to test for. 

Fruits and vegetables that are flash frozen or freeze dried in a short period of time from harvest can actually end up being far superior to the "fresh" fruits and vegetables that you're purchasing in your local supermarket. 

To top that off, some fruits, such as apples, may be picked a year in advance and put into long term storage where they were gassed to stop them from ripening and spoiling. The nutrient degradation in that case can be nearly complete. (3)


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK351
  2. http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/egg-nutrition
  3. http://www.fruitandvegetable.ucdavis.edu/files/197179.pdf

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