If you’ve ever dug into any kind of formal personal development, you’ve probably realized that much of who you are today has been shaped by your upbringing. Specifically by your parents.
When you’re a kid, you instinctively put complete trust in your parents. Eventually you probably realized they’re just human and make mistakes just like everyone else, but for many people, parental influence is so strong it’s hard to shake.
This is definitely true when it comes to things your parents taught you about health. Even though the science today says, ‘Keep eating egg yolks! It doesn’t cause high cholesterol like we thought it did,’ you can still hear your mom’s, and maybe even grandmother’s, warnings about the dangers of too many eggs.
It’s time you let it go and accept that your mother or father—although they were always doing their best—were probably wrong about many things.
9. “It’s cold outside: Wear a hat or you’ll catch a cold.”
It makes sense in theory, but really all a hat will do is keep you warmer than you otherwise might be. Viruses cause colds and flus, not cold weather. The same is true about going to bed with wet hair. Go ahead: Shower and hit the pillow if you so desire.
8. “Feed a cold, starve a fever”
Turns out, this has little science behind it. Best thing to do is listen to your body. If you’re sick and haven’t eaten in two days and your body is telling you you’re hungry, then eat. If your body is telling you food will make you feel worse, then don’t eat.
7. “Wait 30 minutes after eating before you jump in the pool!”
Kids everywhere rejoice! The truth is you’re no less likely to drown if you hop in the pool right after lunch. But I probably wouldn’t recommend doing a lengthy open water swim in a lake by yourself on a full stomach.
6. “Step away from the microwave”
Fear of radiation led us to believe for years that we would get cancer if we stood near the microwave as it warmed our food. Turns out, the amount of radiation that can escape from your microwave is way too small to do any damage. But if you’d rather play it safe, give the food some space while it’s cooking then get it once it’s done.
5. “Margarine is better than butter”
Still believe margarine is better? Consider the ingredients in both:
• Vegetable oils (including sunflower oil)
• Plant sterol esters (12.5%) (this is an additive that reduces cholesterol, but interferes with absorption of fat soluble vitamins & hormones)
• Modified tapioca starch, salt (1.0%) (this is a chemically altered thickener)
• Emulsifiers: Mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids, sunflower lecithin
• Preservative: Potassium sorbate, citric acid, vitamin E, flavoring (often synthetic chemicals), vitamin B6, folic acid
• Colour: Beta carotene, Vitamins A, D and B12
What does common sense tell you?
4. “Granola bars are a good healthy snack”
Have you looked at what’s in these? Sugar, sugar and more sugar. Same goes for ‘fruit juice.’ Sugar bomb! Don’t forget about rancid vegetable oils either.
3. “Always rinse raw chicken in the sink”
The thinking was rinsing meat gets rid of germs, but all it actually does is splash the sink with bacteria, and if you’re not careful then on the countertop, too. Unnecessary.
2. “If you swallow gum, it will sit in your stomach for seven years!”
Untrue. Gum, like all the other stuff you swallowed as a kid, gets pushed along through the digestive tract and eventually excreted.
1. “Crack your knuckles and you’ll get arthritis!”
Clearly this was made up because it doesn’t sound appealing, but permanent damage to your joints? No. Crack away if it feels good.