Healthy Living: Myths and truths behind 10 common health claims

When it comes to my health, I like to be in charge of my own choices and my own body.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there, making it difficult to know if I'm making the right decisions or not.

I've heard all kinds of seemingly-wild health claims like "You should drink eight glasses of water a day" and "Water fountains have more germs than toilets." But which of these are true and which are simply myths?

In this exclusive piece, we did some digging to reveal the truth behind ten extremely common health claims. Finally, I know whether chicken soup really does help fight a cold!

Obviously I trust my doctor's advice above all else, but now I don't have to live a life of health rumors and misinformation any longer. And for most of these, I was actually surprised at which were true and which were false.

Scroll through below to see which of these health statements has basis in reality.

What other myths have you been able to dispel? Let us know in the comments!

1. An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
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Apples contain vitamins and nutrients that can, in fact, stave off a wide variety of potential medical problems.

Dr. Rui Hai Liu told WebMD, "You should eat an apple every day. Everybody in my family gets an apple a day. We go through several thousand apples a year.

"There is a huge amount of scientific evidence showing that fruits and vegetables lower the risk of cancer and heart disease."

2. You Should Drink Eight Glasses Of Water A Day
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While hydration is very important, the exact amount of water your body needs actually varies from person to person. Plus, some of your hydration may come through the foods you eat.

In fact, the New York Times writes, "It's just not true. There is no science behind it.

"The human body is finely tuned to signal you to drink long before you are actually dehydrated."

3. Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day
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You may have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But if you aren't a breakfast fan, there's no need to worry!

According to Born Fitness, "Two recent studies found that eating breakfast has no direct impact on weight loss.

"The truth is, it doesn't matter when you eat your meals."

4. Too Much TV Is Bad For You
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Don't start panicking quite yet — a moderate amount of television is okay. But when those TV habits get too extreme, your health can start to suffer.

Live Science writes, "Young adults who watch a lot of TV and don't exercise much may start to see the effects of their unhealthy habits on their brains as early as midlife, a new study suggests.

"The people in the study who watched more than three hours of TV per day on average...were more likely to perform poorly on certain cognitive tests."

5. Chicken Soup Is Good For A Cold

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The New York Times claims that "chicken soup really could have medicinal value."

This is great news for those hoping to exert a little more control over their health!

They cite a study by Dr. Stephen Rennard, "Dr. Rennard theorizes that by inhibiting the migration of infection-fighting cells in the body, chicken soup essentially helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms."

6. You Should Go To The Gym Every Day
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Fitness experts know that taking days off from your workout can be extremely important to your health regimen.

Days off from the gym allow your muscles to recover, repair, and grow — an essential part of staying fit. warns that working out too much can lead to difficulty sleeping, mood problems, exhaustion, and an increased appetite.

7. Wet Hair Will Make You Sick

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We've all probably heard that going outside with wet hair will cause you to catch a cold.

However, according to, "Leaving the house just after a shower isn't going to make you sick... unless you're already sick, that is."

So wet hair outside won't cause you to get sick, but you should avoid it if you think you may be already!

8. Antiperspirant Causes Cancer
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This is perhaps one of the most controversial claims out there, with plenty of people saying that antiperspirant or deodorant can cause tumors to develop.

However, as WebMD writes, "The National Cancer Institute says there's no evidence connecting either product with breast cancer."

That said, if you really are still worried about it, there are plenty of natural alternatives out there you can dab on.

9. Water Fountains Have More Germs Than Toilets

Tayra Lucero and Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings


You've probably heard this one before, and unfortunately it is indeed true.

Clean Fax cites a recent study which "found that toilets and door handles actually had fewer germs than other common surfaces."

They also "found as many as 2.7 million bacterial cells per square inch on common school surfaces such as water fountains."

10. Swallowed Gum Will Take Seven Years To Digest
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Gum is obviously not designed to be swallowed, but it won't generally be harmful if you accidentally ingest a wad now and again.

Dr. Michael F. Picco of the Mayo Clinic writes, "If you swallow gum, it's true that your body can't digest it. But the gum doesn't just stay in your stomach.

"It moves relatively intact through your digestive system and is excreted in your stool."

Knowing which of these health claims are myths and which are truths can help me to make more informed decisions about my own health and wellbeing!

Which other health myths have you uncovered? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE this important health information with friends and family!

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