6 Crazy Food Myths Britons Still Believe

6 Crazy Food Myths Britons Still Believe

There are plenty of old wives’ tales when it comes to food, but a new poll of 2,000 adults by Spatone has revealed just how much we’re hanging on to those beliefs in our everyday lives. Despite the following six myths having been proven incorrect, 39% of Brits admitted to living by the recommendations – so just how wrong are they?

1. Chewing Gum

Maybe you couldn’t find a bin, or perhaps someone made you jump, but if you’ve swallowed your gum don’t panic. A third of Brits still believe that gum takes seven years to work through your digestive system. Thankfully for those accidental gum swallowers, the legend is false. Gastroenterologist Dr Rodger Liddle, of the Duke University School of Medicine explained: "Nothing would reside that long unless it was so large it couldn't get out of the stomach or it was trapped in the intestine."

Which means chewing gum passes through your digestive system like any other food – your body can break down some of the gums ingredients like the sweeteners and oil derivatives, but the latex or rubber base will pass through in a couple of days. Phew!

But that doesn’t mean you should start swallowing your gum regularly – gum can build up into a non-digestible lump called a bezoar, which can snowball and block up your digestive tract, leading to constipation.

2. Not Eating After 8pm Aids Weight Loss

While weight loss can be influenced by many factors, the time of day you eat dinner isn’t one of them. According to a 2012 study published by Obesity Reviews, late-night eating can be problematic if you’re consuming a large amount of calories, but it doesn’t always lead to weight gain. Losing weight is more about your calorie intake and the exercise that you do. You can eat after 8pm and still lose weight – in fact, most weight loss diets encourage you to eat little and often to keep your metabolism going.

3. Eggs Are High In Cholesterol

One in five people believe that eggs are high in cholesterol, despite this myth being – ahem – cracked years ago. Juliet Gray and Bruce Griffin of Surrey University brought the phrase ‘go to work on an egg’ back to life in 2009 after they revealed years of scientific studies had overturned the belief that eggs strongly influenced the level of cholesterol in the blood and therefore were a risk for heart disease. Essentially, they do contain a high level of cholesterol, but the cholesterol they contain is not as harmful as, say, the saturated fats in meat.

4. Carrots Help You See In The Dark

The old wives’ tale most people still believe? That eating carrots can give you night vision. Carrots do contain vitamin A – used by the body to synthesise rhodopsin, which helps your eyes to operate in low-light conditions. And if you have a vitamin A deficiency, then you can develop night blindness, which carrots could potentially help – but only to the point of a healthy person. Unfortunately, carrots are never going to give any of us super human powers.

5. The Three Second Rule

Eight out of ten people still live by the ‘three second rule’, meaning they feel food is still safe to eat if it has been on the floor for less than three seconds. In Spatone’s survey, 53% of people said they believe the length of time food spends on the floor affects how contaminated it is. This is simply not true – once your food touches the floor, it’s done for, with a recent study revealing that food gets contaminated the moment it lands.

6. Apples Clean Your Teeth

Ever heard people say that eating an apple is like cleaning your teeth? There’s some truth in it. Amazingly, apples really do help to clean your teeth – the fibrous content of the fruit stimulates the gums and acts as a toothbrush, scrubbing plaque and food debris away from the teeth. But while this is great for gum health during the day, it’s most definitely not the same as cleaning your teeth. Keeping up with traditional brushing and flossing is the best way prevent cavities and gum disease.

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