Common Misconceptions: Health

The text is revised and edited to be suitable for Upper-Intermediate classes:
We always worry about things we think are very bad for our health. We worry and try to set them right, or don’t pay attention. But not all of them need so big worrying. Here are the nine real facts about most common health misconceptions “to stop worrying about right now”.
Health Misconception №1: Drink eight glasses of water a day
In 1945, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board told people to consume eight glasses of fluid daily. Before long, most of us believed we needed eight glasses of water, in addition to what we eat and drink, every day.
The truth: Water’s great, but you also whet your whistle with juice, tea, milk, fruits and vegetables — quite enough to keep you hydrated. Even coffee quenches thirst, the caffeine makes you lose some liquid, but you’re still getting plenty.

Health Misconception №2: Stress will turn your hair gray
The carpool, the spilled milk, the deadlines. Who doesn’t believe that stress can shock her locks?
The truth: “Too much stress does age us inside and out,” says Nancy L. Snyderman, MD, chief medical editor for NBC News and author of “Medical Myths that Can Kill You.” It ups the number of free radicals, scavenger molecules that attack healthy cells, and increases the spill of stress hormones in your body. So far, though, no scientific evidence proves a bad day turns your locks silver. 

Health Misconception №3: Reading in poor light ruins your eyes
Reading under the covers or by moonlight will ruin your eyesight.
The truth: “Reading in dim light can strain your eyes,” Snyderman explains. “You tend to squint, and that can give you a headache. But you won’t do any permanent damage.”
Your overtired eyes can get dry and achy, and may even make your vision seem less clear, but a good night’s rest will help your peepers recover just fine.

Health Misconception №4: Coffee’s really bad for you
Surely something 108 million Americans crave so much each morning couldn’t possibly be good for you? Wrong.
The truth: Too much may give you the jitters, but your daily habit has a lot of positives. “Coffee comes from plants, which have helpful chemicals that act as antioxidants,” says Stacy Beeson, RD, a wellness dietitian at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.  A Harvard study of more than 125,000 coffee drinkers found that women cut their risk of type 2 diabetes by 30 percent. Other studies suggest that coffee cuts the risks of Parkinson’s disease. Despite the jolt of energy it provides, coffee has no effect on heart disease.

Health Misconception №5: Fresh is always better than frozen
Ever since scientists honed in on the benefits of antioxidants, the mantra has been “eat more fresh fruits and veggies” — implying that frozen is second-rate.
The truth: “Frozen can be just as good as fresh because the fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of their nutritional content, taken to a plant, and frozen on the spot, locking in nutrients,” Beeson says. 

Health Misconception №6: Your lipstick could make you sick
In 2007, an environmentalist group, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, had 33 lipsticks tested for lead. Although there’s no lead limit for lipstick, one third of the tubes had more than the limit allowed for candy. That started a scare that spread like wildfire.
The truth: “The reality is that lead is in almost everything,” says Michael Thun, MD, head of epidemiological research for the American Cancer Society. “It’s all around us. But the risk from lead in lipstick is extremely small.” In fact, lead poisoning is most commonly caused by other environmental factors — pipes and paint in older homes, for instance.

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