Can You Bust These Food Myths?

Isadora Teich

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you know whether milk is good for you or not? Do you know what makes a food a superfood? It can be hard to keep what's healthy and what's not straight, in a world where massive amounts of information are constantly being thrown at us. From trendy new diets to old staple fads that will supposedly change all of our lives, it can be borderline impossible to cut through all of the noise and find out what is actually good for us. 

Should you eat high carb? Or no carb? Or low fat? Or keto? Or vegan? Or paleo? What is ultimately good for our bodies, and what is not? All the clickbait around the internet will tell you different things, and many magazines have been claiming to hold ultimate weight loss and health secrets in almost every copy for decades. The truth is that different things will benefit different people, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to diet that will be perfect for everyone. However, there are a lot of things that won't work for anyone, and a lot of them are sold at high prices. 

If you are a savvy foodie who knows food fiction from food fact, put your nutrition knowledge to the test with this delicious quiz! 

True or false: Red food coloring is often made from bugs.

The red food coloring carmine can be found in a lot of different candies. It is made from boiled cochineal bugs, which are a type of beetle.

True or false: Even if you don't add salt to food, it is likely you are eating too much salt.

People 14 years old and older should have no more than a teaspoon of salt a day. If you eat a lot of processed or pre-made foods, such as cereal, soup, bread and sauces, you are probably eating too much salt.

Is chocolate really an aphrodisiac?

While many people believe it is, no scientific study has been able to back up a link between eating chocolate and feeling aroused. However, some people believe it so strongly that they trick themselves into thinking it's happened.

True or false: Fasting cleanses toxins from the body.

Your body actually has its own systems for cleansing, which can be thrown off by extreme calorie restriction. There is no evidence that only consuming juice or starving yourself entirely for periods of time has any health benefits.

True or false: Ranch dressing and sunscreen share an ingredient.

Ranch dressing, sunscreen and paint all contain titanium dioxide. This makes them appear whiter.

Will eating fat make you gain fat?

Throughout the '80s and '90s, eating low-fat was all the rage, but it's actually not good for you. Your body needs the healthy fats found in nuts and in vegetables like avocado. Cutting them out "because they are fat" is not good for you.

True or false: A Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest.

This diet is high in plant-based nutrients, healthy oils, herbs, spices and fish. It is heart healthy and leads to a decrease in risk for cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Does gum stay in your stomach for years?

If you've ever panicked after swallowing a piece of gum because you believed it would take seven years to digest, you are not alone. However, this common knowledge fact is totally wrong. Gum is not necessarily digested, but it travels through your digestive tract at the same speed as everything else you eat.

True or false: Food eaten at night is more fattening than food eaten during the day.

Calories eaten at night are not inherently more intense. A piece of pizza eaten at 10 p.m. is the same as a piece of pizza eaten at 10 a.m.

Does milk really build strong bones?

Milk has been controversial over the years, with many modern nutritionists and diets forgoing it entirely. However, recent studies have shown that milk may not be the bone-booster it has been advertised as. In fact, the rates of fractures are highest in countries where the most dairy is consumed.

Are juice cleanses good for you?

Juice cleanses are a popular weight loss solution, but they are actually terrible for you. They suddenly starve your body of the nutrients and calories it needs to get through the day.

True or false: Eating eggs for breakfast can help people lose weight.

Eggs are high in protein, which means eating them makes people feel more satiated for longer, which ultimately results in them consuming less calories. Studies show that people who eat eggs for breakfast consume less over the following 36 hours, causing them to lose more weight.

True or false: Dark chocolate is better for you than light chocolate.

The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa flavanols it contains. These are mood-boosting and good for your heart.

True or false: Most of the olive oil being sold is not actually pure olive oil.

70% of the cheaper olive oils available in stores are not actually pure olive oil. Producers cut costs by diluting expensive olive oils with cheaper ones, like soybean oil or low quality olive oil, or just using old or rancid stock.

Is organic food better for you?

A 2012 study at Stanford found that non-organic foods carry about the same nutrition and health risks as organic foods. Organic foods are just much more expensive.

Does everyone need to drink eight glasses of water a day?

While this number has been around forever, it does not apply to everyone. How much water you need to drink depends on your age, location, health, diet and many other factors.

Is cinnamon considered a superfood?

Cinnamon is antioxidant-rich and has been associated with lower blood sugar and cholesterol. It is also associated with decreased overall inflammation in the body.

True or false: Most of the wasabi eaten is fake.

Wasabi is that spicy green stuff served alongside sushi. However, outside of Japan, most of the wasabi served in restaurants is just green-colored horseradish mixed with mustard, as real wasabi is incredibly expensive.

Are carbs bad for you?

While carbs one of the main targets of many diet fads, your body actually needs them to function. For health purposes, avoid refined carbs from junk food and pasta, but enjoy fiber dense whole grains, like brown rice and whole wheat products.

True or false: Avocado is a fruit.

Avocado is often used as a vegetable, but it is a botanical fruit. It is a nutrient-rich superfood, full of vitamins C and K and potassium.

Does coffee stunt the growth of young people?

While some people believe that you shouldn't give kids coffee because it stunts their growth, this belief has no scientific backup. While there are a lot of good reasons not to get a toddler hooked on caffeine, potential stunted growth is not one of them.

True or false: Eating oily fish is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Oily fish contain healthy omega-3 fats, which may prevent heart disease. This includes fish like salmon, mackerel, trout and herring.

Are fruits bad for you because they are high in sugar?

Just as there are healthy and unhealthy fats, which is what makes eating an avocado and a small fast-food burger different, even though they might have around the same calorie count, all sugars are not the same. People who eat fresh fruit every day actually have lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels than people who don't.

Will eating more smaller meals throughout the day boost your metabolism?

Many people on a weight loss journey have been given the advice to eat fewer smaller meals, rather than three normal sized ones. Unfortunately, this does not work and can even make people hungrier, leading them to eat more than they would have otherwise and backfiring.

Which sugar is better for you?

Many people believe that brown sugar is better for you than white sugar, but that is just not true. Both elevate blood sugar levels and can potentially lead to complications if not eaten in moderation.

Is it possible to get enough protein on a vegan or vegetarian diet?

While many people think that meat- or animal product-free diets are impossible to maintain and lacking in protein, it is actually simple to find plant-based protein sources. Mushrooms, beans, nuts, tofu, leafy greens, edamame and more all have a lot of protein to offer.

True or false: Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A.

One cup of cooked sweet potatoes suppliess more than the daily recommended amount of vitamin A. This superfood is brimming with other vitamins as well.

Is a raw food diet innately the healthiest diet?

People on raw diets eat plants uncooked, claiming that this has many health benefits because cooking food destroys the nutrients within the plants. While this is true of some foods, others are actually more nutrient rich or offer different benefits when cooked vs. when raw.

True or false: Microwave radiation makes food dangerous.

While many people are suspicious of microwaves, they actually just heat food and don't do anything to change its chemical compounds. However, make sure you only put microwave-safe dishes in the microwave.

True or false: People crave foods because they are deficient in the nutrients that they provide.

Human food cravings generally tend to be more about emotional needs. We crave food that comforts us or that we know we shouldn't have.

True or false: Pound cake got its name from its original recipe, which called for a pound certain ingredients.

This food fact is true. The original recipe for pound cake called for a pound each of eggs, sugar, butter and flour.

True or false: Gluten-free diets can treat autism.

Unless a person has celiac disease or gluten-intolerance, removing gluten from their diet will have no effect on them at all. There is no medical cure for autism, and trying to do so through diet and other non-medical means can be dangerous in some cases.

True or false: Dairy consumption has been linked to acne.

A study in 2005 examining the diets of over 40,000 women found a correlation between dairy product intake - especially milk - and breakouts. This is because most of our milk comes from pregnant cows, which is hormone rich and can cause our oil glands to get wonky.

Are fresh vegetables inherently better than canned or frozen?

Canned and frozen produce is just as nutritious as its fresh counterpart, but usually much cheaper. In fact, in some cases, canned veggies are actually higher in nutrients than the fresh ones.

True or false: Nutmeg can be hallucinogenic in large amounts.

When eaten in large amounts, nutmeg can have hallucinogenic properties. However, the side effects, which include stomach, heart and nerve problems, stop most people from trying that out.

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