In spite of the world of health and medicine becoming an expansive field, there are some common health myths and therefore, the truth behind them is usually hidden. Being filled with pills, medical equipment suppliers, and uncounted doctors, nurses, and professionals in the medical business, whom go out of their way to save people’s lives, doctors are constantly making new discoveries about the human body. This has paved the way for conflicting opinions and contradictory information.
Let’s take a look at some of the prevailing myths in the medical world and the truths behind them.
1. Cracking your knuckles leads to arthritis.
After typing up part of your novel or moving around some heavy furniture, cracking your knuckles just feels great. It relieves the pressure and just plain sounds cool, but your mom told you time and time again that cracking your knuckles too much would eventually lead to arthritis.
But let’s take a step back at what cracking your knuckles actually does. Contrary to what your mom thinks, that cracking noise doesn’t come from popping your joints out of place or grinding your bones together. The sound actually comes from tiny gas bubbles popping in the fluid of the joints of your fingers, and as the results of a fifty-year study showed, cracking your knuckles won’t cause arthritis, so keep on cracking. Just remember that some people find the sound more annoying than others.
2. Hydrogen peroxide is the best product for disinfection.
Just about everyone has a bottle of hydrogen peroxide somewhere in the home. It’s your go-to product when you need to disinfect a wound, from paper cuts to skinned knees. The problem: it doesn’t actually work. Studies show that hydrogen peroxide has little to no effect in reducing the bacteria count and that it fails to clear up infections. In fact, the only thing it might do is flush out debris thanks to the pouring motion.
The better solution would be to wash the wound with water and use antibiotic creams and ointments, like Neosporin, to heal and protect them from potential infection. Remember, antibiotics only work on bacterial infections (versus viruses), and an infected wound is just that.
3. Red meat is bad for you.
Various studies show how the steak on your plate will raise your cholesterol and cause your heart and blood vessels to jump right out of your body. Others say that red meat is implicated in diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.
The big problem with these studies is that they don’t differentiate between processed and unprocessed meat. Seems insignificant, but a Harvard study shows just how important that difference is.
Frankly, red meat alone isn’t bad for you. Processed meats, which are designed to last longer than fresh meat from the butcher, contain various salts, additives, and preservatives to ensure that they’ll practically survive a nuclear fallout. Those additives are what actually can cause heart disease, cancer, and obesity. The main reason we’re more likely to reach for the processed hot dogs and bacon over a fresh T-bone has to do with price and preparation. Think about it. You could get two weeks worth of processed deli meats for a fraction of the price of fresh meat.
Red meat isn’t bad for you. Processed meat is. Try going the extra effort to pick out your favorite cut of meat from your local butcher. Your taste buds will thank you too. You don’t have to sacrifice great taste.
Just remember: health isn’t all that complicated. Stay active, eat whole foods, and take care of yourself. You’ll be just fine.