Food Facts & Lore

5 Food Myths with a Twist

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is probably the most popular food related belief. There is some truth to it, but not exactly as we might envision. We’ll return to this one later. We believe you will certainly not mind as our first food myth pertains to red wine, and you’ll be pleased to know that it, too, carries some truth.

Red Wine – It is the only wine that provides real health benefits… and make it Merlot, s’il-vous-plaît.

A good Merlot does the body good indeed, but so does any white or rosé wine. Isn’t this good news? Your selection of dinner accompaniments has just increased exponentially, and you can rest assured that, in moderation of course, it will supply goodness in every sip. This is because it is the ethanol present in any wine that raises your good cholesterol and thus helps keep your heart healthy. As for red wine, it is still thought to be the richest in anti-oxidants. All the more reason to vary your selections and raise your glass to good health.

Midnight Snack – Eating at night will make you fat.

Common belief states that the added calories of a late-night meal cannot be processed properly, so your body ends up storing more fat. It’s a matter of logistics. Chances are, if you eat late at night you are actually adding calories beyond what your normal daily meals provide. It’s about your total daily intake, not about when you consumed your meal. However, eating late at night will disrupt your body’s ability to fully rest since digestion requires much energy from your body. Feeling tired the next day may cause you to snack more. You get the picture.

Celery Burns Calories – Celery burns more calories than you take in. Yeah, right!

This one applies to grapefruit as well. Just as it has been shown that orange juice does not actually cure the common cold (though it is truly good for you), we now know that celery and grapefruit do not supply any such thing as so-called “negative calories” that suck the fat outta ya. On the bright side, both are extremely low in calorie and high in beneficial nutrients, so they are an excellent choice when you get the munchies and do not want to cheat on your diet.

An Apple a Day – Here we go… there is likely not a soul in America who cannot finish this sentence: an apple a day ________________.

We’ll surely have to research this one further as there must be a reason the apple was singled out for such fame and honor among the great family of fruit and produce. It is true that a fruit-rich diet, not just apple-rich, does support a well-functioning body and immune system, but there is no evidence that anyone who consumes a daily as ever avoided the occasional consult with a family physician, or even the occasional health crisis. Interestingly though, in studies, subjects who did consume and apple a day ended up having to reduce their intake of prescription meds.

Chewing Gum – Don’t swallow it… It will stay inside you for seven years!

It has been so long since we have heard this one, but it certainly popped to mind in an instant when, as children, we’d suddenly stop in our tracks from playing tag with friends as we realized we had swallowed the Juicy Fruit! Bet this happened to you too. You just stand there wondering, “Wait, did I just swallow it or I spit it out and don’t remember? Oh my gosh!!” Despite what well-meaning adults told us, the body is perfectly equipped to process that piece of gum just as it does any other organic bite you offer to your stomach. The twist here is that the 7-year warning was merely intended to make a strong impression so that we’d remember to be mindful while chewing gum to prevent choking on it accidentally. But we never did choke on it… we just swallowed it. Or did we not?