21 Health Sayings/Quotes & The Facts Behind Them

The facts behind 19 common health sayings

Too many health sayings and quotes have passed through generations without being fact-checked. Let’s finally discover the science behind them. 

The general public is inundated with misinformation and disinformation about health topics. In fact, many people even believe that they know everything about their health because of all the information that is available on the internet. However, there are a number of inaccuracies that we may easily overlook. In this blog post, I will address 21 popular sayings and quotes related to health care to help you make informed decisions when it comes to your own health and well-being.

1.Health Saying – ‘Eating carrots will improve your vision’

Fact: Carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene, a provitamin A carotenoid which is essential for maintaining healthy eyesight and improving vision.

The body uses it to make pigments needed for proper light absorption in the retina and for focusing of images on the retinal nerve cells.

Vitamin A also protects against night blindness. So, it’s a good idea to consume carrots regularly. Notably,  eating too much carrots can cause skin discoloration or carotenemia.

However, you’d likely need to consume about about 10 carrots daily for a few weeks for that to happen (Health Essentials, 2019).

2.Health Saying – ‘Migraines and headaches are the same’

Fact: Although both can be very painful, migraines and headaches are not the same. There are different types of headaches and they usually cause pain on both sides of the head.

Tension headaches is the most frequent type and is usually triggered by stress and anxiety.

Typically, migraines affect one side of the your head (but can also affect both) and are accompanied by other symptoms including nausea, visual disturbance (flashing lights, seeing stars or lines).

Some migraines are preceded by an ‘aura’ which is a like a warning sensation before the pain actually starts. However, migraines and headaches can sometimes be difficult to distinguish.

A migraine is different from a headache
"Myths and creeds are heroic struggles to comprehend the truth in the world." - Ansel Adams.

3.Health Quote – ‘It’s best to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’

Fact: The saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day was coined by Adelle Davis. He believed in eating a good and hearty breakfast – the king’s meal.

Lunch which follows can be lighter as it’s regarded as ‘prince’s meal’. Dinner should be the least heavy of all – as a mere pauper’s meal.

This saying should be viewed as a guideline rather than a rule since it does provide certain benefits, especially if properly implemented.

Actually, many experts believe that there are numerous benefits to consuming more calories earlier in the day, particularly when it relates to your metabolism and weight.

Others argue that the total number of calories your consume during during the day matters more than when you consume them.

In general, you should consider the time of day that you are most active. And, definitely make sure the the meal prior to this will be able to provide you with enough energy.

Also, take into consideration that during your sleep time you will not be burning nearly as many calories.

Discover everything you need to know to make your breakfast as healthy as possible. 

4.Health Saying – ‘Eating spicy foods will help you to lose weight’

Fact: Pain and discomfort can be strong deterrents to overeating. As such, it can be said that the spicier your food is, the less you will eat.

Also, some spice will stimulate metabolism, but not so much that you could say it’s a miracle way to reduce weight.

It also has been proven that foods with capsaicin such as chili pepper does increase thermogenesis. This is where the body produces heat by converting food to energy.

This process requires calories in order to function, thus burning fat as a by product.  But remember, spicy foods do have their disadvantages too, such as causing or aggravating indigestion and heartburn.

5.Health Saying – ‘Eating late at night will cause weight gain’

Fact: The foods that you eat before bed will be more easily stored as fat in the body if they do not get used right away. As I mentioned earlier, when you are asleep, your body neither burns much calories nor uses it to build muscles.

Thus, make sure you consider the reason for that late night snack. And, if it’s just due to boredom or stress, as it often is, I’d say try to skip it – or at the very least opt for healthier, low-calorie options.

And of course avoid making late night snacking a regular practice unless otherwise advised.

6.Health Saying – ‘It’s better to eat before you’re hungry’

Fact: Many experts believe that it is better not to be hungry when you are about to take your meal in order to prevent yourself from overeating.

Also there has been some research that shows that smaller, more regular meals can boost your weight loss journey. 

However, eating at scheduled intervals only out of habit may cause overeating as well. On the other hand, allowing yourself to get extremely hungry could make your cravings worse.

It may also cause you to overindulge on whatever is readily available – which may likely include unhealthy foods. At the very least, have a meal plan/menu ahead of time.

Discovering the facts behind famous health sayings
"Myths are early science, the result of men's first trying to explain what they saw around them." - Edith Hamilton

7.Health Saying – ‘Skipping meals will help you lose weight’

Fact: Skipping meals is often not an effective way to lose weight and keep it off. For one,  skipping meals may slow down your metabolism.

It may even result in you having insufficient energy at some points during the day. Also, you may miss out on certain essential nutrients. 

The lack of nutrients from skipping too many meals can also cause a person to overeat later in the day.

However, there are times when skipping a meal may be beneficial, such as when you have eaten too much or needed to avoid eating specific types of food. Notably, skipping meals is not the same as time-restricted eating.

8.Health Saying – ‘Taking a lot of vitamin supplements will help keep you healthy’

Fact: Yes, vitamin supplements are essential nutrients that your body needs. However, excessive intake of vitamins can lead to toxicity in the body and symptoms like nausea, muscle weakness, headache, abdominal cramps etc.

It’s best to get your vitamins from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables.

Foods rich in vitamins are a great choice since they also contain fiber, which aids in digestion and helps you feel full longer.

As the name says, supplements are meant to ‘supplement’ not replace.

9.Health Saying – ‘If you eat eggs then your cholesterol levels will go through the roof’

Fact: Eggs contain a lot of nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are essential for your health and have been proven to have numerous health benefits.

Although eggs are high in cholesterol, they do not seem to have as much negative effect on overall cholesterol levels as other types of fats.

However, the exact amount of eggs that your should eat is still debatable. For healthy persons, 6-7 eggs weekly seemed to be a good limit.

Some research states that it’s okay to use more (up to 3 eggs daily), others argue that less is better (2-6 weekly).

However, if you are at risk for developing heart disease due to other conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, you may need to limit egg yolks even more as part of a low-cholesterol diet.

10.Health Saying – ‘Using microwave is bad for your health’

Fact: There is no evidence that microwave is dangerous for your health. Microwave is a quite safe way to to heat food when used properly.

Although it does use electromagnetic radiation, it is protected from leaving the oven.

As such, to be cautious and make sure your microwave isn’t broken and is unable to work if open. Also, be sure to use microwave-safe containers.

Are microwaves really safe?
"Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths." - Karl Popper

11.Health Saying – ‘Eating carbs will make you gain weight’

Fact: Carbohydrates ‘carbs’ are one of the main sources of energy for our body. Carbs are also an essential source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Therefore, eliminating carbs from your diet  is not a good idea since it will greatly affect your health and increase the risk of nutritional deficiency diseases .

Also note that there are different types of carbs with different types of macronutrients. Eating more than your recommended daily caloric intake will make you gain weight no matter what type of foods it is.

12.Health Saying – ‘Eating fats will make you fat’ 

Fact: Fats are necessary for growth and development. It’s not about eating too many fats, but the type and quantity of fats in your diet.

For instance, there are good fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in foods such as fatty fish, seeds and avocados which are essential for healthy living.

13.Health Saying – ‘Acne is caused by eating chocolate or oily foods’

Fact: Acne is caused due to excessive secretion of sebum by the sebaceous glands, clogged hair follicles and an increase of bacteria under the skin.

Some studies have concluded that chocolate or oily food may aggravate it, but they won’t cause acne.

Others argue that oily foods, among other factors including sweets and dairy, may increase the risk of developing acne. However, don’t let this be an excuse for consuming too much chocolate and oily foods.

14.Health Quote – ‘Health is Wealth’

Fact: The notion that we should focus on our overall well-being rather than materialistic things is as old as time itself. Although the possession of material things might make you happy temporarily, it doesn’t guarantee longevity and good health.

However, being healthy does give one a lot of benefits of increased productivity, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, make you life expectancy  which can translate to increased wealth in the long run.

Health sayings are everywhere. It's important to separate the facts from the myths
"Perhaps the greatest myth being purveyed is that myths are just myths." - Michael Tsarion

15.Health Quote – ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’

Fact: This is a popular saying that does have it’s merits. Apples can help with heart health, boost your immune system and have even been proven to protect against cancer. 

Doctors recommend at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, so be sure to consume other fruits as well.

16.Health Saying – ‘Reduce your intake of red meat in order to live longer’

Fact: Red meat is full of saturated fats and cholesterol which can lead to heart diseases that can reduce your life expectancy. If you do eat red meat, limit it to twice or thrice a week.

17. Health Saying – ‘Chewing gum will help you lose weight’

Fact: Some studies have shown that chewing gum can promote weight loss by reducing sugar cravings. It can also boost your metabolism, which will help your body burn fat quicker.

However, other research has highlighted that chewing gum can actually increase appetite for some people. This may be due to the fact that chewing gum increases saliva production, which can lead to increased hunger and thirst levels.

So yes, while chewing gum may have some very marginal health effects, it’s best not to rely on it as a weight loss aid.

18.Health Quote – ‘You are what you eat’

Fact: This saying holds true for most of our health issues. Our diet is the foundation of our health and it has been proven that your diet is one of the most important factors in determining our quality of life and life expectancy.

As such, continuous/excessive consumption of unhealthy foods will likely affect your health in one way or another.

Determine what health sayings are factual and the ones that are not.
"I believe legends and myths are largely made of truth." - J.R.R. Tolkien

Discover other ways to take care of your physical health.

19.Health Saying – ‘A glass of red wine a day is good for your health’

Fact: Not necessarily! Drinking a lot of red wine on a regular basis can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and liver problems, so be sure not drink too much.

However, red wine does contain antioxidants which can help protect against heart disease and cognitive disease.

Discover other ways to improve your intellectual health. 

2o.Health Saying – ‘Drinking cranberry juice will cure a UTI’

Fact: While it’s true that cranberry juice can act as an antiseptic, there is conflicting evidence as to whether or not drinking it will actually cure or prevent an UTI.

Some research argue a marginal benefit and others none at all – or at least not to the extent that they’d like to believe.

Notedly, the acidity of cranberry may irritate your stomach and the oxalates may actually make kidney stones worse.

21.Health Saying – ‘Taking vitamin C supplements will prevent a cold’

Fact: Vitamin C has not been proved to prevent a common cold. Some studies have shown that taking Vitamin C does seem to decrease the severity and duration of a common cold – however not as much as expected.

Additionally, the amount of vitamin C needed for this beneficial effect, can easily be provided from your diet.

But, vitamin C may be more helpful in some populations more than others, particularly those exposed to significant physical stress (Bucher & White, 2016).

Additionally, vitamin C does have several other health benefits that cannot be ignored.

Health saying: Vitamin C will prevent a cold
"Every fact is a myth until proven to be otherwise." - Sapan Saxena

Final Words on the facts behind common health sayings and quotes

There are so many health sayings, quotes and myths out there that it’s hard to distinguish what is true from what isn’t.

As such, it’s important to be informed about your essential health topics. Plus, with increasing analysis and research, medical information evolves.

Thus, staying aligned with the expert, updated information can help keep myths, misinformation, and confusion at bay.

So, what do you think? Do any of these health sayings or quotes resonate with you or your family? Have I missed out on any common misconceptions that need to be debunked?

Let me know in the comments below. Also, what’s your favorite health quote?

Use this link to check the expert answers to some frequent asked health questions

Related topics:

How do I determine if health information is accurate?

The importance to questioning   and  verifying the health information that we come across everyday can’t be understated. Always consider the source of the information, possible biases, the date of publication and evidence when you read an article.

Why do some medical studies have conflicting findings?

As we know, medical research is vital in the improvement and development of new treatments for diseases or different problems. But often there will be many findings that come out after each study has been done.

This might cause us to doubt them because of their differences. However, it may simply be due to various factors such as the difference in population size and characteristics of the participants, the method and researcher used and even human error. 

References:

Bucher, A., & White, N. (2016). Vitamin C in the Prevention and Treatment of the Common Cold. American journal of lifestyle medicine10(3), 181–183.

Drayer, L., (2019) Does chewing gum help you lose weight?

Health Essentials (2019) Can Eating Too Many Carrots Turn Your Skin Orange

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