Everybody has something to say about health. And then science proves them either right or wrong. But until then, how do you know if what you're eating or doing is good for you? This book titled "Your Health: What Works, What Doesn't" published by Reader's Digest in June 2010 aims to address the most common health questions people have.
Here are some of the questions we found and the answers and explanations that came with it.
1. Is red wine better for you than white wine?
Red wine contains a higher amount of resveratrol than white wine. Resveratrol is an antioxident found in the skin of grapes that fights off diseases associated with aging.
2. Is it safe to microwave food in plastic containers?
Only if the plastic container displays the words "microwave safe". This means it's been tested by authorities to make sure no chemicals were used to make the plastic seep into food during the microwaving process. But even if chemicles do leak into food, the amounts are tiny and not hazardous to our health.
But generally, plastic bags, and tubs that hold margarine, yogurt, cheese and the like are not microwave-safe.
3. Does coffee cause cancer?
In the 1980s, a study linked coffee to pancreatic cancer. That report was later debunked. But recently health studies have favored coffee - it's been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, liver cancer, and suicide.
4. Is drinking fruit juice as good for you as eating fruit?
Whole fruit provides more nutritional benefits than drinking the pure juice of the fruit - because when you juice a fruit you're stripping away the peel and dumping the pulp where ingredients like fiber, calcium, vitamin C and other antioxidants get discarded.
5. Does MSG (ie. Ajinomoto) give you a headache?
Plenty of research had been done, and a review of 40 years of clinical trials "failed to identify a consistent relationship between the consumption of MSG and the constellation of symptoms that comprise the syndrome," which include headaches and asthma attacks.
6. Does sugar cause hyperactivity?
A 1996 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that sugar "does not affect the behavior or cognitive performance of children."
The argument here is that the events where these foods like candy, cookies and other junk food is what fuels kids' excitement. Or the very fact that they know it's a treat.
7. Do sugary soft drinks lead to diabetes?
A huge 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who drank one or more sugary drinks a day had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 83% compared to those who consumed less than one of these beverages in a month.
8. Are all-wheat breads better than white bread?
Not all wheat breads are good. Those that contain all parts of the grain kernal, including the nutrient-rich germ and fiber-dense bran must be labeled "whole grain" or "whole wheat" - because according to Reader's Digest, some wheat breads are just white bread with some caramel coloring to make the bread appear healthier.
9. Do eggs increase cholesterol levels?
Egg yolks are a major cholesterol source, but researchers say that saturated fat has more of an impact on cholesterol in your blood than eating foods containing cholesterol.
"Healthy individuals with normal blood cholesterol levels should now feel free to enjoy foods like eggs in their diet every day," the lead researcher from a 25-year University of Arizona study on cholesterol concluded.
10. Can watching TV ruin your eyesight?
This outdated myth came about because before the 1950s, TVs emitted radiation that could increase a person's risk of eye problems after excessive TV viewing. Fortunately for you, modern TVs have special shilds that block these harmful emissions.
11. Is walking as effective as running?
Studies show that the time you take to exercise is more important than how hard you exercise. Running may be an efficient form of exercise, but it doesn't mean it's better for you.
In a 6-year study published in the journal of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology in April found that walking at a moderate pace and running produced similar health benefits, as long as the same amount of energy was expended.
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