Counting Sheep Doesn’t Actually Work, and Other Misconceptions About Sleep

A trick I’ve used to fall asleep is to pick a category, bands, birds, animals, sea creatures, flowers which is fairly broad and try to go through the alphabet thinking of an example from each one. I find that the reason that this works is that frequently worry and anxiety can keep us awake so giving the brain something to do is helpful.

The reason to avoid waking a sleep walker is that they have no idea where they are. They are in a different world.

It’s Okay to Cook Acidic Dishes in Cast Iron (and Other Cast Iron Myths, Debunked)

Despite the fact that humans have been cooking with cast iron for about 2000 years—cooks in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) used kettles and pans cast of iron—there still exists a ton of mystery around cookware made of the stuff. “Is my cast-iron skillet ruined if it’s rusty?” or “I heard you can’t use soap to clean a cast-iron skillet—is that true?” Don’t worry: We’re here to demystify cooking with cast-iron skillets, and to debunk any myths that surround caring for them.

Source: Six Stubborn Cast Iron Myths Debunked

Thirty minutes isn’t a long time to simmer tomato sauce though – depends on the tomato sauce. Some sauces — all’amatriciana, for instance — should not even be simmered that long. Well seasoned or not, you’ll still get some iron leaching into your food too, but that’s a good thing and the trade off makes it worth it. I choose not to cook acidic foods in my cast iron because I find I have to re-season it more often.

Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About Sleep

You’d think the human race would have sleep down to a science by now, but many of us are still sleeping poorly. Part of the problem is we have outdated information and beliefs about this all-important health need. Let’s set the facts straight. Here are 10 things you might have been told about sleep but aren’t completely true.

Source: Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About Sleep

on’t even try to sleep hungry. Yeah, it’s dark and we shouldn’t be eating, but a rumbling tummy is worse. A simple, small midnight snack is not going to destroy your diet nearly as much as starvation the following morning. Carbs + dairy is always a good bet.

Three Myths About Sparkling Water, Debunked

Americans spend $1.5 billion a year on sparkling water, but there are a few common myths about the bubbly beverage that don’t quite add up. Some say it’s bad for your bones, erodes your teeth, and that it might even dehydrate you. If you’re worried your favorite fizzy drink is actually unhealthy, here’s the mouth-tingling truth.

Source: Three Myths About Sparkling Water, Debunked

Keep in mind that citric acid naturally occurs in fruits, making it a “natural flavour”.

This Video Debunks 10 Misconceptions About Your Favorite Beverages

To be clear – tap water is more heavily regulated than bottled water, and the presenter makes sure to say that the actual water quality depends on location (obviously Flint and WV are outliers).

Cancer Myths About Antioxidant Supplements Need to Die

The essence of a healthy diet is a bit of a mystery. Everyone knows that a diet full of plant foods—fruits, vegetables, and nuts—is good for you, as it can lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other ailments. But scientists, being scientists, want to know the exact reason, and they have long eyed antioxidants. These chemicals, found in high amounts in some plants, quench harmful molecules that can run amok in cells, fatally damaging DNA and the cellular machinery.

As the hypothesis that antioxidants offer health benefits took root in the minds of consumers, however, it shriveled in labs. Mounds of studies, conducted over decades, have found no conclusive link between antioxidants and lower disease risks. And, this month, two studies add to evidence that antioxidants may actually increase the spread and severity of some cancers.

Source: Cancer myths about antioxidant supplements need to die

What I’m missing in this story is whether free radicals can actually promote the growth of cancer cells as healthy cells are damaged. Yes, I get that the downside is that antioxidants can protect growing cancer cells, but what about before cancer cells develop? In other words, can the antioxidant protection against free radicals help prevent the formation of cancer cells in the first place? Or is there no link?

I’d like to point out another medical truism: if men were mice, we’d have cured cancer a long time ago.

10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

Every other week, new research claims one food is better than another, or that some ingredient yields incredible new health benefits. Couple that with a few old wives’ tales passed down from your parents, and each time you fire up your stove or sit down to eat a healthy meal, it can be difficult separating food fact from fiction. We talked to a group of nutritionists and asked them to share the food myths they find most irritating and explain why people cling to them. Here’s what they said.

Source: 10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

Some of the myths have been covered on their own:

Don’t Blame the Beer Goggles – They Might be a Myth

The existence of “beer goggles”—the tendency to find fellow drinkers growing more attractive as you drink more—is in dispute. A study conducted in a naturalistic setting (that is, a pub), found that increased alcohol consumption did not boost attractiveness ratings.

Source: Don’t blame the beer goggles—they might be a myth

Alcohol does blurs your vision though, and combined with the general poor lighting in most pubs and the fact most people get dressed up when they go out, there is the scenario (not tested in this study) where someone can appear attractive that night, and not until the cold light of day the next morning when

  1. your vision has improved,
  2. it’s daylight
  3. they aren’t dressed up and dolled up anymore

…that you realise that they aren’t especially attractive. At that point, it is easier to claim ‘beer goggles’ than ‘I just wasn’t in a state or situation to properly assess their attractiveness’.

This is of course only relevant if your friends saw you.  If they didn’t, then your partner for the night was a supermodel regardless who will totally call you back unless she doesn’t and then that’s only because she got your number wrong in her phone and she’ll be totally devastated about it….

Top 10 Stubborn Exercise Myths That Just Won’t Die

“No pain, no gain!” “You’ll never bulk up without supplements.” “Crunches are the key to six-pack abs!” It seems there are more questions and half-truths in the market about healthy exercise than there are clear, definitive facts—but the exercise industry is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States alone, built partially on selling gadgets and DVDs with incredible claims to people desperate to lose weight or look attractive. Meanwhile, good workout plans and simple truths lurk in the background waiting for their time to shine. All of this results in a ton of misinformation about exercise in general, and while the reality is different for everyone, we’re taking some of those commonly held exercise myths to task, and we have science to back us up. Let’s get started.

Source: Top 10 Stubborn Exercise Myths That Just Won’t Die

The Myth of 1 g/lb: Optimal Protein Intake

Like most myths, the belief that you should take in 1g/lb of body weight has become so deeply entrenched in the fitness world that its validity is rarely questioned. Strangely, very few people think it’s a bit too accidental that the optimal amount of protein your body can assimilate in a day is exactly 1g/lb. 2.2g/kg doesn’t sound as right, does it? Of course, I know you read my articles for their scientific merit, so let’s look at the literature on the effects of daily protein intake to find out if 1g/lb really is the optimal amount of protein intake for maximum muscle gains.

Source: The Myth of 1 g/lb: Optimal Protein Intake for Bodybuilders

It’s like any “rule”.  To quote a famous movie: “They’re more like guidelines…”

Everyone is different, and as the article points out – we get better at dealing with protein so we need less as things progress.  I’m struggling to make 0.5 grams of protein for every lb currently in my diet, regularly.