Grandmothers everywhere have been giving us their advice regarding what is good to eat, what isn’t good, what is safe, what will stop stomach aches, headaches, and what will downright kill you.
Well, we don’t mean any disrespect, but grandma’s are not always right.
In the same way that your grandmother gave you her grandmother’s best biscuit recipe ever, (and we don’t doubt that it is excellent), but some well meaning advice also gets passed down from generation to generation with no questions asked. If grandma said it, it must be true, right?
This always reminds us of a story we once read where a woman was making her grandmother’s famous pot roast recipe. The recipe started off by saying that you needed to cut the end off of one side. The woman began to wonder why this was. Was it meant to make the piece more juicy? To allow the sauce to permeate the meat better? She calls her mother and asks why she should cut the end off the meat. Her mother doesn’t know, so the woman calls her grandmother to find out. “Oh, that,” her grandmother said, “it’s because I used MY grandmother’s roasting pan and it was very small, so we cut the end off of the roast so it would fit.”
We are going to debunk 10 of the most common old wives tales around so that you can stop cutting the end off of your roasts.
- Green or Sprouted Potatoes Kill
Well, while green potatoes or sprouted potatoes may not kill, they could make you sick. Your potatoes sprout because of the warmth of your home. Exposure to light will hurry the process along and cause the potatoes to make chlorophyll, which is why they look a little green. Now, chlorophyll and solanine can make you pretty sick, so if you see some leaves starting to form or if the potatoes are green, it is best not to eat them to be safe. However, small little “eyes” just starting out should be no problem. Just pop them off and cook as usual.
- An Apple a Day
Everyone knows this old saying. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? While apples are super nutritious, full of vitamin C and pectin, not to mention being a great source of fiber, we can’t go so far as to say that eating an apple each day will prevent things like diabetes, arthritis, or cancer.
- Eat Carrots and You Will Never Need Glasses
There is no denying that carrots are very good for our eyes, they won’t actually fix vision problems. Carrots are loaded with antioxidants, beta-carotene, and other good things that will help maintain a healthy eye, but true vision problems will need to be corrected with glasses or contacts.
- Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis
Every grandma on the planet has said this at one time or another! We know ours certainly did, but is this true? Despite the annoying sounds, studies have found that those who crack their knuckles, even on a regular basis for decades, found absolutely no difference between knuckle crackers and non-knuckle crackers when it came to arthritis. Take note, however, that this study did find that knuckle crackers had weaker grips later on.
- Don’t Go Swimming for 30 Minutes after Eating
This one is actually some darn good advice from grandma, so listen up! Autopsies on drowning subjects found that a full 80 percent of swimmers still had food in their stomachs. It’s believed that blood is diverted from the legs to the stomach for digestion, causing severe cramps for some persons. Just to be on the safe side, lie back and take a snooze after eating before you hit the pool.
- Reading in Low Light Damages the Eyes
While reading in poor light might give you a headache, it won’t cause long lasting damage to the eyes. To avoid eye strain and the headaches it causes, use a good reading light.
- Chicken Soup Cures a Cold
Grandma’s chicken soup, no matter how good it is, may not “cure” a cold, but it certainly will help the body’s immune system fight it off. Chicken soup reduces inflammation as well, so this is one piece of advice you can take to bed with you next time you catch a cold.
- Sweating Removes Toxins
Your body removes any waste or toxins via the kidneys and liver, not by sweating. We hate to break it to David Wolfe fans, but the detox craze is just that. A fad. There is no scientific evidence behind it whatsoever. Sweating is your body’s means of cooling itself, nothing more.
- Sugar Makes Kids Hyper
This is another age old myth that just refuses to die. There is absolutely no evidence that kids somehow get “hyped up” on sugar. None. Sorry, grandma, give the kids their suckers, they won’t go crazy, we promise.
- Don’t Sit Too Close to the TV
While this might have been true in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it certainly isn’t true today. Before 1968, televisions released some fairly high energy radiation that probably wasn’t so good for the eyes. Televisions made after 1970 are perfectly safe, however, so if your kid likes to sit close, it won’t hurt him. That being said, sitting too close to the TV can cause eye strain and headaches, so it’s better to watch it from a reasonable distance. If your child says he can’t see unless he sits close, it’s time to head to the eye doctor for a checkup.