The biggest food myths & food misconceptions
How food myths and misconceptions can affect us
A hearty hello from Bottrop! My name is Annette Rinkewitz and I have been working as an administrative assistant at Naturheilzentrum Bottrop (‘nabo’ for short) for more than 10 years. I do everything I can – both in front of and behind the scenes – to make a stay as pleasant as possible for our patients, and to support the team and/or all the employees in the procedures at the practice.
I have felt a connection to naturopathy for a long time. I always find it exciting to see what natural and sustainable alternatives complementary medicine offers. At the same time, I constantly come across new knowledge via my work, which I can also use for my own health in my everyday life. I’ve recently been dealing with food myths and food misconceptions a lot, and I’d like to share my impressions and conclusions of them with you.
Food myths are known to us all
I think every one of us has come across food myths before. Who, for example, hasn’t heard that salted pretzel sticks and cola are a proven remedy for diarrhea? We hear it so often that we stop questioning it. That’s precisely what is so perfidious about food myths.
But would you have known that cola is actually a really bad idea if you have a case of diarrhea? It’s especially inappropriate for children as cola contains a lot of sugar and caffeine. The sugar encourages an already high level of water loss in the case of diarrhea, while caffeine can increase potassium loss. You can also read this on the Onmeda website: https://www.onmeda.de/magen_darm/durchfall_irrtuemer.html
For a long time, I myself was firmly convinced that a platitude must somehow be true if it is repeated frequently enough. But the more I have dealt with them, the more often I have discovered that there is no scientific proof for many food myths.
Food misconceptions are sometimes completely wrong
Another fine example of a food misconception concerns the consumption of alcohol after a meal. If you go out to eat, liquor is often offered afterwards. In the case of ouzo or herbal liqueur, we are told that they’ll aid digestion. And actually you somehow feel better afterwards, right? But from a scientific point of view, alcohol is evidently not helpful for digestion. On the contrary, it can even slow it down. This is the result of a Swiss study: https://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c6731
Another thing that I also hear over and over again is that coffee drains water from the body. At first glance, this seems plausible; after all, coffee leads to the fact that you have to go to the toilet more often. But this does not have to affect the balance of fluids in the body. It can still remain positive after consuming coffee if you drink enough water during the day. That, at least, is the verdict of an expert from the German Society for Nutrition: https://www.welt.de/gesundheit/article160309913/Entzieht-Kaffee-dem-Koerper-wirklich-Wasser.html
Don’t fall for food myths
Food misconceptions of this kind are more widespread than we often believe. I therefore think it is important to keep our ears open and to keep questioning things. This not only applies to food myths and health myths, but actually to everything – and not just health issues.
The new video by my bosses, Farid Zitoun and Christian Rüger picks up on these very things and uses very tangible examples to explain to you what food myths and other misconceptions there are. You’ll therefore be able to take something directly from this and apply it to your everyday life. If in doubt, I’d advise that you consult an expert, rather than simply believe things just because you have seen or heard them somewhere. This expert could be a doctor, an ecotrophologist or even a naturopath. You are also welcome to visit us at the practice at any time with all your questions and concerns.
Have you ever seen through any food myths yourselves? What might you yourselves have believed for a long time? Und how did you react when you learned that they weren’t really true? I look forward to reading your stories in the comments section.