Nutritionist reveals truth about food myths - including if carrots help you see in dark

By Sarah Lumley

An expert has revealed once and for all whether carrots truly help you see in the dark, if an apple a day actually keeps the doctor away - and if oysters make you frisky.

Nutritionist Lily Soutter also clarifies if it really takes seven years to digest chewing gum, whether you can swim after eating and if fish is good for the brain.

She confirms that while carrots contain lots of vitamin A - which helps maintain healthy vision - they don’t help you see any better in the dark.

Similarly, enjoying an apple a day won’t in itself reduce your chances of needing to visit a GP, and chewing gum doesn’t take seven years to leave your system.

And sadly eating celery doesn’t burn more calories than you gain from eating it, despite 23 percent believing it to be the case.

Turns out an apple a day will not keep the doctor away - and you'll still need to visit your GP (Erik Romanenko/Getty Images)

Neither chocolate nor oysters are aphrodisiacs – possibly to the disappointment of 18 percent and 19 percent respectively who wrongly believe they are.

Yogurt makers Onken teamed up with Lily after a poll it commissioned of 2,000 people found half are "confused" about food fact and fiction.

Lily said: “Many of us rely on what we remember from school when it comes to nutrition.

“But we’re learning new things all the time about what different foods do for our health, such as the benefit of fermented foods to our gut and immune system.

“While some of what’s passed down over generations is super advice, some of it isn’t.”

The study also found that swimming right after eating is wrongly believed by 34 percent of adults to be something you shouldn’t do.

In fact, it’s exercising to high intensity immediately after eating that’s best avoided, as it can give you a stitch.

Almost half believe fish is good for the brain – and they’re right, as long as they’re eating oily fish, because essential omega 3 fatty acids in oily fish contribute to normal brain function.

Eating bread crusts doesn’t make your hair curly, although one in ten think it does.

Other "fake news" wrongly believed by many of those polled include eating chicken soup helps if you have a cold (27 percent) and drinking fruit juice is as healthy as eating whole fruit (17 percent).

It also emerged four in 10 said their first point of call for information on eating well would be the internet and 15 percent would turn to their mum or dad.

However, it is true that fish is good for brain function - as long as it is an oily fish that is high in Omega 3 (Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images)

Others would rely on experts like a nutritionist (14 percent) or their GP (12 percent).

But it might be worth them asking such professionals how to pronounce notable health foods while they’re at it.

This is because 77 percent don’t know how to say acai (a-sai), 71 percent struggle to pronounce kombucha (kom-boo-cha) correctly, and 61 percent find saying miso (mee-so) to be a challenge.

Kefir (kuh-FEAR) is also somewhat of a tongue twister for 63 percent – while 44 percent of adults have never heard of it.

Laura Graham, from Onken, which has launched a Super Kefir yogurt containing live cultures and Vitamins B6 and B12, said: “When it comes to healthy eating, it doesn’t matter whether or not you can get your tongue round pronouncing these foods.”

Carried out through OnePoll, the research also found half of adults admit they don’t pay enough attention to what foods their body actually needs.

While 59 percent struggle when it comes to knowing what foods are good or bad for you.

Similarly, 49 percent aren’t sure what a balanced diet actually is - and as a result, may not being eating everything they need.

Furthermore, many of those polled don’t know which foods are a good source of protein (48 percent), of healthy fats (56 percent), or of complex carbohydrates (61 percent) - despite all being key to a healthy diet.

FOOD FACTS AND FICTION - according to Lily Soutter:

  • Carrots help you see in the dark - FICTION
  • Fish is good for the brain - FACT
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away - FICTION
  • Eating celery burns more calories than you gain from eating it - FICTION

  • Chocolate is an aphrodisiac - FICTION

  • Drinking fruit juice is as healthy as eating whole fruit - FICTION

  • It takes seven years to digest chewing gum - FICTION

  • Oysters are an aphrodisiac - FICTION

  • You shouldn't swim for an hour after eating - FICTION

  • Fruit should be eaten on an empty stomach - FICTION

  • Eating bread crusts makes your hair curly - FICTION

  • Eat chicken soup if you have a cold - FICTION

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