Are These Nutrition Rumors Real or Fake?

By: Marissa Donovan, R.D.  |  Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sometimes you read about a hot new food trend or a friend emails you saying that you have to try adding this to your morning coffee to solve all your ailments. But a lot of nutrition information floating around out there is either too good to be true or perpetuates nonsense about perfectly healthy foods. We took a harder look at some of the topics floating around the nutrition "rumor mill" and what the science said. See if some of these myths tricked you.


True or False: Ginger can ease an upset stomach

True: Science shows ginger reduces nausea and vomiting—likely due to its tummy-calming compounds, gingerols and shogaols. Try 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, two ginger chews, four 8-ounce mugs of ginger tea or 1 cup of (real) ginger ale.

True or False: You must drink 8 glasses of water a day

Not Quite: Most of us probably need more water, but there is no proof that eight glasses is the magic number. Hydration needs are pretty individual, so let your thirst and the shade of your urine (aim for light yellow) guide your drinking.

True or False: Bread promotes inflammation

True and False: Yes and no. Refined grains (think: white bread and pasta) are tied to inflammation. But whole grains contain B vitamins and fiber. These nutrients slow down digestion for more stable blood sugar, which decreases inflammation.

True or False: Garlic in your ear can cure an ear infection

False: There are no human studies showing garlic cures an ear infection. Two studies suggest that herbal mixtures containing garlic may reduce ear pain, but these studies faced scientific criticism.