Food Facts and Fallacies

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Food Facts and Fallacies

Take the following true/false quiz to test your food knowledge:


1. It’s unsafe to refreeze meat after it’s been thawed.

2. MSG occurs naturally in food.

3. Most people suffer from food allergies.

4. You shouldn’t eat after 7 p.m.

5. Drinking ice-cold water burns calories.

6. Celery is a negative-calorie food.

7. Eating a high-cholesterol meal raises your cholesterol level.

8. Drinking red wine can give you a headache.

9. Cravings are your body’s way of telling you it needs something.

10. Heart disease in America is caused by eating saturated fat from animal products.

11. Vegetarianism is the healthiest way to eat.

12. Children should eat a low-fat diet to keep them from becoming obese.

13. Margarine is better than butter.

14. If you swallow chewing gum, your body is unable to digest it.

15. Eating candy gives you cavities.


1. FALSE. But if the meat has been thawed at room temperature on a countertop, parts of the meat rise above 5 degrees Celsius and allow bacteria that causes food poisoning to grow.

2. TRUE. Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid and is one of the most abundant and important components of proteins found in foods like cheese, milk, mushrooms, meat, fish and many vegetables.

3. FALSE. Nearly one-third of all adults believe they have food allergies, but true food allergies affect less than two percent of the population. What most people think of as allergies are actually intolerances.

4. FALSE. It’s not when you eat, but what you eat that counts. No matter when they’re eaten, calories have the same effect on the body. Staying up late can lead to extra snacking, which will increase your total caloric intake.

5. FALSE. The myth that’s spread is that the body has to work extra hard to warm the water up to body temperature, burning more calories. It just ain’t so.

6. FALSE. While it’s true that you burn calories digesting your food, the amount is just a small percentage of the calories you’ve eaten, so it won’t affect your weight.

7. FALSE. Most people’s blood-cholesterol level won’t budge after eating one high-cholesterol meal—it’s only when you eat high-cholesterol meals consistently that you affect your cholesterol level.

8. TRUE. Not all people get headaches from red wine, but those who are missing the enzymes that neutralize amines also found in sourdough bread and cheese will be reaching for the aspirin.

9. FALSE. “What you’re probably craving is the relaxation and pleasure you feel when you eat certain foods, like steak or fries,” says Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., of the University of Washington.

10. FALSE. According to the USDA, during the period of rapid increase in heart disease (1920-1960), American consumption of animal fats declined but consumption of hydrogenated and industrially processed vegetable fats increased dramatically.

11. FALSE. The annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian men is slightly more than that of non-vegetarian men (.93% vs .89%); the annual death rate of vegetarian women is significantly more than that of non-vegetarian women (.86% vs .54%)

12. FALSE. Children on low-fat diets suffer from growth problems, failure to thrive & learning disabilities.

13. FALSE. Margarine eaters have twice the rate of heart disease as butter eaters.

14. FALSE. Swallowing gum can give you stomach problems, such as cramping and bloating thanks to the use of sorbitol, but gum does not actually stick to your stomach or intestines.

15. FALSE. The real culprit is usually starchy foods, such as chips, pretzels, crackers and cookies, along with bananas, dried fruit and other fruits that are low in water. Unlike sugar, which saliva rapidly washes away, starchy foods hang out in the spaces between and on top of teeth for a long time.