Myths About Healthy Eating | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 30, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:40 AM, August 30, 2018

Myths About Healthy Eating

Growing up in a Bengali household we have all come across weird theories about food that our grandmothers and mothers told us. Starting from keeping ghosts away with garlic to predicting your exam results, Bengalis love to blame or credit their food habits for what happens in their life.



Myth: Drinking too much tea turns your skin complexion dark.

Bangladeshi moms and grandmas believe it wholeheartedly that drinking too much coffee will make your skin tone darker because of the amount of caffeine.

Reality: Skin color is caused by melanin. There is no way for coffee to darken the skin unless you were to use it as a dye, but even then the effects would be temporary.

Your skin tone determines the color of your complexion and personality and it can change due to various reasons. However, tea is not one of them. Drinks like coffee or other caffeinated drinks basically don't have any effect on your skin tone.

In fact, tea and coffee contain more antioxidants than found in fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are good for our health and can help prevent heart disease and cancer.



Myth: Having eggs before examination will make you fail your exam.

As much as this myth does not require an explanation as to why it is a myth and there is no truth to this, I will make an effort to analyse the reasoning.

The popular belief of Bengali mothers is as such that since the shape of an egg resembles the shape of the number “0”, having an egg before the exam will somehow result into you obtaining that same mark in your examination.

Reality: Eating an egg and obtaining “0” in your examination has no bling. An egg couldn't care less about what you scored in your exams. Eggs have better things to think about.



Myth: Having pineapple and milk together will kill you,

We have all heard this one. Whenever its pineapple season, our mothers and grandmothers get extra cautious to make sure we under no circumstance consume pineapple and milk together. We always listened to them and assumed there is some complicated scientific reasoning to this. however, there isn't one.

Reality: A study published in the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University journal's [Vol 10, No 1 (2017)] approached this bit of folk knowledge from a scientific perspective. Although the study was carried out on rats, it demonstrates that there is no toxic effect of mixing pineapple and milk together.

Moreover, Pineapple mixed with milk shouldn't be an issue since it happens to items such as pineapple healthy smoothie or even yogurt. Although it's a different ballgame altogether if you are lactose intolerant.


Myth: Eating conjoined bananas during pregnancy will result in your having twin babies.

Not only in Bangladesh but also in some parts of India and Philippines, the elderly believe that having a twin banana will result into your having a Siamese twin because a twin banana has mutated genes in it which will somehow cause a genetic modification to your future kids.

Reality: This is about as scientific as homeopathy. 



Myth: Consuming watermelon seeds will germinate and grow a watermelon inside you.

All of us has at least once been told not to consume the seeds of fruits especially, watermelon because the seed will go inside our stomach and grow a watermelon tree because our stomach is very plant friendly.

Reality: Sadly enough, watermelon seeds need to be planted in the dirt where they can get the nutrients they need to grow. Your stomach, full of its acidic digestive juices, is not a hospitable place for plants to grow.

However, watermelon - seeds are excellent sources of multivitamin B and can replace some of the supplements. Vitamin B present in watermelon seeds comprises of niacin, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. B vitamins are vital for maintaining healthy blood, nervous system, and effective immune response.


Myth: Having honey and curd before examination will make us score higher.

Bengali moms always run after us with honey, or curd mixed with sugar hours before an important exam. The popular belief is having something sweet before any important task increases the possibilities of our success.

Reality: Even though this has no scientific basis, for people with a sweet tooth, having honey for curd will give you a sense of joy. However, there is no direct evidence for that joy helping you score higher in your exams. That part is totally dependent on how well you are prepared for the exam.


Megha loves to talk about food. if you want to talk about food while treating her to good food, you can find her at 

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