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When it comes to your health, lots of people give well-meaning advice. But you deserve to get answers from the experts. At Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group, our primary care physicians know how to get you back to better. We offer same or next-day appointments and make it easy for you to schedule your next visit online. Flip the cards below to unmask the whole truth behind these common pieces of ill advice, and sign up to receive our monthly Health-eNotes for more ways you can take control of your health.

Ill advice #70

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Unmask the Truth

While apples are packed with fiber to prevent cholesterol build-up, antioxidants and phytonutrients to protect against free radicals, and a good range of vitamins and minerals, there is no scientific evidence that apples are a cure-all. In fact, when considering all lifestyle and genetic factors that come into play, your health is much more complex, and therefore, a single dietary addition might not make much of a difference. That’s why it’s important to have a primary care physician, a medical professional who specializes in, well, you. Consider establishing a relationship with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician—you can schedule an appointment online.

Ill advice #37

Drink lemon juice to lower your blood pressure.

Unmask the Truth

Sorry to sour your day, but there is no scientific evidence that lemons lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Lemon juice affects neither the systolic nor diastolic blood pressure. In fact, this citrus fruit can negatively interact with certain medications, potentially worsening the condition. A better way to manage blood pressure is to establish a relationship with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician, who can provide you with the resources you need to keep your heart in tip-top shape.

Ill advice #46

Eating raw garlic prevents the flu.

Unmask the Truth

Garlic offers many health benefits, such as its anti-inflammatory effect and its antibacterial properties. However, neither of these contributes to the prevention of the flu. The best way to protect yourself, your family, and our community from this seasonal virus is to receive the flu vaccine every year. Schedule a wellness visit with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to get the resources you need stay flu-free.

Ill advice #12

Wear a coat in winter to prevent a cold.

Unmask the Truth

While there is evidence that warmer body temperatures can prevent the internal spread of viruses, keeping warm doesn’t prevent you from catching viruses in the first place. The increase in the occurrence of cold viruses during winter can be attributed to people staying indoors in close proximity to others or the lower humidity levels, which can dry nasal passages and allow viruses to enter your body. Schedule a wellness visit with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to get this year’s flu vaccination and additional resources to stay healthy.

Ill advice #82

Eating honey prevents seasonal allergies.

Unmask the Truth

Many people believe consuming honey helps with seasonal allergies because it contains the pollen that causes the sniffling and sneezing, decreasing your sensitivity to the allergen over time. However, bees usually find their pollen from colorful blossoms rather than the leading causes of hay fever: grasses, weeds, and trees. So, while honey hasn’t been scientifically proven to reduce allergies, it can be a tasty alternative to sugar, and some people use it as a cough suppressant. However, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, look into immunotherapy. Visit a primary care physician at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group to get sweet relief.

Ill advice #93

Drinking ginger ale cures stomach ailments.

Unmask the Truth

Ginger has been used to alleviate nausea for thousands of years, but most ginger ales contain very little, if any, real ginger. Regarding the carbonation, the bubbles can create a calming effect in your system—unless you have bloating and gas. And while ginger ale can help you hydrate, its sugar content often offsets any of its potential benefits. Rather than rely on a beverage to ease your gastrointestinal ailments, visit a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to get to the bottom of the issue.

Ill advice #55

Grapefruit for breakfast makes you lose weight.

Unmask the Truth

Contrary to what you may have heard, grapefruit does not burn fat. While grapefruit is low in calories and has a water content that may leave you feeling fuller, healthy weight loss involves maintaining a nutrient-dense, low-calorie diet and proper physical activity. Grapefruit can be a great addition to your diet, but keep in mind that it can interfere with how your body metabolizes certain medications, including those for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, a cough, and heartburn. Visit a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to discuss a personalized nutrition and weight-loss plan based on your needs.

Ill advice #25

Marshmallows cure sore throats.

Unmask the Truth

Sap from marshmallow plants—yes, there is a marshmallow plant—has been used for hundreds of years to soothe sore throats. However, there is no scientific evidence that its properties actually help. Furthermore, the marshmallows we roast around campfires nowadays rarely contain any marshmallow sap. Some people do claim that the gelatin in marshmallows provides an alleviating throat coating, but there are better ways to treat sore throats. Make an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to get the relief you need.

Ill advice #61

Feed a cold, starve a fever.

Unmask the Truth

Beginning back in the 1500s, many believed if the body was using its energy to digest foods, it wouldn’t have enough to fend off fevers. They also believed that decreases in body temperature caused colds, which they thought eating could fix. In actuality, your body needs energy from nutritious foods to recover from both fevers and colds. It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Schedule a same-day or next-day appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician for a better treatment plan next time you have a cold or fever.