I become a more INFORMED consumer after going through these QAs. Enjoy!

Do I need sunscreen with more than 30 SPF?  No!

Sunscreens with a SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 block about 97% of ultraviolet rays, while sunscreens with a SPF of higher than 30 block 97-98%.  It’s more important that you choose “broad-spectrum” sunscreen, meaning it protects against both UVB and UVA rays. Sunbathers also need to apply a generous amount of sunscreen in order to get the full benefit of the SPF.

Is MSG (in mostly Asian cuisines) likely to give you a headache?  No!

A review of 40 years of clinical trials, published in the journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2006, found that all previous research “failed to identify a consistent relationship between the consumption of MSG and the constellation of symptoms that comprise the syndrome,” including headaches and asthma attacks.  The misconception spawned from several poorly-done small studies in the 1960’s that seemed to connect MSG with a variety of maladies that people experienced after eating at the Chinese restaurants.

Do cough syrups work?  No!

In 2006, the nation’s chest physicians agreed that the majority of over-the-counter cough medicines don’t actually work.  These colorful syrups typically contain doses of codeine and dextromethorphan that are too small to be effective.  Only cough suppressants that contain older antihistamines seem to relieve coughs.  That includes brompheniramine, an active ingredient in Dimetapp.

Does olive oil prevent heart disease?  Yes!

The health benefits of olive oil come from the presence of polyphenols, antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancers.  But to get these healthy compounds, consumers should buy good-quality, fresh extra-virgin olive oil, which has the highest polyphenol content.  Most commercially available olive oils have low levels of polyphenols associated with poor harvesting methods, improper storage, and heavy processing.

Do nuts make you fat?  No!

As much as 75% of a nut is fat.  But eating nut doesn’t necessarily make you fat.  The bigger factor leading to weight gain is portion-size.  Luckily, nuts are loaded with healthy fats that keep you full.  They’re also a good source of protein and fiber.  One study even found that whole almonds have 20% less calories than previously thought because a lot of the fat is excreted from the body.

Do some of the answers surprise you?