It takes 7 years to digest gum.

One thing that’s probably sent you straight into panic-mode both as a kid and as an adult is accidentally swallowing your gum. It’s pretty widely-known that it takes seven years to digest it, but that fact just isn’t true. When it comes to your digestive system, gum doesn’t get any special treatment — it goes in and comes out the exact way (and speed!) other food do. And for more fun facts, here are 20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About Your Body. 

Eating carrots keeps your eyes healthy.

Everyone grows up thinking eating carrots help keep their eyes healthy, whether that’s improving your eyesight or just keeping your already-great vision strong. The funny thing is even though they’re super good for your body and contain eye-boosting vitamin A, Harvard Medical School says eating fresh fruits and dark leafy green veggies are even better, more beneficial choices when it comes to your eye health. Who knew? For more ways to seriously improve your health, check out these 50 Ways to Be a Higher-Energy Person Immediately.

Eating fat makes you fat.

Even though avocados, walnuts, olive oil, and other healthy fats are full of body-boosting benefits, there’s still this weird fear that eating fat is going to make you fat, even though it’s a total myth.

So many women still fear eating fat, stemming from the low-fat craze that captivated the public in the ‘80s and ‘90s. But we got it wrong,” says Michelle Cady, integrative nutrition health coach of “When you increase your healthy fat intake and lower your intake of refined, white carbohydrates, you’ll stay satiated longer, stabilize your blood sugar, and teach your body to burn off extra body fat, rather than rely on quick bursts of carbs, sugar, and glucose for energy.”

Chocolate is an aphrodisiac.

The idea that chocolate is an aphrodisiac has been around since the 80s, and that’s probably why box upon box fly off the shelves on February 14th. Unfortunately, all those heart-shaped boxes don’t have as strong of an impact after all. Studies haven’t been able to prove a solid link between chocolates and sexual arousal and satisfaction, but that doesn’t mean the placebo effect isn’t still going strong.

Since people believe chocolate can help them amp up their sex drive, they can sometimes make it happen simply by thinking it will. There might not be any science, but hey — whatever works, right? Even though chocolate may not be able to get you in the mood, here’s How Chocolate Will Boost Your Workout (Seriously).

The U.S. is not technically a democracy

American “democracy” has never been a democracy at all. John Adams argued that the best form of government was “mixed,” by which he meant elements of a monarchy (Executive), aristocracy (Senate), and democracy (House). And if that wasn’t complicated enough, most of the founders agreed that the federal Constitution established a “republic,” which for Adams was an “empire of laws, not men.”

The most obvious and consistent anti-democratic defect in U.S. society is the endless means used to restrict suffrage. Women, of course, did not secure the right to vote until 1920, though they comprised over half of the adult population. Before the Civil War, states created a hodgepodge of unfair voting regulations. In 1821, New York eliminated property requirements for white men, but retained them for free black men. Eight states passed laws disenfranchising the urban poor, and the new state of California prohibited slavery but established the practice of peonage on Native Americans that denied them political rights.

In the aftermath of Reconstruction, southern states used poll taxes to deny poor black and white men the vote. It was so effective that only 20% of the southern population participated in the presidential elections of 1920 and 1924. Poll taxes were not deemed unconstitutional until 1966. Finally, the Electoral College denies voters the right to directly elect the president, which the Supreme Court reconfirmed during the contested 2000 election. The winner-take-all proviso for awarding state electoral votes disfranchises minority party voters. The real leader in democratic reform is Australia, which made voting compulsory. This innovation has produced vastly higher turnouts and greater legitimacy for the victors.

Isenberg is the T. Harry Williams Professor of American History at Louisiana State University and author of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.

We should focus on poverty in our own countries before trying to help anyone else.

There is poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness in developed nations. No one is suggesting that these problems should be ignored. However, the fact remains that less than 1% of most developed nation’s budget goes to foreign aid whereas large portions of their budget address domestic health and infrastructure. The type of poverty in the developing world is objectively different from the type of poverty experienced in developing countries.

Developed nations spend a lot of their budgets on international aid.

How much do you think the United States spends in international aid every year? It’s probably less than you think . When asked how much of the national budget was spent on foreign aid the average American responded with 25%. The actual amount is less than 1%. Even the most generous nation in the world, Norway, gives less than 3% a year. When asked how much the United States should spend on foreign aid, the average response was 10%.