Worst “Healthy” Habits You Have from Worst “Healthy” Habits You Have

Worst “Healthy” Habits You Have

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Worst “Healthy” Habits You Have

Drink more water, avoid processed foods, cut sugar and sodium, exercise 30 minutes a day… Whether you like it or not, these are healthy habits you need to have. The benefits of certain other practices, however, are not as universally agreed upon. It may be hard to do, but you have to forget about what’s popular and trending and change certain lifestyle choices that may actually be harming you both physically and mentally.

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Drinking “diet” anything

In order for the taste to be the same, these products are loaded with artificial sweeteners. But these substances play tricks on the brain in a way worse than actual sugar. Aspartame, which has been approved by the FDA, can be dangerous. An Israeli study has shown it to increase insulin resistance and trigger fatty liver disease. Experiments on rats have shown that aspartame can cause the development of cancerous cells in different parts of the body. Diet sodas trick the brain by triggering its “awards” regions, causing metabolic derangements. That basically means that you end up eating more or changing your diet in an unhealthy way.

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Detoxing

Detoxing has been a popular diet over the last several years. The liver and kidneys naturally get rid of the toxins that enter our bodies though food or air every time you sweat or go to the bathroom. Science is not conclusive regarding whether detox is good for you. There is no definitive proof that such diets help the body eliminate toxins faster. You are, however, often starving, which is never a good idea. Your body needs about 2,000 calories a day to function properly. It must have its vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep you healthy. Anything less than that puts it in stress mode.

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Exercising three times a day

Working out too much is not a good problem to have. In a way, it can be just as bad for your body as not being active at all. Exercise addiction often starts with the remarkable feeling you have when you push yourself hard to get to the next level and see the results of your sweat. Combine that with friends who constantly tell you how fit and healthy you look, and you have a recipe for disaster. All of a sudden you wake up at 4 a.m. to do cardio training before work, weight lifting on your lunch break, and Zumba classes before you get home. You make yourself a very easy target for injuries; you give your muscles no time to recover, and they will punish you for it.

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Consuming lots of dairy

“Dairy products are highly acidic and they need to be avoided,” Dr. Daryl Gioffre, founder of Alkamind and celebrity nutritionist, says. Anytime something acidic is introduced into your body, it has a buffer system to help neutralize those acids. One of those primary buffers is fat, he adds.  “Your body would rather hold onto fat, encapsulating the acid or toxin, in order to protect the body from being harmed or damaged.” It is a self-protective mechanism designed to keep you healthy in the short run. In the long run, it makes you heavier and allows toxins to build up, Dr. Gioffre says. After 12 years of study, Harvard researchers noted a correlation between dairy consumption and increased hip fractures in women. Some research suggests that there could be a link between dairy intake and the risk of developing ovarian and prostate cancers.

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Skipping meals

The body basically runs on sugar. This is its fuel. If it doesn’t have it, all organs will be affected. Blood sugar levels will dive; fat is stored because the body goes into “starvation mode”; your metabolism slows down; stress and hunger hormones are released, setting you up for overeating; and you increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes because this type of eating causes frequent spikes in blood sugar and an exaggerated insulin response. Also, if you’re not eating, your skin doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to glow and make you look good.

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Eating “fat-free” foods

That fat-free food industry is worth billions of dollars, but studies show these kinds of foods don’t help. Researchers observed 50,000 women, half of whom were on a diet eating low- or non-fat foods. The participants did not have lower risk of cancer of heart disease and they didn’t lose extra pounds. Nutritionists recommend a balanced diet with enough healthy fats and complex carbs. Also, fat-free products sometimes have a lot of sugar because of unnatural substitutes, resulting in weight gain, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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Drinking fruit juices but don’t not eating the fruits

Fruits do have sugar, but it’s natural and it’s accompanied by vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. A fruit juice, one of the worst drinks for the body, doesn’t include fiber, which is key to feeling full. Other health benefits of fiber include lower risk for heart disease and better digestion. Fruit juices in stores are pasteurized, which means that all nutrition that is heat-sensitive gets destroyed and what remains is just lots of sugarCarly Pollack, certified clinical nutritionist, says. “The amount of sugar in just 8 ounces of apple juice is overwhelming,” she adds. In just about two seconds you’ve consumed 24 grams of the sweet stuff.

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Using anti-bacterial soap

This is one household item you should throw out immediately. “Antibacterial” only sounds like a good product, but it’s the triclosan component in the soap that causes problems. The Food and Drug Administration says that animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The ingredient kills all bacteria – both bad and good.

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Focusing too much on cardio

This is a mistake even the pros make. Cardio is only one part of the exercise picture. The metabolic lift from weight training is extremely important. Too much of any particular type of exercise in too short of time, especially without adequate prior strength and endurance, can always increase one’s risk of injury. Depending on why you’re going to the gym, says Maurice Williams, top personal trainer, fitness coach and owner of Move Well Fitness, doing cardio exercises for more than 20 minutes is not a good idea. If you want to build muscle, don’t do too much cardio, he says, because it tends to break down muscle tissue.

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Picking the wrong fish

Fish is recommended as part of a healthy diet, but this all depends on how it’s handled and prepared. Salmon is on every superfood list. But eating it more than four to five times a week will increase your blood mercury to toxic levels, Svetlana Kogan, MD, author of Diet Slave No More!, says. Generally, the larger the fish, the more mercury it contains. Shark, golden bass, and swordfish have high levels of mercury, which can cause severe damage to the nervous system. Canned fish are a problem because of the BPA chemical (bisphenol A) in the cans. There is also an increased risk of carcinogenic chemicals in farmed salmon. Studies have shown they are susceptible to certain carcinogenic chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which disturb the endocrine system. About 80 percent of salmon in the country is farmed.

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Overdoing it with the Q-tips

Many experts advise against putting Q-tips in your ears because you could damage or irritate the ultra-delicate skin of your ear canal. This can lead to sickness-causing bacteria or even the puncturing of the ear drum. Swab incidents are very common, according to research. The problem is that people tend to push more wax in than they pull out, leading to a plugging of the ear canal or earwax impaction. 

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Eating too many protein bars

Some protein bars are “glorified candies,” as Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, says. Most commercial bars, which are common office snacks that are wrecking your diet, have a lot of sugar. You are always much better off choosing products with real food. If the ingredient list of an item is too long and includes things like corn syrup, you should not be eating it.

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Only using machines at the gym

“I prefer exercises that teach people how to move better as opposed to targeting one muscle group at a time,” Chris Leib, a doctor of physical therapy at Movement Professional, says. Movements that require you to sit are not helpful, he adds, because you’ve been sitting all day. “You’re only applying the same pressure on your body” and the idea is to move around and as much as you can.

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Drinking vegetable-free smoothies

Drinking smoothies can be an easy way to quickly boost your health. But you have to make sure that it contains vegetables. “If they are just all fruit, then they are all just sugar,” Pollack says. “The worst drinks that people think are healthy are those Naked juices that you’ll find everywhere from a convenience store to an airport,” she adds. “If you look at the amount of sugar, it has the amount of sugar of over two candy bars.” Just one bottle has 53 grams of it.

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Cutting too many calories

Everyone at some point in their weight loss journey has made the mistake of cutting too much food from their regular diet. Getting in optimal shape is not about eating less; it’s about the quality of the food you consume. Eating too little may result in lost fat, but you will lose muscle first, which will lead to a much slower metabolism as the body literally thinks it’s starving. Many people cut carbs to drastic levels as a way to reduce the number of calories consumed. This can often do more harm than good.

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Eating gluten-free when you don’t have to

Gluten-free diets are still popular – a study even assembled a list of the top 10 cities in the world for gluten-free eating – but they are not safe for people who don’t need to strictly follow them due to having celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, because gluten-free products are often low in nutrients. “Studies show gluten-free diets can be deficient in fiber, iron, folate, niacin, thiamine, calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and zinc,” according to Scientific American.

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Consuming too many healthy fats

Healthy fats are your friend and you should not avoid them. However, “too many calories of any kind will be stored as fat,” Joey Gochnour, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer at Nutrition and Fitness Professional, says. Good or bad, the body burns as much as it needs for energy and the rest gets stuck in the belly, legs, and glutes (6 exercises for a strong behind). About 20 to 35 percent of the calories you eat every day should be from healthy fat, he adds.

Worst “Healthy” Habits You Have