'Healthy' Habits That Can Cause Harm

Healthy Habits That Can Cause Harm


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Intermittent Fasting dieting

Overdosing on Prevention

Having a healthy lifestyle seems like an easy goal to achieve — but not necessarily. There are some seemingly healthy habits that can actually do more harm than good. Others may have no advantage over tried-and-true methods, like time-restricted eating, a diet that researchers say is no better than regular old calorie counting. Here the not-so-great wellness tips you need to ditch, now. 

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Skipping Meals

Skipping Meals/Intermittent Fasting

Eschewing breakfast as a weight loss tactic may seem like a good idea, but it can lead to impaired glucose tolerance, often associated with type 2 diabetes, and may actually lead to more weight gain down the road. Intermittent fasting has also been found to damage pancreatic cells and increase abdominal fat. If you're trying to lose weight, a recent year-long study found that intermittent fasting is no better than counting calories in battling obesity, so consider working toward your goal the old-fashioned way instead of trying to cram an entire day's worth of eating into one narrow time window. 

Related: Don't Fall For These 12 Weight-Loss Gimmicks

Too Many Antibiotics

Too Many Antibiotics

When sick, there's often an urge to head to the doctor to demand medication. Unfortunately, over-prescribing antibiotics has led to antibiotic resistance, which means drugs are less effective than they used to be. Modern docs are aware of this disturbing development, so resist the urge to ask for an antibiotic if you don't need one. 

Related: Which Pharmacy Is Cheapest?

Too Much Hand Sanitizer

Heaping on Hand Sanitizer

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hand sanitizer is a viable choice when soap and water is unavailable, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the health and safety of ingredients in these products. There is also concern that using sanitizer too often can result in resistance to the nasty germs we're trying to combat. If possible, scrub well with soap and water instead. 

Related: 15 Simple Ways to Fend Off Colds and Flu

Overdoing Exercise
Drinking Too Much Water

Drinking Too Much H2O

Water is life, but it really is possible to overdo it. Overhydration can have serious consequences. Folks who do a lot of athletic training (such as marathon runners) are more at risk of hyponatremia, which occurs when levels of sodium in the blood drop so low people suffer seizures, coma, or even death. 

Beauty Rest
I Don’t Take Supplements

Taking Vitamins

Vitamins can help fill the gaps left behind with a not-so-perfect diet, but the jury is still out on whether or not they leads to improved overall health. Instead of investing in several individual vitamins, try an inexpensive multi instead. 

Meet Your Own Needs

Brushing After Every Meal

While experts recommend frequent tooth brushing, it has been found that after consuming acidic drinks or foods, you may be damaging your tooth enamel if you brush too soon. If you know you're going to drink or eat something acidic, brush your teeth first.

Too Much Soy

Too Much Soy

For those who are hoping to amp up their non-meat protein intake, soy is often perceived to be a good substitute. Some soy is good for you, but it should be moderated — studies of rats suggest that overdoing soy in your diet may have detrimental effects on the reproductive system.

Drop Gluten

Going Gluten Free

Those who have a medical need to avoid gluten (such as celiac disease) should avoid it — but the number of people cutting out gluten now extends far beyond that group. While some people think avoiding gluten will make them healthier, it can have opposite effect when pre-packaged, high-calorie subs are used, like gluten-free cookies and snacks.

Artificial Sweeteners

Using Chemicals Instead of Sugar

Reducing sugar intake is a healthy habit to start, but switching to diet soda or artificial sweeteners in other foods isn't the way to go. Studies have shown that sugar subs can lead to more weight gain instead of less. 

The Scale Doesn't Matter

Hardcore Dieting

Making a healthy change in eating habits is a good thing, but going on a hardcore crash diet is not. Crash diets can deplete your body of nutrients and lead to severe health problems. 

Single Serve Water Bottles

Buying Bottled Water in Plastic Containers

Tap water can contain contaminants that, although regulated, are still undesirable. Many turn to bottled water, but then have to contend with the environmental impact of plastic bottles. Not to mention that bottled water is less regulated than tap water and doesn't hold any guarantees that it will be safer or cleaner. Instead, put a filter on your home faucet or buy something like Path water that comes in a reusable aluminum bottle that's recyclable, too.

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