7 Habits People Think Are Healthy, Which Are Actually Bad For You


Someone on Reddit asked “What are some habits people think are healthy but are actually bad?” These are some of the best answers.

1. Hiring a nutritionist. The title “nutritionist” doesn’t actually mean anything. Anyone can peddle whatever crazy crash diet or pills they want and call themselves a nutritionist. If you want real science-backed medical advice, make an appointment with a dietician, whose credentials are subject to specific standards.

2. Using instant hand sanitizers. Biology has developed systems for a reason. Bacteria is a part of this system. When you sanitize constantly, you destroy helpful bacteria that balances your immune system (or that fights off bad bacteria).

3. Choosing ‘fat free’ items when grocery shopping. The reason foods have fat in them to begin with isn’t just random. Fat adds flavor to food. So, when food companies take fat out, they have to add flavor in another way and end up dumping a ton of sugar into your product. Not only does this mean the product might have more calories, it means it won’t fill you up as quickly as it’s full fat counterpart, and will cause you to crave more of it.

4. Brushing your teeth immediately after you eat (or after puking). You actually end up brushing acid into your teeth. The health benefit is achieved if you wait 30-60 minutes and then brush.

5. Cleanses and “detoxing.” Notice that none of the “cleanses” or “detoxes” you buy tell you exactly what you are cleansing or detoxing from besides the ethereal boogeyman of “toxins.” Our bodies are experts at detoxing themselves. Your liver and kidneys exist for this purpose. Breathing is detoxing your body, pooping is detoxing — you don’t need to pay for a product to do this for you.

6. Assuming labels like ‘vegan’ or ‘gluten-free’ or ‘salad’ = healthy. Whether a food is good for you boils down to how many calories it is compared to your calorie needs and what vitamins it delivers to your body. Just because a food has a healthy-seeming label doesn’t mean it’s actually healthy. French fries are vegan!

7. Drinking Vitamin Water and Gatorade. They have electrolytes, so they can be helpful if you’ve just sweated a ton in a workout or are sick but they also have a ton of calories and sugar, depending on the beverage. Those calories add up just like any other calories.