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Seemingly Harmless Habits That Are Destroying Your Health

Ms. Ayesha Nasir

3 min read

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Nothing can be more frustrating than following all the golden rules of health and failing to achieve the desired results. After quitting unhealthy habits, adopting a healthy diet, and pledging to go to the gym regularly, you may think that your lifestyle is healthy. However, a closer inspection of your ‘healthy habits’ might surprise you. While some of these seemingly healthy habits are outright unhealthy, some can do more harm than good if you go overboard with them. Here are some not so healthy habits that harm your health and you should consider quitting:

1- Alternative Sweeteners:

While it’s a no-brainier that sugar consumption is bad for your health, a lot of people don’t realize that some natural sweeteners are just as bad. Maple syrup, nectar, and agave are high in calories. For instance, a teaspoon of agave contains more calories than sugar. Studies have shown that fructose levels in nectar, agave, and other natural sweeteners are not any better than sugar.

2- Quitting Dairy:

Dairy has been demonized in recent times. The logic presented is that there is no need to consume milk past infancy. This is backed by the evidence that 65 percent of people are lactose intolerant. However, humans have evolved genetically to adapt to dairy. Dairy is actually an important part of diet. Milk is one of the best sources of calcium which is vital for healthy bones and teeth. Moreover, dairy products contain vital nutrients such as conjugated linoleic acid and whey protein. Research has shown that dairy can help keep blood pressure in check and reduce the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. So, do not quit dairy unless you are lactose intolerant.

3- Mega-dosing on Supplements:

Taking 10 to 20 times the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and E, and zinc and selenium was said to fight fatigue, prevent muscle damage, and boost performance. However, by consuming too much of a certain vitamin or supplement you could be putting your body at a risk. Even though it is practically impossible to consume a high enough dose of most vitamins to cause dangerous side effects, you could experience problems such as bloating, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and irritability. Consult your doctor before taking mega-doses of vitamins and supplements, and do not go beyond the 100 percent RDA dose unless told otherwise.

4- Reducing Carb Intake:

Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not detrimental to your health. While you should avoid processed carbohydrates such as white sugar and white flour, you shouldn’t stop consuming whole grains unless you are gluten-intolerant. Whole grains are a good source of fiber which is good for your digestive system. You can consume whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and faro without any guilt. Just keep the serving size small.

5- Eating before bedtime

One of the worst habits that harm your health is going to bed on a full stomach. This isn’t about your waistline—eating too close to hitting the sack can give you a bad case of acid reflux and disrupt your slumber. According to doctors there are many things that can trigger GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms.

One of these things is lying down to bed with a full stomach. She recommends you avoid eating within three to four hours of bedtime. One Japanese study showed that a shorter dinner-to-bed time was associated with an increased risk of GERD. You can also raise the head of the bed or prop yourself up with pillows if you’re prone to reflux at bedtime.

6- Not washing your face before bed or after a workout

One national survey found that up to 80 percent of Americans make at least one common mistake when washing their face, including skipping cleansing altogether. According to dermatologists, washing your face before bed is so important because you literally are washing the ‘day’ off your skin, including makeup, dirt, debris, and pollution.

Washing your face after a workout is important because you sweat, you often touch your face with your hands after you have touched equipment, and your skin is often overheated after a workout. This can make you more prone to breakouts, rashes, and skin irritation in general, she warns.

7- Eating out a lot

A new study shows that another way to avoid toxic chemicals—this time in food packaging and processing materials—is to avoid eating out. Studies have found that those who eat fast food more frequently have higher levels of phthalates, which are linked to hormone disruption, reproductive issues, reduced sperm count in males, and lower IQ in children.

Packaging materials such as fast food wrappers and pizza boxes, food processing equipment, and latex gloves used by food workers can all add to the addition of phthalates exposure through food. Oily foods and those with a high-fat content can also increase the absorption of these chemicals. Preparing meals at home with fresh, whole foods is your best option.

Apart from eliminating the above mentioned habits that harm your health, you can consult a nutritionist to find out which foods to include in your diet. You can find and book an appointment with top Nutritionist in Lahore, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Ayesha Nasir - Author Ms. Ayesha Nasir is a Dietitian practicing in Lahore. Ms. Ayesha Nasir has the following degrees: M.Phil Food and Nutrition, B.S Home Economics and has 5 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Ms. Ayesha Nasir by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button. Ms. Ayesha believes that a healthy diet is more than half of what constitutes good physical health. She thus tries to make the public aware about some basic healthy diet principles. You can look at some of her advice through these links:How Water-Wise Is Your Diet?,Less than 10 Percent of Kids in Pakistan Have Balanced Diet.
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