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Image / Editorial

9 Habits You Think Are Healthy, But Aren’t

15th Apr 2014

You may think you’re taking the healthy option… but this list will change your mind!

Hand Sanitizer – Our mammies drilled into us that washing your hands before you eat and after you use the restroom is obligatory, but make sure you use soap instead of hand-sanitizer. Not only does the alcohol dry your skin out but it’s not as effective at protecting against the nasty bacteria that cause stomach bugs and the like.

Low-fat foods ? One of the world’s cruelest myths. Just because that packet of crisps is labeled ?low-fat? doesn’t mean it’s low-calorie. Research suggests that eating low-fat foods actually leads to people consuming between 25 and 44 percent more calories in the long run. To add insult to injury, low-fat foods usually contain more carbs and sugar than their full fat cousins. Stick to smaller versions of the full-fat versions instead- they usually taste better anyway!

Flavoured Water – Another cruel myth that makes you feel like you’re doing something healthy when you’re not. Swapping tap water for fancy bottled vitamin waters may sound good because anything with vitamins in it has to be good, right? Wrong. Along with that dose of vits you’re getting a ton of sugar. Some of the flavoured waters have as much as 36 grams of sugar in them. Per serving. Hello, secret calories. Go for sugar free versions or throw some lime into your tap water and you’ll get a vitamin C kick without the sugar!

Brushing Your Teeth After Meals – Brushing your teeth is good; over-brushing your teeth is bad. If you are in the habit of polishing those pearly whites after meals, you may be doing more damage than good. The acid from food makes the enamel soft, so brushing directly after you eat can speed up the acid erosion and remover a layer of enamel. Wait for half an hour at least.

Hitting the gym daily – Exercise is important, but overdoing it in the gym with a daily workout leaves your muscles struggling to recover between each session. Make sure to leave yourself a day or two of rest a week so you can work out to your heart’s content on the rest.

Fruit juice -?That pretty label promising “real squeezed fruit juice” packed with extra vitamins may sound super healthy, but juice is full of sugar and stripped of any nutrients. Usually the fiber from the fruits’ skin is removed, which means you’re left with mainly sugars. Then there’s usually some extra sugar thrown in – a typical serving of juice has around 30 grams of sugar. Obviously, fruit juice is better than a fizzy drink, but save your teeth and eat an apple instead. You’ll get the fibre and extra vitamins without the quickly absorbed sugar.

Light beer – Sorry, ladies but light beer doesn’t necessarily mean less calories? actually, it usually just means a lower alcohol content. So the difference in the calorie count may be evened out by the need to drink more to feel any effect. Switch to a healthier beer instead, and split up the six-pack between friends.

Granola bars – Sure, granola is made from healthy whole grains, so it can’t be that bad for you, right? Considering granola bars are usually quite small, they have pretty much got the same fat and sugar as a Snickers bar. They are incredibly calorically dense for the size of them. If they taste good then they probably aren’t good for you. Sure there are healthy sugar-free granola bars – but they taste like granola. Might as well eat the Snickers?

Chewable Vitamin Tablets – Taking vitamin tablets to supplement our diets and make up for any nutrients we aren’t receiving through our food can be beneficial – if you swallow them and don’t chew them. The scientific name for vitamin C is ascorbic acid, which gives you a hint as to what happens when you chew them. The acid in those tasty chewable tablets can erode your tooth enamel. They usually have added sugar in them, too, so the kiddies like them. Better ditch the chewy tablets and swallow them with a glass of H20!


Megan Daly (@__MissMeg__)

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