There are some things we know are unhealthy, but we do them anyway, like drinking too much or doomscrolling before bedtime. But it turns out, some things that are considered “healthy” can actually have negative health consequences and even worse? They could actually shorten our lives. Doctors and nutrition experts weigh in on the downsides of these so-called healthy habits.
- Eating a low-fat diet - Registered dietitian Rachel Fine explains that fat is a key component of our body’s hormonal balance and that some high-fat foods that are high in Omega-3s are essential for brain and heart health.
- Overdoing it with exercise - Those HIIT sessions can be great for you, but working out too much can be bad, especially if you do it in an obsessive way. Excessive exercise has been linked to anxiety, disordered eating and body dysmorphia, according to Taryn Myers, Associate Professor of Psychology at Virginia Wesleyan University.
- Juicing all the time - A few green juices a week is one thing, but having them every day or doing frequent juice cleanses could do more harm than good. Registered dietitian Melanie Betz says she prefers people eat their fruit so they get the fiber as well as the vitamins and minerals, but if you’re into juicing, stick to an eight-ounce glass twice a week.
- Oil pulling - This is the practice of swishing oil around in your mouth for at least 15 minutes and according to Dr. Chris Airey, some unqualified wellness experts promote it as a miracle cure for everything from gingivitis to cancer. But he warns that it puts you at risk of contracting lipoid pneumonia, which happens when oils are aspirated into the lungs. It’s what makes vaping so dangerous and he says “oil droplets can find their way into your lungs and potentially cause major health concerns.
- Relying mainly on red meat for protein - Sure, it’s a good source of complete protein, but nutritionist Valentina Duong says eating a lot of red meat can raise the risk of colorectal cancer. She points to a review on red meat and colorectal cancer that finds high intakes of red and processed meats can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 20 to 30%. So consider adding fish and plant sources, like lentils, for protein.
Source: Eat This, Not That