With so much information being thrown at us every day, it can be tricky to work out what’s good for us and what could potentially be doing our bodies…and minds, harm.
Here are five common ‘healthy’ habits that could actually be doing you more harm than good!
Catching up on sleep
Had a couple of late nights? Think you can just make up for it by catching up on a few z’s over the weekend? Think again.
Recent studies suggest that even when you sleep an extra 10 hours to compensate for sleeping only 6 hours a night for up to two weeks, your reaction times and ability to focus is worse than if you had pulled an all-nighter.
Unfortunately, you can never really catch up on lost sleep, that’s why it’s important to get eight hours of sleep every night.
Gluten Free food
Gluten, the protein that is found in grains such as wheat, rye, spelt and barley, can be highly inflammatory for a lot of people.
However, going cold turkey on gluten doesn’t necessarily mean going healthy.
Just like fat-free foods, gluten-free foods can be loaded with added sugars to add more flavor, and it's no secret that refined sugars are anything but healthy!
Some hand sanitisers don’t have an alcohol content and use triclosan instead. Triclosan is an anti bacterial and anti fungal agent and is commonly used in a variety of soaps and cleaning agents – however it is also an active ingredient in pesticides, too!
Furthermore, it can also kill of the good bacteria on your hands and allow antibiotic-resistant bacteria to grow instead!
The odd vitamin here and there can be a welcome boost to our immune system, but relying on nutritional supplements can actually be bad for your health. Various studies have shown that high doses of vitamin supplements including iron, magnesium and vitamin B6 raise the death rate of older women, while taking vitamin E can increase men’s risk of prostate cancer. While certain people with vitamin deficiencies may be required to take extra supplements, for most people a better approach is to opt for a varied diet full of fruit and vegetables which will give you all the nutrients you need.
Avoiding high fat foods
Despite being told to avoid fatty foods, research is now showing that eating the right kinds of fats can actually boost your health.
So always opt for the full-fat version of dairy products.
It may be higher in calories than a ‘low-fat’ option but ‘low fat’ often in reality means high sugar accompanied by emulsifiers, chemicals and preservatives – all of which are bad news for our bodies!