Not So Healthy Habits


It’s essential to be cautious about information regarding healthy habits, as not all practices that are advertised as healthy are truly beneficial in the long run. Here are some examples of habits that may seem healthy but pose some potential downsides to be aware of:

Excessive Juicing

Although juicing can be a fantastic way to make sure you are getting in daily fruits and vegetables, it isn’t necessarily the same as eating fruits and vegetables. Juicing extracts the liquid from the fruits and vegetables, leaving behind the fibrous pulp. Fiber is essential for digestive health as it aids in proper bowel movements and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Without fiber, the natural sugar content in fruits can be absorbed rapidly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels. This can be especially problematic for individuals living with diabetes or insulin resistance. Juicing may not provide a balanced intake of nutrients compared to consuming its whole-food counterpart. For example, fruits like apples are commonly juiced, but the peel contains valuable nutrients that are lost during the juicing process. This is not to say that juicing is inherently bad. When done in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, juicing can provide many benefits.

Overconsumption of Diet Drinks

Diet drinks, which are beverages containing artificial sweeteners as substitutes for sugar, have been a long-term topic of debate in terms of health. While they are marketed as low or no-calorie alternatives to your favorite drinks, some studies suggest that they may have a negative impact on health. Some research suggests that artificial sweeteners that are found in these drinks such as aspartame, may interfere with the body’s ability to regulate appetite and may lead to increased cravings for sweet and high-calorie foods. Thus, leading to weight gain rather than loss. Studies have also associated long-term consumption of diet sodas with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes, lowered metabolism, heart disease, and stroke. It is critical to note that these may not be solely due to diet drink consumption, as lifestyle and diet are also contributors. However, the risk is increased by the ingredients in diet beverages.

Drinking Excessive Amounts of Water

Being hydrated is vital to a healthy lifestyle. However, it is possible to overdo it. An excessive intake of water can lead to conditions such as hyponatremia which can cause life-threatening problems if left untreated. One problem that is a significant concern of severe cases of hyponatremia is the swelling of cells, brain cells, in particular. This may result in headaches, confusion, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and in severe cases, coma or death. The kidneys are also greatly impacted by overhydration. Our kidneys are responsible for maintaining the water-electrolyte balance in our bodies. Overhydrating puts excess stress on the kidneys and can lead to decreased kidney function over time. The risk varies from person to person. Generally, drinking around 2-3 liters a day is recommended for proper hydration. In most cases, listening to your body’s thirst signals is the best way to maintain a healthy balance.

Strictly Avoiding All Fats

While it is good to avoid certain fats such as trans and saturated fats, your body does need healthy fats for various bodily functions. Fats are a concentrated of energy. They serve as a long-term reserve allowing the body access to stored fat when other energy reserves are depleted. They also play a crucial role in the absorption of many fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are essential for supporting the immune system, bone health, and vision. Fats are also a vital component of cell membranes. They help maintain the integrity and fluidity of the membranes which allows them to function properly. There are plenty of other critical functions that rely on fats. However, not all fats are created equal. Healthy fats include:

  • Monounsaturated fats, are found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
  • Polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are mainly found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Intense and Excessive Exercise 

Regular exercise is vital for overall health, but overtraining and pushing your body beyond its limits can lead to undesired outcomes. One of the most common is spiked levels of the hormone, cortisol. This hormone is crucial for many functions such as glucose metabolism, stress response, blood pressure and blood sugar regulation, and sleep-wake cycle regulation. High levels of this stress hormone can also lead to a suppressed immune system, weight gain, impaired reproductive function in women, anxiety, and depression, and high blood pressure and blood sugar. Overexerting your body during exercise can increase these levels because it is a form of physical stress on your body. By regulating your workouts and limiting the number of high-intensity ones, you can easily maintain healthy cortisol levels.

Time to evaluate if you have some of these not-so-healthy habits.