For many people, it’s their habits that define who they are. From going for a jog in the morning to keeping your kitchen spotless, you build habits that you think can help improve your life in some way or the other. While most people think they have sound reasoning behind their habits, the fact is that some common habits are just not as useful as you think. Here are 7 habits that you think are useful but are actually not.
1. Going On A Detox Diet
Just searching for the term ‘detox diet’ on the internet brings up hundreds of articles on how eating the right foods can help your body get rid of toxins. Diet charts found online usually recommend foods that are high in antioxidants. While healthy food is essential for your physical health, your body is perfectly capable of filtering and getting rid of toxins without the support of specific diets. Almost all detoxification in your body is done by your liver and your kidney. If both are functioning fine, you don’t really need a detox diet.
2. Using Alcohol-Free Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
The good news is that anti-bacterial hand gel does help you get rid of several different types of bacteria and germs. But that applies to gels that contain 60% or more alcohol. Any lower and the gel is not as effective in removing microorganisms from your hands. Such gels have no effect on microbes like cryptosporidia, a parasite that can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal illness, and norovirus, a virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Also, hand sanitizers cannot remove or inactivate many types of harmful chemicals. The best way to keep your hands clean is by using soap and water.
3. Avoiding Monosodium Glutamate
There has been a lot of negative publicity around the use of monosodium glutamate (MSG). This has resulted in people trying to avoid any foods with MSG. However, the MSG scare might actually be a myth. When the FDA received reports of symptoms such as headache and nausea after eating foods containing MSG, they asked the independent scientific group Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) to examine the safety of MSG in the 1990s. The report stated the MSG may cause headache, numbness, flushing, tingling, palpitations, and drowsiness in sensitive people only when they consume 3 grams or more of MSG without food. A typical serving of a food with added MSG contains less than 0.5 grams of MSG. So, you don’t really have to worry about the MSG in your food.
4. Consuming Only Low-Fat Products
When you start a diet, one of the first things you think of excluding are fats. When it comes to maintaining your health, it’s all about balancing your food intake. Fats are just as important for your body as proteins and carbohydrates. Eliminating them completely is not a healthy practice. Several food brands are using the “low-fat” tag to make you buy more of their products. And more often than not, reduction of fat is compensated by higher sugar content. If you really want to move to a healthier lifestyle, focus on making your meals more balanced and wholesome rather than shopping for low-fat products.
5. Taking Multivitamins
Contrary to claims made by various multivitamin brands, taking vitamin supplements and bio additives does not reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Neither does taking supplements improve your memory and ability to work. When 3 trials of multivitamin supplements and 24 trials of single or paired vitamins that randomly assigned more than 400,000 participants were reviewed, it was concluded that there was no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements on mortality, cardiovascular disease, or cancer. In fact, it was found that taking β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements can have harmful effects
6. Consuming Organic Products
You may see several products in the supermarket labeled as organic or with similar sounding words like “eco“ or ”bio”. Unfortunately, in many countries, it’s not legally required to mark organic food products with any kind of certification. Even in the United States, a “certified organic” product could be a mix of organic and conventional ingredients and still be labeled as organic. Corporations are using the ambiguity over certifications to market products that are not really organic to people who are specifically looking for organic products. So you might as well buy regular fruits and vegetables.
7. Refusing To Use Microwaves
If you believe that heating your food using a microwave destroys nutrients because it’s not a natural process, you need to think again. Heating food using a stove or an oven also has a similar effect and substituting one for the other is not going to save more nutrients. A microwave is actually a faster and safer option since not all office buildings can be equipped with stoves. Interestingly, when food scientists tested different types of cooking methods, they found that microwave cooking preserves more nutrients than boiling.