Not-so-healthy habits | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Many of us have “healthy habits” we picked up from friends or the media; others we acquired on our own.


Erin Brodwin, writing for the science section of the online Business Insider, says, “No matter how much we hate them (healthy habits), we just keep doing them because we think they’re good for us.”


But Brodwin says studies indicate we may be better off dropping some of these “healthy habits.”


You can, for instance, do without toilet seat liners that are now sold in many stores. Says Brodwin, “Viruses like HIV (the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS) and herpes are fragile… they don’t survive very well outside of a nice, warm human body.”


Even if a toilet seat was used by someone else recently, she says by the time you sit down on it, most harmful microbes would be gone. She adds that the skin is an effective block against any harmful organisms, unless you have a cut or open wound, which could allow the bacteria to get in.


For majority of people, she says, “Gluten probably won’t have a negative effect…” Brodwin says studies show that most people “suffer from slight bloating and gas when they eat, whether they consume wheat or not.”


Substituting dairy with almond milk may also not be a good idea. Brodwin says, “Almond milk is practically devoid of nutrients.” While whole almonds pack a lot of protein, she says, “A typical glass of almond milk, by volume, is just about two percent almonds and contains almost no protein.” A better alternative to dairy is soy, skim, or low-fat milk.


Brodwin is also not so enthusiastic about juicing. “When you juice fresh fruits and veggies, you remove all of their fiber, the key ingredient that keeps you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.” Juicing, she says, retains primarily the sugar in the fruits and/or vegetables.


While a little extra vitamin C can boost an underperforming immune system, taking too much of the supplement will make you sick says Brodwin. The upper limit for an adult is 2,000 milligrams a day. More than that will likely cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headaches and other side effects.


Similarly, research has shown that taking multivitamins is not all that helpful. You can get more than enough of the essential nutrients you need, like vitamins A, C and E, from what you eat.


Many people have avoided eggs, particularly the yolk, for fear of raising their cholesterol levels. Latest research shows that for most people, dietary cholesterol (from foods you eat) does not really have much effect on blood cholesterol.


Washing your hands regularly throughout the day makes hand sanitizer “almost entirely unnecessary,” Brodwin says. She adds that the chemical cannot kill all the germs that plain old soap and water can, and some microbes are even immune to sanitizing gels.


More on “healthy habits” next week.


Taxi driver’s ID


Requiring taxi drivers to display identification cards is a good idea. But they should be told to put them where passengers can easily read the information they contain.


Many drivers insert their IDs between the windshield and the dashboard, giving passengers only a glimpse of a laminated rectangular piece that may or may not be an ID. Isn’t the purpose of requiring IDs to make it easier for passengers to get the vital information they need, should there be a problem afterward?


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