5 "Good" Health Habits That Are Actually Harming Your Body
Nutritionist Keri Gans weighs in on the worst health habits you might think are good.
With so many health resources, including social media sites like TikTok and Instagram, you might think you know everything you need to know about being healthy. However, it isn't unusual for people to think they are making good health choices, when they are actually hurting their bodies instead. Best Life asked Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, and author of The Small Change Diet, to reveal 5 health habits you might think are "good," but could actually be harming your body.
Sugar is not creating equal, explains Gans. "There is a big difference between added sugar in the diet and naturally occurring sugar," she says. While added sugar found in overly processed foods, such as cookies, cake, candy, and soda, should "definitely" be limited, "naturally occurring sugar found in fresh fruit has nutritional benefits and should be a daily part of your diet," she says.
If you are only focusing on your diet, you are making a big mistake, says Gans. "Food is definitely an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, but there are other factors that need attention as well," she explains. "A wellness plan should include getting adequate sleep, limiting stress, and staying active."
Don't limit yourself with 2-week or 30-day diets. "A diet shouldn't have an expiration date, nor should it even have a special date to start," Gans points out. "A healthy diet is an ongoing lifelong process with perhaps some interruptions along the way. It is not something you officially go off of."
Listening to every influencer you see on TikTok is a big mistake, says Gans. "TikTok is filled with influencers telling you the latest fad to try. Many of these influencers have absolutely no nutrition background, especially with the knowledge of scientific studies," she says. If you are looking for nutrition information, seek out the expertise of a registered dietitian nutritionist who uses science as their basis for recommendations.
Cutting carbs out of your diet is a no-no. "Carbs are not the enemy and we need to stop treating them as such," says Gans. "In fact, they are your body's preferred source of energy, especially your brain." Instead, pick carbs that are higher in fiber, such as whole wheat bread, barley, quinoa, and legumes. "The more you avoid carbs, the more you are simply going to want them," she points out.