Things People Think Are Healthy, but Actually Aren't at All | 22 Words

It seems like living a relatively healthy life should be fairly straightforward: listen to doctors, exercise, eat well. But it turns out that the world is full of misinformation about what is actually good for you. There are tons of things people think are healthy that turn out to be awful. So how's a person supposed to make good choices when we don't even know what the good choices are?

Reddit knows the answer, and it is (of course) crowdsourcing. One Redditor started a thread of things that people think are healthy, but actually aren't, and you'll be amazed at what's included. You've probably been doing at least one of these things thinking it's great for you. If you haven't been, then you're basically going to live forever.

If you have? Well, it's probably time to do some reading and learn about those common misconceptions. Are you ready to have your mind blown?

This is one "diet" that refuses to die and makes no sense.

from AskReddit
Gluten free diet. Let me tell you, eating gluten free isn't healthier, not the gluten free cookies, or the gluten free pasta, or the gluten free bread. It's not. It's more processed than normal food, and normally it has more fat and stuff that are not good for your body. So unless you have gluten intolerance or have the celiac disease, DO NOT do a gluten free diet. -danglvn

Don't use a douche. It's a bad idea.

from AskReddit
Douching their vaginas. Those things clean themselves and douching can cause an infection. -citronellaspray

Sometimes the wisdom of the ages is just old men shouting at clouds.

from AskReddit
No Pain, No Gain. This is completely wrong and can cause to serious injuries. -YoyoPewdiepie

Please do not drink that OJ.

from AskReddit
Orange juice... So much damn sugar :( -wihakayda

Just because it's fake doesn't mean it's better.

from AskReddit
Artificial sweeteners. What many people don't realize is those sweeteners, aspartame especially, will inhibit the stomach's "feeling full" signals, meaning you'll eat more than if you never imbibed them. -barryc100588

"includes fruit" does not equal "healthy".

from AskReddit
Smoothies. They're packed with sugar and fat but people think it's good for "cutting". Then they wonder why they can't see their abs 😂 -retr0sp3k

There are better ways to clean your hands than sanitizer.

from AskReddit

I'm sure someone already said this, but Hand Sanitizer. So bad for you!

The most common type of adverse health effects for both alcohol- and non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers were ocular irritation, vomiting, conjunctivitis, oral irritation, cough, and abdominal pain.

Rare effects included coma, seizure, hypoglycemia, metabolic acidosis, and respiratory depression.


Oil is oil: it's still fat.

from AskReddit
Coconut oil. It’s literally saturated fat. It’s nutritionally as good for us as butter, but people are convinced that it’s a superfood that can be used for many different applications, including spreading it on your face as a moisturizer. Absolutely ridiculous. -soynugget95

Your body can only process so many vitamins. After that it's useless.

from AskReddit
Multivitamins. Specifically super doses of vitamins. Unless you have a lack of vitamins or are prescribed them by a doctor you usually get all of your vitamins from food. -jerrythecactus

Diet soda MIGHT be better than normal soda, but it's still not good.

from AskReddit
Diet soda. I've had a buddy who drank diet soda everyday saying "man you should drink this, its better than regular soda for your body by soo much." -nighttop_yt

Salads are healthy right? Not so much.

from AskReddit
The salads at fast food restaurants, your better off getting the burger instead(or just...avoid fast food all together). -theawsomeakame

Eat when you're hungry, not some arbitrary amount.

from AskReddit
People think it is healthy to tell your children to “Finish your plate" or “join the clean plate club" or “you will only get dessert If you finish your chicken." This teaches kids to ignore the feeling of “being full." This can lead them to stress eat later on in life. -noodlegodess

Again, be careful about how you eat salads. They can really add up.

from AskReddit
In the same vein, salads, especially pre-made ones. By the time you pile on cheese, dressing, croutons, and other fixings on a perfectly good mix of lettuce, spinach, agrula, radishes, cucumbers, and what have you, you might as well have bought a single patty cheeseburger. If you want a healthy salad, stick with a variety of leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, and some other vegetables (if you're going for a whole meal), maybe some tree-nuts, non-deli ham or poultry, or eggs for protein, and if you use dressing, stick with Italian, plant-based oils, or vinegar/red wine vinegar (yuck). -FionMacCumhaill

This one might be controversial, but punishment doesn't seem to help people with addictions.

from AskReddit
The war on drugs. "If we punish people who are suffering, stigmatize their addiction, and use punitive action then they will get sober and be healthy". -_sad_b1tch_

Waking up early for no reason is just going to make you unhappy.

from AskReddit

Waking up early (if you are not a morning person). Your body needs 7-9 hours of sleep. There is no known health problem caused by too much sleep.

Getting more sleep is one easiest and most impactful things you can do to improve your health. Scientists are starting to realize that it is more important for health than diet and exercise combined. (Although diet and exercise are still important.)


Oh, but that one got a little bit of pushback.

from AskReddit
I agarre [sic] with " sleep (good quality rest) is one keystone for health" but sleeping more than 7-8 hours is not. First of all, you are putting your body in a hard spot without water or food for more than 8 hrs, second and most importantly, you're missing to much time. You have other things to do; responsibilities, time for people close to you and most important time for yourself. So sleeping half of the day is not healthy at all. -originalsomethin

Lucky for us the first commenter had some sources and they whipped those out immediately.

from AskReddit

Science has shown that people need 7-9 hours of sleep, and that this depends on the person. Some only need 7, some need as many as 9, but everybody seems to need at least 7. If you are already getting enough high-quality sleep, at he same time every night, then your body will wake up once you have had enough sleep; that is, you won't oversleep.

If someone is sleeping more than 9 hours, it is likely because they were very sleep deprived from not enough sleep, or from poor sleep quality (e.g., sleeping with too much light, noise, alcohol, caffeine, etc. to get sufficiently deep sleep). It could also be the sign of another medical issue. That is to say, "too much sleep" is a symptom, not a cause, of health issues. Sleep is not simply "one keystone of health"; it is the bedrock that all other health issues rest on.

Sleep also massively improves social interactions, work productivity, etc., so there is no need to worry about missing out on social interactions, or getting behind on responsibilities by sleeping. Sleep enhances all of these, and missing even an hour of sleep can cost you many hours in terms of productivity.

Believe me, this was all news to me as well. I never used to take sleep seriously. If you want to learn more, check out Matthew Walker's TED talk:

or even better, read his book, "Why We Sleep". For me, and many other people, learning about the modern science of sleep has been life-changing.


Did you know that you shouldn't use q-tips in your ears?

from AskReddit
Using Q-tips! -chainstate099 They're too small and can damage your eardrums.

A classic old wive's tale.

from AskReddit
Pee on a jellyfish burn, it's useless and only make the toxin go faster into your body. -ThunderTRP

"Vegetable" does not cancel out every other issue with food.

from AskReddit

The idea that something is healthy just because it has vegetables in it. My MIL is a prime offender.

Cole slaw is good for you. Fried brussels sprouts are good for you. Spinach dip is good for you. Greens cooked with heavy cream and pancetta are good for you

No they're f***ing not, Debbie.


VitaminWater is just pop with better braanding.

from AskReddit


There was even a court case where they hilariously asserted "No reasonable consumer would be misled into thinking the drink was healthy."

And yet I still get people telling me they gave up soda for it and that's completely changed their lifestyle.


You may have other reasons not to eat GMO or non-organic food, but it's the same food.

from AskReddit
Organic and non-GMO . While they're aren't unhealthy, they are not healthier than the non-organic and GMO counterparts. -Nourjan

That granola bar is just dessert.

from AskReddit
Granola bars are just expensive cookies with good PR. -non_legitur

Speaking of dessert...

from AskReddit
I was a manager of a Jamba Juice for a year or so and people used to come in bc they got it was healthy but the most commonly ordered smoothie by This crowd “Apples and Greens" the small size has 44g of sugar. Most of the smoothies are packed in sugar. -purellhandsanatizer

Also you don't need to cleanse anything, that's what your liver is for.

from AskReddit
The stupid cleanses...your body naturally gets rid of toxins and stuff. You just need to drink water. -Ragnarlordofthedanes

Oh, but you could give your liver a break and lay off the drinking.

from AskReddit
If you need to clean anything it's your liver. Give it 6 weeks without alcohol or drugs it'll thank you for it. -quotemycode

Not all unhealthy things have to be for humans.

from AskReddit

Declawing cats. It's literally amputation at the first knuckle. Painful as fuck.

Healthy alternatives: regular trimming and scratching posts.


Did you know that very old science isn't good? Who knew?

from AskReddit
The food Pyramid that was popularized by the USDA is a terrible idea. A lot of people today have realized this, but many older folks still see it is the 'bible' of good eating. -goodnt-guy

Your hair has health needs too!

from AskReddit
Washing your hair every single day. I still feel weird when I bathe without shampooing the shit out of my hair, but the fact is that my hair is a lot healthier now that I wash it every other day. -rtozur

And then there's this joker...

from AskReddit
Really large amount of time spent on reddit. -oofyExtraBoofy