Things People Think Are Healthy, but Actually Aren’t at All

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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?

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

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

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

Orange juice… So much damn sugar 🙁 -wihakayda

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

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


I’m sure someone already said this, but Hand Sanitizer. So bad for you!
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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.
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Rare effects included coma, seizure, hypoglycemia, metabolic acidosis, and respiratory depression.
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-ObviousNegotation
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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

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. 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

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

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

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

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 (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.
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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.)
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-cowgod42
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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


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.
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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.
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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.
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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:
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MuIMqhT8DM&t=2s
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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.
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Using Q-tips! -chainstate099 They’re too small and can damage your eardrums.

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


The idea that something is healthy just because it has vegetables in it. My MIL is a prime offender.
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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
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No they’re f***ing not, Debbie.
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-duffman13jws
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VitaminWater
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There was even a court case where they hilariously asserted “No reasonable consumer would be misled into thinking the drink was healthy.”
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And yet I still get people telling me they gave up soda for it and that’s completely changed their lifestyle.
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-AntiVectorTV
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Organic and non-GMO . While they’re aren’t unhealthy, they are not healthier than the non-organic and GMO counterparts. -Nourjan

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

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

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

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


Declawing cats. It’s literally amputation at the first knuckle. Painful as fuck.
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Healthy alternatives: regular trimming and scratching posts.
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-I0I0I0I
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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

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

Really large amount of time spent on reddit. -oofyExtraBoofy