Tuesday, January 1, 2019

10 Things to Avoid If You Want to Stay Healthy

     We hear so many confusing reports about activities, foods, supplements and other things that are supposed to be good for us ... or maybe the latest research says they are actually bad for us.

     So to clear my own mind, and start the year out right, I did a little research, and can now give a rundown of 10 things that we should avoid if we want to stay healthy. In my next post I will offer information on 10 things that are good for us.

     But a caveat: Everyone is different and many people have their own issues. For example, everyone knows salt is bad for you. But I remember my dad had low blood pressure, and his doctor told him to use extra salt on his food. He was a special case. So if your doctor has you on a particular regimen, ignore this general information and pay attention to your doctor.

     1. Analgesics. Everyone knows the dangers of opioids. But even such everyday painkillers as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen carry risks to our health. So we take them, because we have headaches and backaches. But be careful. Side effects include constipation, drowsiness and upset stomach. Acetaminophen can harm the liver, especially if mixed with alcohol. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen increase risk of stomach bleeding, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Even aspirin, according to the Mayo Clinic, poses risks along with its well-known health benefits.

     2. Bottled water. I used to drink bottled water, thinking it was healthier than tap water, and certainly better for me than soda. Then I found out that bottled water contains microscopic pieces of plastic. One analysis, reported in The Guardian, surveyed 259 bottles from 11 different brands and found an average of 325 plastic particles for every liter of water. Of course, if plastic is in bottled water, it must be in bottled soda and iced tea as well, don't you think?

     3. Staying up late. According to a study from Northwestern University, people who are night owls are at risk to develop health problems, including diabetes and neurological disorders. But it seems the crux of the issue is sleep deprivation, which affects not just your physical well-being, but cognitive performance as well. But don't be complacent if you sleep a lot. Sleeping too much is associated with the same health risks as sleeping too little. So how much is the right amount? Anywhere between 7 - 9 hours seems about right.

    4. The internet. There are so many bad things about the internet you might wonder why anyone uses it at all. According to a wrap-up by Reader's Digest it can make you lose sleep, hurt your self-esteem, restrict your social life, cause obesity, send you into debt.  Other sources cite addiction, alienation, depression, cognitive impairment ... and pretty much every other ill known to mankind. Also, the jury's still out on whether the low-frequency radiation emitted from your smartphone can cause cancer.

     5. Vitamins. Vitamins are controversial, and there are arguments on both sides. But the fact is, most of us get more than enough of the vitamins we need through our daily diet -- and besides, taking a vitamin pill does not produce the same effects as getting vitamins from food. In addition, consuming too much of some vitamins, such as beta carotene, vitamins E and A, can be harmful to your health. Better advice for most people: Skip the multivitamin and eat your fruits and vegetables.

     6. Grilled food. Cooking meat over high heat such as grilling or broiling produces harmful chemicals. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends that people avoid eating burned or charred foods frequently, as epidemiological studies suggest a link between consuming lots of overcooked fried and grilled meats with certain types of cancer. In addition, a recent Harvard report says eating well-done or grilled beef, chicken or fish may raise the risk of developing high blood pressure.

     7. Disinfectants. The problem, according to Health Care Without Harm, is that some household cleaners contain materials that are classified as toxic waste, and they can cause cancer, respiratory ailments, eye and skin irritation and other adverse effects. Plus, using antibacterial agents can enhance the ability of bacteria to resist antibiotics. Disinfectants have also been linked to obesity in children, by altering the bacteria in their gut. So do as B says: let them eat a little dirt.

     8. Gluten free. Michael Greger, MD, says it all on Nutrifacts: "The reason health professionals don't want to see people on gluten-free diets unless absolutely necessary is that, for the 98 percent of people who don't have gluten issues, whole grains -- including wheat, barley and rye -- are health promoting, linked to reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes ad other chronic diseases."

     9. Skim milk. According to the research, such as a study from Scandinavia reported in Time, skim milk does not help you lose weight. The study tracked the dairy consumption and obesity rates of more than 1500 middle-age and older adults. Those who ate butter and drank whole milk actually had lower obesity rates than those who avoided dairy fat. Furthermore, many of the nutrients in milk are contained in the fat, and so skimming the milk strips it of many of its healthy properties.

     10. Pets. There's one family I know that ... well, I just don't get it. They make you take off your shoes when you enter their house. But they have two dogs and they let them lick and slobber all over their little kids. Really!?! Now we know that pregnant women should not empty the kitty litter to avoid getting taxoplasmosis But you shouldn't let your dog "kiss" you either, since most of the bacteria on a dog's tongue is different from the bacteria on a person's face. Dog licking can cause Pasteurella, gingivitis, giardia, cryptosporidium and hookworm. Also, one report suggests that the risk of catching the flu from your dog could be rising.

     You still think pets are good for you? Well . . . maybe they are. Check out my next post to see why.

17 comments:

Terra said...

I agree with you on most of these points. I do use whole milk for reasons you mention. That is worrisome about the plastics in bottled water!

DUTA said...

"..everyone is different.." - indeed, so. The doctor and the book can give us only general guidelines, but we, and only we, are responsible for our own individual health.

In my humble opinion, there are not two sides regarding vitamins, especially not after the age 40-50. Veggies and fruit cannot give our body the right amount , not even close to that. So, supplements are important.

Sugar, salt and smoke are enemies. That's a fact.
I've done some home experiments regarding water. The bottled water (I buy the low sodium) leaves a lot of salts on the bottom of the kettle; it's not good, but not toxic. The tap water leaves yellow tartar on the bottom; they say it's not toxic either. I think it is.
I don't know about plastic particles. Well, we don't live in a perfect world, and can't compete with perfection.

The key to health is keeping a normal body weight. This will prevent taking meds,undergoing surgeries, and wasting precious time of our life on doctors.

As for cleaning agents, I use mainly vinegar (the cheapest on the market)and it does a marvellous job.



Barbara said...

Hahaha. My time is limited according to this. Seriously, we should all do whatever we can to live healthily and then improve on that step by step, little by little until we are the best we can be.

gigi-hawaii said...

Kind of sad to read this type of writing. Makes you want to jump in a hole and bury yourself. Nah, just kidding.

Janette said...

Great list! Leading with my gut, most of these have been in place in our lives for several years.

We gave up skim milk when I learned the process at a dairy nearby. Whole milk, real butter, real cream. My weight is the same and my husband's has gone down.

Disinfectants--Absolutely! We use vinegar.hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. We started because our septic tank guy told us to. He said we were destroying our tank. After five years (and monthly yeast added) our septic tank was in perfect shape. We both feel better as well.
We also stopped using pesticides and use citrus peel spray on most bugs that bug us. We find we actually have fewer bugs. The thought of a high water table and drinking that stuff---yuck!

Plastic anything....we are working on it. I am convinced that the rise in autism (total teacher gut theory) is tied to the heating of formula in plastic bottles (and now water bottles for the water for the formula). Microwaves and plastics are not a good mix. I tried to talk my sister out of Fiji water. Water, no matter how pure, shipped on a hot boat in plastic is very questionable.
We do filtered well water.

Meds? My son in law has stomach problems because he has to take meds to control his injuries from the Marines. I cannot wait for cannabis to be federally legalized.
We take children's vitamins and get, at least, twenty minutes in the sun daily. I don't take any meds. My husband does two- but his genetically high cholesterol continues to go down. We are looking at our 70's to be as pill free as possible.

Celia said...

Good list, thank you. I've had my own water bottles (stainless steel or glass) forever and never understood the need for water in those plastic bottles in the groceries. Plus I have issues with companies like Nestle coming into communities with good water (ours does) and trying to con our officials into handing over our water rights for their water bottling business.

Karen D. Austin said...

Thanks for the tips. I hadn't heard of half of these. I usually put water in a water bottle for when I'm out and about, but I'll grab bottled water if I'm rushing out the door. But now I'll plan better so that I can bring my own water bottle. Happy New Year!

Tom said...

And here I thought people would argue with me about the pets. We have a dog, but I make sure to wash my hands after playing with her (using regular soap and water, not disinfectants) and I try not to mix her water with ours. And I was glad to read about the skim milk, b/c my biggest issue about it is ... ew, I hate the taste.

Wisewebwoman said...

Butter and whole milk I knew about. Now that CBD (the non-high cannabis oil) is legal in Canada, I use this as my pain killer of choice. But *whisper* I had been using it for a few years. I don't believe there are any side effects - that I know of anyway. Tylenol just doesn't do the job.

I never buy bottled water, too scary a drink with its suspicious chemical structure. However I am addicted to sparkling lemonade (!!) go figure but of course it would carry all the contaminants of bottled water. Head smack.

XO
WWW

Rian said...

Interesting list... Only meds I do take are Tylenol and never more than 2 in a 24 hr period. Get strange reactions from most meds so I avoid them. Don’t take vitamins, but eat only fresh foods. Sleep 6-8 hrs at night. Love whole milk and butter and don’t have a weight problem. I do only use bottled water for drinking... that plastic thing worries me some? But since I’ve been doing it for years... probably too late now. And I can’ Imagine living without pets! However, I do wash my hands a lot. I do think the emotional gain overcomes any physical dangers (in most cases anyway).

Rian said...

that’s “can’t” imagine living without pets...

Anonymous said...

I'd take issue with the wheat, barley and rye being good for you. I try to be gluten-free because my doctor recommended it to help my acid reflux. Quitting bread and other grains helped with the acid reflux so medication is no longer needed. I did notice that when I was in Europe I could eat bread, which makes me think that it's perhaps not the gluten, but the grains grown in the U.S. You can get fiber from a lot of other sources. I take that kind of nutritional advice with a grain (ha ha!) of salt. And, I, too have low blood pressure and eat a lot of salt per doctor's recommendation.

Sheila

Anonymous said...

If butter and whole milk are OK, ice cream must be terrific. Guess I'll go buy some (more).

Barbara - said...

I would disagree on the vitamin issue. As we age, many of us DO need extra vitamins and supplements. I eat a very healthy diet, milk every day and go out in the sun every day and still, due to arthritis have terribly low vitamin D levels. I also take vitamin E, and supplements for arthritis and my heart. I definitely do not wash my hands every time after I pet the dog, because he's generally touching me much of the day and often sleeps with me ..I fall asleep with my arm on him. I DO wash my hands before coooking and eating and do not generally feed him from my hand. While some people need to be gluten free like Shiela above, most of us do not. It's one of my holistic nutritionist daughter's pet peeves.

I HAVE to take tylenol arthritis three times a day. Many of us simply cannot NOT take pain meds, unfortunately. I just wanted to make a note to your readers. Almost every single study shows that seniors should, unless not possible, take tylenol rather than ibuprofin. Im not sure all the cause and effect are in yet and im not a medical type but apparantly the evidence is growing.

I dont drink bottled water unless desperate but it is purely because of my desire to save the planet rather than health, I admit it.

99 days said...

I'm going to die.

I take supplements -- but I am very careful about the manufacturer. I only take super pure "Safe for Sport", i.e. NSF certified supplements. Look it up -- my supplements are more pure than what you can get at Costco.

I have dogs, and I kiss them. I have a cat too, The dogs kiss the cat.

I am a weightlifter. Yes, I go to the gym and lift weights also. But I'm a Weightlifter, as in Olympic style Weightlifting. With a capital W. The first thing I hear when I tell people that is, "you are going to injure yourself! You should be careful!". Then they call me to come help them move their furniture.

I'm literally a little old lady -- 5' 2" and 60 years old. I can deadlift 300 lbs. I got carded in a restaurant last week.

Yep, I'm gonna die soon. :)

Unknown said...

toxoplasmosis.....April 15th is taxoplasmosis

Rebecca Olkowski said...

I sleep with my dogs and kiss them all the time so I'll take my chances. I agree with you on all the rest. I'm allergic to ibuprofen and Naproxen and try not to take anything unless I absolutely have to. Fortunately, that's rare. I don't believe in vitamins either and would rather eat good food instead. I also use a reusable bottle instead of plastic to be ecological but didn't know about the plastic pieces. Yuck! This is such a great post and important info.