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7 Things You Always Thought Were Healthy - But Actually Aren't

November 16, 2015 3 min read

We've all heard them. The 'gospel' health information that gets passed along without question and you follow it because, well, it's true. If so many people are saying it, it has to be true, right? Not necessarily. There is a lot of misinformation out there that gets treated as fact. Here are 7 things you should give up believing today:

Myth #1: You Should Drink 8 Glasses Of Water A Day

Drinking water is essential to maintaining good health, there is no doubt about that. But, the whole 8 glasses of water thing is a little less than accurate. “Getting enough water isn't just about drinking glasses of it but includes all the water in foods and drinks,” says Los Angeles-based nutritionist Maggie Moon, R.D., owner of Everyday Healthy Eating. “Also, it’s impossible to say how much water will keep someone healthy. Water needs are not just about metabolism; they change based on environmental conditions and physical activity.” Stop thinking about it in terms of a specific number. Drink as much as is possible and load up on foods that contain water like fruits and some veggies.

Myth #2: You'll Get Sick If You Don't Dry Your Hair Before Stepping Outside

While going outside on a cold day with damp hair will make you cold, it isn't likely to make you sick. “The only way to catch a cold or the flu is to come into contact with the viruses that cause them,” says Holly Phillips, M.D., women’s health physician and author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough. The cold and flu viruses are more prevalent in the winter, possibly because the dry winter air dehydrates the mucus membranes in the nose which helps the viruses more easily invade your system. Failing to dry you hair completely has no impact on your exposure to these viruses. [bctt tweet="7 Things You Always Thought Were Healthy - But Actually Aren't"]

Myth #3: You Should Poop Once A Day

Pooping once a day may be totally normal for some people, but it isn't for everyone. In fact, the research places the normal range of bowel movements anywhere from 3 times a day to 3 times a week. “How often you poop comes down to your personal diet habits: how much fluid, fiber, and overall food you take in,” says Phillips. “Most people go once a day, but some people who are perfectly healthy go more often or less.” You should only be really concerned with your bathroom habits if you are suddenly going a lot more or less, your bowel movements come with pain or bleeding, or if the consistency is much harder or looser than normal.

Myth #4: You Need 8 Hours Of Sleep A Night

Once again, this rule doesn't fit everyone. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This is the range likely to keep you functioning at your best both physically and mentally. But there is lots of room in there for individual sleep needs. If you need more or less to function, that's okay too.

Myth #5: You Need To Detox Your Body Regularly

Your body does need to detox. That's why we have a liver -- our own built-in detoxifier. Some of the products marketed to detox your body may be harmless but others can actually deprive your body of important nutrients. “The best thing you can do to ‘detox’ is to let the body do what it’s built to do and not get in the way by overeating, drinking, smoking, or consuming too much red meat, refined grains, added sugar, and saturated fat," says Moon.

Myth #6: You Should Avoid Carbs Like The Plague

Carbs have had a bad rap but they are not your enemy. “Carbohydrates don’t make you fat—eating too many of them does,” says Moon. “Humans are omnivores, so while there’s more than one way to meet your nutritional needs, it’s worth noting that some of the healthiest eating patterns around, like the Mediterranean diet, prominently feature plenty of carbs in the form of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.” The key to carbs is eating the right type. This means eating complex carbohydrates found in whole grains or whole plant based sources instead of the simple carbohydrates found in soda and sweets.

Myth #7: You Need Antibacterial Soap And Sanitizers

You know that little bottle of sanitizer you carry around in your purse? While you may think it is saving you from a whole bunch of nasty germs, the truth is that it isn't really doing much more for you than an ordinary bar of soap. A very recent study put regular and antibacterial soaps up against 20 strains of bacteria. The results? There was no significant difference between the two. Has your mind been changed? What health myths do you wish would disappear already? Source: Woman's Health

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