Five things that seem healthy but aren’t

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

water
Just drink when you’re thirsty.

We may not be as medically savvy as doctors when it comes to health, but I’m sure you know basic things like washing your hands after using the restroom and drinking lots of water every day. What may come as a surprise, however, is how many so-called “healthy’ habits are actually not good for you. Let’s take a look at a few you should definitely keep in mind!

Take hand washing, for example, which is great for warding off bacteria and stopping the spread of germs. According to a recent report from the Food and Drug Administration, however, you should stay away from antibacterial soap for now: it may be harmful to your health! Their study found that a chemical called triclosan inside it may disrupt our body’s hormones – substances that regulate us. Using too much antibacterial soap can even give rise to superbugs – bacteria that can survive drugs designed to kill them. You’re better off using regular soap!

Speaking of washing hands, do you think the water should be hot? Many of us have been told that warmer water increases the chances of killing those pesky bacteria and germs, but according to researchers from Vanderbilt University, it’s just a waste of energy. A person can use cool water as long as they scrub and dry their skin the right way.

Now, when it comes to drinking water, you may have heard that 8 cups a day is the ideal number. Actually, it turns out there’s not one single clinical study that recommends taking in that much water everyday! “We get a lot of water [from food] already without having to go and get extra water,” said Dr. Mehmet Cengiz Oz, professor of surgery at Columbia University and host of TV’s The Dr. Oz Show. Just drink when you’re thirsty and make sure your pee is at least a bit yellow, because if it’s clear then you’re probably too hydrated.

Now, when it comes to drinking water, you may have heard that 8 cups a day is the ideal number. Actually, it turns out there’s not one single clinical study that recommends taking in that much water every day! “We get a lot of water [from food] already without having to go and get extra water,” said Dr. Mehmet Cengiz Oz, professor of surgery at Columbia University and host of TV’s The Dr. Oz Show. Just drink when you’re thirsty and make sure your pee is at least a bit yellow, because if it’s clear then you’re probably too hydrated.

Okay, so how about “obviously” healthy things like multivitamins? Studies have examined thousands of people who take multivitamins, and apparently there’s no proof to show that they fight off disease or help you live longer! Just eat a balanced, nutritional diet and you’ll be square. However, if you’re thinking of trying a gluten-free diet and aren’t particularly gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease, that’s not a good idea! People can end up not getting enough iron, B-vitamins, vitamin D, and calcium in a gluten-free diet.

Image of water courtesy of Greg Riegler Photography on Flickr