Sure, we all know that eating junk food, avoiding exercise, and drinking like Jimmy McNulty isn’t going to do any favors for our health and overall well-being. However, did you know there are many other habits, rituals, and practices most of us engage in that, unbeknownst to us, are also damaging our health—only we have no idea?
The Remedy spoke to some of the top health and medical experts around the country to reveal all the ways that we are inadvertently doing more hurt than harm to ourselves.
You might think you are eating a super-healthy diet, but are in fact consuming dangerous chemicals. “Most grain and soy products in North America are sprayed with Roundup—a.k.a. glyphosate—a known carcinogen and gut microbiome disruptor,” explains Dr. Steven Gundry, MD medical director at The International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine and the New York Times best-seller The Plant Paradox and The Plant Paradox Cookbook . Basically, we unwittingly eat glyphosate while eating “healthy” whole grain products. He points out that even new plant-based hamburger meat products may have Roundup in them—as well as most of our animal products like chicken, beef or pork, as most are fed with these same tainted grains and/or soy.
The Remedy Rx: In order to avoid eating foods tainted by glyphosate, there are a number of things you can do. Eat organically, eat locally by shopping at your farmer’s market for meat and produce, or grow your own produce.
Dr. Gundry points out that the vast majority of whole grain products are loaded with plant proteins called lectins which are part of the plant’s defense system against being eaten. “As The Plant Paradox series show, lectins are major causes of leaky gut, arthritis, depression, weight gain and brain and heart disease as well as autoimmune diseases,” he explains.
The Remedy Rx: Reduce your gluten consumption. “As I have reported at The American Heart Association, most patients who remove gluten and other lectin-containing foods resolve autoimmune issues and leaky gut within months,” he says.
Artificial sweeteners might be a zero-calorie sugar-free alternative, but they aren’t doing any wonders for your digestive system. “Most people who use artificial sweeteners have no idea that they are destroying and altering their gut bacteria, the microbiome with every packet, the same bacteria that have the potential to keep them lean and happy,” Dr. Gundry says.
The Remedy Rx: Try to avoid artificial sweeteners. If you need a boost of sweet, you can always opt for a natural sweetener such as stevia.
You might not realize it, but certain positions while sleeping can damage your health. “Many people will sleep every night on their sides in the fetal position. While this seems harmless, this sleeping position can actually be detrimental to your health,” points out David Greuner, MD , of NYC Surgical Associates “When you sleep like this, it cuts your diaphragm’s free range down which can cause back pain as well as issues with your lungs.”
The Remedy Rx: Try another sleeping position. According to the National Sleep Foundation , the healthiest way to sleep in on your back.
It can be hard to remember to drink enough fluids. But try and remember it can be hazardous to your health. “Vein insufficiency can be amplified due to dehydration,” explains Dr. Greuner. “When you are hydrated your blood is thinner and flows better. When your blood is thicker, it can make vein insufficiency problems worse.”
The Remedy Rx: Drink lots of fluids! The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences recommends 2.7 (11 cups) liters to 3.7 liters (nearly 16 cups) per day . “Make sure to stay hydrated to keep your entire body healthy including your veins!” says Dr. Greuner.
Just because a product is called “organic” doesn’t mean it is good for you. “Many packaged products are highly processed, and may contain many unhealthy ingredients,” points out Talia Segal Fidler , MS, HHC, AADP, nutritionist at The Lodge at Woodloch. For example, they may contain a high sugar content. “Even though it is organic, it is still sugar and still a processed product.”
The Remedy Rx: Remember that processed food is processed food and sugar is sugar—even if it has an organic label on it.
Most of us were raised believing that drinking fruit juice was actually good for you. However, Fidler points out that many fruit juices are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. “There are hardly any connections between the fruits and that beverage,” she explains. “You are basically only consuming sugar!”
The Remedy Rx: If you are going to drink juice, look for ones that are 100 percent juice and no added sugar. Better yet, eat a piece of fruit, so you get the belly-filling fiber.
Eating yogurt that has added fruits, or giving it to children thinking it is a good thing, is pretty common. Unfortunately, Fidler points out that those “fruits” are loaded with unhealthy sugar which defeats the purpose.
The Remedy Rx: “A better choice is to buy plain organic yogurt and add freshly cut fruits to it,” Fidler suggests. “For extra sweetness you can add a bit of local honey.”
Sure, many fish are high in good fats and can be a great addition to your diet. However, Fidler points out that size matters when it comes to just how healthy a swimmer is. “The larger the fish, the more likely that it may have a high mercury levels and other toxins,” she explains. This is due to the fact that the fish has lived longer and accumulated toxins overtime.
The Remedy Rx: Fidler suggests eating smaller fish, such as sardines, mackerel anchovies etc. Or, opt for a deep-water fish that isn’t exposed to the same toxins.
While farm raised salmon may boast health benefits in the form of omega 3 fatty acids, they can also be contaminated with toxins, explains Fidler. According to one study , it is higher in cancer causing pollutants.
The Remedy Rx: “Salmon needs to be chosen carefully,” says Fidler. “Wild caught […]