Just because something seems healthier, doesn’t mean it is. Several new trends have hit the market in the past year, claiming to be healthier alternatives to other known dangerous habits. Millions of consumers jumped on board with these trends with the expectations of a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, experts are finding these ‘healthier trends’ could actually be putting individuals at risk for long-term health consequences and conditions.
Certain companies prey on the goals of Americans to live healthier lifestyles, especially around New Years and the summer months when most people are looking to make the switch. According to USA Today and Life Daily, these are the most popular health trends people are falling victim to that could make you sick in the long run.
Vaping and e-cigarettes have become one of the most overlooked health concerns until recently. Claiming to be healthier alternatives to smoking traditional tobacco, vaping has soared in popularity and hooked millions of new smokers with false advertising and misconceptions.
Unlike previously believed, more vaping juices contain nicotine than previously thought. Some products even labeled ‘nicotine-free’ have tested positive for small trace amounts enough to cause addiction issues overtime. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.), vaping juices have also been discovered to contain other harmful substances: ultrafine particles that can harm the lungs, flavorings connected to lung disease, volatile organic compounds, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals.
Vaping is becoming an epidemic across most of the country, especially with children and teens. In Connecticut, state legislators recently signed a bill raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 to reduce the access of all smoking products to younger users in hopes to curve the harmful trend.
A ‘raw movement’ has begun in attempts to eliminate the dangers of preservatives and added sugars. While certain products are better to consume raw, such as most vegetable and fruits, some consumers are taking the trend a little too far.
Raw eggs, fish, honey, nuts, and milk are becoming popular products to consume complexly raw. Some advocates of raw foods insist they have health benefits over the processed and pasteurized alternatives. But these products also pose a significant health risk when done wrong. According to WebMD, salmonella, E.coli, cyanide, and other life-threatening bacteria can be contracted from raw products when mistake occurring in harvesting, planting or collecting.
Life Daily reports ‘raw water’ is another health trend gone wrong. Some people are marketing raw water as purer than bottled water. However, bacteria sitting in untreated water is known for causing terrible stomach and gastrointestinal problems- a very unpleasant side effect and not a healthier alternative.
You may have noticed more cans of spiked seltzer floating around at barbecues this summer. Spiked seltzer or spiked water is another health trend that claims to contain fewer calories than other alcoholic beverages. Yet, experts are now finding both of these drinks are leading to undesired effects.
USA Today reports studies are showing people are drinking these products in excessive amounts. Studies are also finding these drinks are making people drunker, quicker. This is causing people to make unsafe decisions regarding drinking could be leading to an uptick in drunk driving incidents.
Alcohol consumed in high amounts is unhealthy, no matter how many calories are in the mixer. Alcohol leads to high blood pressure, strokes, liver damage, and several other health consequences. ‘Health Drinks’ such as spiked water and seltzer make consumers believe they are avoiding the health consequences of sugar while putting their body at more risk for alcohol-related conditions.
Staying healthy and fit is the right way to starting a healthy lifestyle. Various fitness trackers on the market are helping people to track their progress, but these apps could be negatively affecting their health in other ways.
USA Today reports experts are finding that fitness trackers and health apps are negatively impacting consumer’s mental health. By constantly monitoring their body, staying fit is becoming an unhealthy obsession for thousands of Americans. In addition, these apps have been found to provide inaccurate information which misleads participants to seek unhealthy workout plans or diets for optimal results.
Juice Only Cleanses
Juice cleanses have been around for years. They all claim to detox the body of toxins, but none of them explain the health consequences of only drinking juice for days on end.
As with all other cleanses, scientists, have found no long or short-term health benefits with these dangerous trends. According to Life Daily, cleanses deprive the body of nutrients needed to stay healthy and energized. In addition to feeling faint and weak, juices cleanses can cause a number of digestive problems, muscle loss, and a compromised immune system.
Our bodies need vitamins to live. But too many supplements can have adverse effects. Some manufacturers are promoting the use of relying heavily on vitamins and supplements to maintain your health without coaching consumers on the proper amounts to take for their size and age.
Overloading on vitamins and supplements can make you extremely sick. The Recommended Daily reports that consuming certain vitamins in the wrong amounts can even cause permeant damage to internal organs. Other side effects of too many vitamins include numbness, headaches, muscle weakness, blurred vision, and hair loss.
The Best Steps to Staying Healthy
If a trend is claiming to be a ‘miracle cure’ or to make you healthy quick, it’s probably not going to work the way you want it to. Good health takes time and dedication. Health trends are made to generate a profit and are rarely looking out for your best interests.
If you’re looking for a healthier lifestyle, WebMD has an excellent list to get you started including tips such as:
- Limiting your alcohol consumption. You can reduce your risk of alcohol-related conditions by limiting your alcohol consumption altogether. Experts recommend one drink a day if any.
- Staying away from smoking. Vaping has been shown to lead to reduced levels of smoking for adults. But staying away from any smoking product is the healthiest alternative.
- Staying flexible. Setting rigid and off-the-wall diet expectations can be compromising for your health. Be flexible with the food you eat.
- Expanding your palette. Sticking to the same meal routine is not healthy for your body. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains a well-balanced diet.
- Drinking regular water. Any water brands claiming to provide healthy additives are most likely less healthy than drinking plain (not raw) water. If you want to spice up your water, consider adding fruit.
- Reducing Sugar and Sugar Alternatives. Health trends that require you to consume sugary products or substitute sugar alternatives can be bad for your health. Skip the processed sugar whenever possible.
- Sleeping more. Getting a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your overall health. Try to get six to eight hours of sleep a night a reduce distractions before bedtime for a deeper sleep.
Most importantly, do your research. Some types of diets and trends can be beneficial in moderation. For more information on staying healthy, visit WebMD for tips and tricks.