11 “Bad Habits” That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

Many of your supposedly “bad habits” may actually be perfectly good for you, according to scientific research.

Whether you like naps, can’t commit to a 2-hour daily workout, or occasionally indulge in fatty foods, there are studies to support you . Read on to find out if your shameful practice is genuinely a science-backed tactic .

Admitting you enjoy naps, the occasional glass of wine, or reaching the couch instead of the gym every once in a while can often land you a prime spot in the dishonor corner. But there’s plenty of scientific research to support many of these allegedly bad habits.

Instead of contributing to our collective guilt, we’ve taken a look at where the studies stand on a range of supposedly unhealthy tendencies — from making a pit-stop for an energy drink to indulging in an omelette for breakfast. Here’s what you should know before you prepare for another Walk of Shame.

Skipping breakfast

Breakfast is not mandatory, despite what you may have heard.

Although it was once believed that skipping the first snack of the day leads to weight gain, several recent studies have found the opposite — that fasting, or occasionally skipping snacks, may actually assist some people lose weight.

These eating plans are known as intermittent fasting, and one of the most popular involves abstaining from food for 16 hours and feeing for eight. That leads most people to change their eating window back a few hours from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m, basically foregoing breakfast.

Large studies have found intermittent fasting to be just as reliable for weight loss as traditional diets. A few studies in animals indicate it could have other benefits, such as reducing the risk for certain cancers and even prolonging life — but those studies need to be repeated in humans.

Drinking coffee

In March, a California judge ruled that Starbucks and other coffee industries must include cancer warns on their products.

Despite this frightening announcement, there’s extensive scientific research on coffee which suggests that, if anything, regularly drinking the brew is linked with a reduced cancer risk as well as a range of other health benefits, such as protecting against diabetes and boosting heart health.

That said, doctors recommend restriction your caffeine intake to 400 milligrams per day, or about 3 to 4 standard beakers of drip coffee.

11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

Eating eggs

The latest advice on healthy eating seems to change as frequently as the seasons.

Eggs — an animal product high in cholesterol, fat, protein, and several key vitamins and minerals — have been vilified for years. But as it turns out, eggs are actually pretty healthy. And ordering only the whites, a practice that low-fat food advocates say is a way to shave off calories, fat, and cholesterol, is completely unnecessary.

Whole eggs are high in a handful of key vitamins and minerals that you can’t get from many foods like vitamin B12 and phosphorus. They’re also rich in muscle-fueling protein and satiating fat, which stimulates them filling and unlikely to be overeaten.

Plus, the cholesterol eggs contain does not appear to lead to high cholesterol levels in healthy people. Merely as eating fat does not translate into being fat, recent research has shown that eating cholesterol doesn’t inevitably translate into having high cholesterol.

Indulging in high-fat foods

Following advice from the Department of Agriculture in the 1990 s, millions of Americans seeking to lose weight opted for a low-fat, high-starch diet. They chose margarine over butter and “fat-free” instead of “regular, ” and they curbed their indulgence of rich, creamy foods. But it didn’t work.

An eight-year trial involving virtually 50,000 girls, roughly half of whom went on a low-fat diet, found that those on the low-fat plan didn’t lower their risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or heart disease. Plus, they didn’t lose much weight, if any. New recommendations show that healthy fats, like those from nuts, fish, and avocados, are actually good for you in moderation. So add them back into your diet if you haven’t already.

Using social media

Frequent social media use and screen time have been portrayed as universally bad for our health.

But a lot of research on this phenomenon has been characterized by poorly done studies and bad science. The vast majority of evidence suggests that our smartphones are not uniformly harmful, and in a number of cases, they may be a force-out for good.

Last year, in a study published in the periodical Psychological Science that examined the effect of screen-time on a sample of more than 120,000 British teens, researchers found that social media use wasn’t harmful for the vast majority of teens. In fact, it was sometimes helpful for things like feeling more connected and get emotional support from peers.

“Overall, the evidence indicated that moderate use of digital technology is not intrinsically harmful and may be advantageous in a connected world, ” the researchers wrote in the paper.

11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science
Josh Rose/ Unsplash

Grabbing an energy drink

I’m used to the shaming look I get from my peers when I crack open a can of sugar-free Red Bull. The questions — and judgment — never objective. “That stuff’ll kill you, ” someone said to me the other day, shaking his head. “So many chemicals! ” was what I heard last week.

Truth be told, Red Bull( at least the sugar-free kind) isn’t all that terrible for you. Besides having merely 10 calories and no sugar, it has only 80 milligrams of caffeine, about a third of the amount in a tall Starbucks drip coffee. As far as its other ingredients — namely B vitamins and taurine — go, scientific studies have found bothto be safe.

Drinking one or two glass of wine

Too much of anything is bad for you, and alcohol is no exception.

But a fair amount of research is beginning to suggest that people who drink moderately — approximately 1 to 2 glass of wine or brew a day — may enjoy some health benefits, such as a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline.

A study published last year in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that people who drank regularly were significantly more likely than people who didn’t drink at all to reach age 85 without display signs of cognitive deterioration. A large review of 74 other studies on the subject also concluded that moderate drinkers had a lower danger of cognitive decline than those who abstained completely.

Having your notifications turned on

At Google’s recent Google I/ O developer meeting, the company unveiled a host of features geared at curbing what is often called “tech addiction.” One was a new feature that offers an easy way to block notifications, which many people say cause anxiety and curb productivity.

But there are no studies suggesting that snoozing notifications will help us feel better. In fact, when researchers attempted to solve the anxiety problem by muting them entirely( as they did in a recent study ), it actually resulted people to report feeling more stressed , not less.

There may be a better alternative, however: People in that study who got their alertings sent in batches — as opposed to in real time — mentioned that they felt less stressed and happier than people who got them ordinarily or didn’t get them at all.

11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science
Evgeny Belikov/ Strelka Institute/ Flickr

Foregoing a long workout

You don’t always need to commit to sweating for hours at the gym to stay in shape.

Studies suggest that compact, high-voltage workouts like the 7-minute workout may be more beneficial for building muscle and protecting the heart than some other forms of exercise. These the different types of workouts are known as high intensity interval educate, or HIIT.

“High-intensity interval training can provide similar or greater benefits in less hour than traditional longer, moderate-intensity workouts, ” Chris Jordan, an exercise physiologist who generated the Johnson& Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout, said.

Eating gluten

If you’ve ever snacked on a slice of gooey pizza or bitten into a chewy bagel, you have gluten to thank: the substance gives dough its elastic texture. Gluten is not a junk ingredient, and unless you have a rare condition called celiac disease, it isn’t unhealthy.

Some people have suggested that celiac disease could be on the rise, but a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association observed data that strongly refutes that idea. As for all those people who say they don’t have celiac but are just “sensitive” to gluten, a small 2013 study out of Monash University suggested that may not be true, either, as participants’ digestive reactions appeared to have nothing to do with their uptake of the substance.

Instead, the bloating and discomfort that many people experience when they eat gluten — and the sudden disappearance of those symptoms after slashing the ingredient — may have more to do with eliminating unhealthy processed and pre-made foods, many of which also happen to contain gluten.

Taking a nap

Nappers aren’t necessarily lazy — and some studies suggest the habit could actually be linked to significant health benefits, especially if you’re sleep-deprived.

For a small study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity in which researchers compared the effects of a 30 minute sleep against the consequences of 10 hours of sleep in people who’d been intentionally deprived of sleep, they found that both reprieves appeared to help return key immunity biomarkers( which had plunged after not sleeping) to their normal levels.

Also, according to Harvard sleep researcher Robert Stickgold, naps may even help some people solve problems when their energy and focus would otherwise have waned.

11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

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11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science
11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science
11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science
11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science
11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

11 "Bad Habits" That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

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