The New Year is a time for resolutions, with many of us making at least one choice to better our health. But sometimes “healthy” choices are simply trends that lack real value. As you decide how to set goals for improved health this year, you might be relieved to know that there’s no pressing need to rely on any of these fads.
You may not have any of these habits and if that’s the case, fantastic!! But if you do, you may want to consider a resolution to eliminate them.
Vaping. Vaping has been promoted as a great way to quit smoking, and it truly has helped many people quit a bad habit. Unfortunately, we’re beginning to learn that vaping isn’t necessarily the healthiest choice for your lungs, either. More than 2,500 hundred people were hospitalized due to vaping-related injuries last year. If you want to quit smoking, talk to your doctor about safer ways to break your nicotine addiction.
Low-fat foods. If you want to lose weight, avoiding fat might not be the best way to achieve that goal. Yes, an excess amount of saturated fat can be bad for your heart. But plenty of fats are actually good for you, in moderation, such as the unsaturated fats in olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
Plus, avoidance of fat often just leads to an over-reliance on carb-heavy, sugary processed foods. Those aren’t exactly healthy either. Discuss your diet with a doctor or nutritionist, and they can help you design an eating plan for better health that also includes beneficial fats.
Diet beverages. Diet beverages offer a low-calorie alternative to sugary sodas, but they have their own problems. Artificial sweeteners can actually increase your cravings for more sweetness in your diet, leading to indulgence in cookies or candy. Plus, some artificial sweeteners are now viewed with suspicion by researchers, due to potential negative health effects.
Instead, switch to carbonated water infused with fruit, or try green tea.
Faux meat. Last year we saw the rise of many plant-based meat alternatives. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, these provide an excellent way to enjoy some classic favorites like hamburgers, but without the guilt.
However, over-reliance on these processed foods probably isn’t a good idea. Many of them are high in sodium and contain a number of questionable ingredients. They’re fine to consume here and there, but they aren’t actually healthy enough that you should feel the need to rely upon them daily.
Now… here’s a good habit that you may want to start in 2020.
Kale. Kale has enjoyed a rise in popularity, due to its numerous health benefits like vitamins C and K. But if you just don’t like it, don’t force yourself to eat it. Plenty of other leafy greens offer similar benefits, such as bok choy, collards, and mustard greens. The point is to identify a few leafy green vegetables you do enjoy, and incorporate them into your diet regularly. Kale is not a requirement.
As you revamp your lifestyle, remember to discuss your plans with your doctor. He or she can guide you toward the nutritional and lifestyle choices that will best benefit you in the coming year and beyond.