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7 bad food habits you need to break right about now

Published on:22 February 2021, 13:28pm IST
Food habits can make or break your health. Celebrity nutritionist reveals the habits that you need to avoid in order to stay healthy.
Asma Alam
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Pick smarter and sustainable food habits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Ever heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’? It is actually absolutely true because a healthy diet determines so much of your life, be it energy levels or physical ailments. Eating right can help you steer clear of illnesses and fatigue. On the other hand, there are certain food habits that can hurt your health and need to be avoided.

Here are seven food habits you need to avoid this year onwards to develop a strong foundation for a healthy life:

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1. Missing meals

Missing your meals might be one of the worst decisions you’re making and can affect your whole day. Not only will you miss out on essential nutrients but it may also lead to tiredness, dizziness, low blood pressure, decreased blood flow to the brain and might also make you feel off-balance round the clock.

food habits
Skip the torture instead of skipping meals, peeps. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Missing meals is not the solution to weight loss! In fact, the easiest way out is reducing the number of calories you’re consuming and increasing the number of calories you’re burning through exercise. Three meals a day keeps you full and reduces hunger, helping you avoid overeating and aiding healthy weight loss.

2. Peeling fruits and veggies without washing

Vegetable and fruit skin contains germs along with high levels of chemicals and pesticides which protect them from insects and pests but pose a threat to human health by damaging the nervous and reproductive systems, disrupting the immune system, and even leading to cancer. These harmful bacteria are easily transferable if you do not wash the fruits and vegetables before peeling and cutting. These risk factors make it necessary to wash vegetables in the right way to stay safe from diseases.

3. Food choices for the elderly

Poor health is an unavoidable consequence of ageing. The elderly are at risk of nutritional deficiencies due to poor dentition, reduced mobility, mental health, loneliness and inadequate food consumption which makes diet modification important. Hence, it is important to include foods that meet their nutritional requirements.

  • Foods must be soft and easily chewable.
  • Include fibre-rich foods which help prevent constipation and lower cholesterol levels.
  • A glass of warm milk just before going to bed – acts as a natural relaxant and stimulates sleep.
  • Clear soups at the beginning of meals aid improved digestion.
  • Plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Flax seeds to decrease hot flushes in postmenopausal women.
  • Coffee, tea and cola beverages should be avoided as they may cause insomnia. 
4. Smelling or tasting food to see if it is still good

You cannot taste, smell or see germs on the food with the naked eye. Tasting even a small amount can make you fall sick. It is important to keep a check on the storage time charts to be aware of how long the food will stay safe for consumption.

food habits
Intermittent fasting might be a good way to lose weight, but it’s not for everyone. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
5. Consuming fruits before going to bed

Eating fruits just before going to bed can interfere with digestion and comfortable sleep. That’s why you should:

  • Avoid high acidic fruits which are citrus in nature ( oranges and lemons ), exotic fruits ( mango and dragonfruit ) and tomatoes to reduce enamel erosion caused by the acids as you sleep.
  • Similarly, fruits high in sugar should be avoided. Fructose, the common sugar in fruits, doesn’t digest as easily as glucose. Lying down after consumption, fructose can result in dreadful indigestion. Yellow coloured fruits are especially linked to high fructose values.
  • Nutrient-dense fruits such as gourds (pumpkins and squashes), pomes (pears and apples), and stone fruits (cherries and peaches) pose a threat too. The flesh of these fruits takes a little more effort to digest and tend to cause lethargy and indigestion, causing you to wake up, and stay awake.
6. All breakfast cereals are healthy

One of the most usual blunders that people make is swapping their wholesome traditional breakfasts with modern-day chunks. Most of these cereals are loaded with sugars and refined carbs. In addition, they are highly processed, produced through extrusion using high-temperature processes to shape the cereal. Processed foods are harmful to health, may cause childhood obesity and other diet-related diseases.

7. Sugar

From breakfast cereals to peanut butter, added sugar is found in even the most unexpected foods. Sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many other chronic diseases including diabetes. Moreover, it increases your risk of depression along with accelerating the process of ageing. The best way is to substitute it with foods like honey, molasses, stevia and jaggery.

food habits
Learn how jaggery is a good alternative to sugar when consumed in moderation. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Substituting sugar with these foods will not only be beneficial for weight loss and medical conditions like diabetes but will also help you develop a healthy and balanced diet without sacrificing taste and food pleasure. Additionally, these foods are loaded with antioxidants and other essential elements like calcium, iron, and magnesium which help fight diseases, support bone health and heart health along with maintaining the immune system.

So, ensure you’re breaking these habits to stay healthy!

Asma Alam Asma Alam

Asma Alam is a well-known nutritionist.