7 Worst Health Advice You Should Never Follow

Just because you have heard it a million times and it has been passed on for generations, does not mean that it’s true. Here’s the age-old advice that you should ditch!

1. Brown Sugar is Healthier than White Sugar

We hate to break the news to you, but all sugar is, well, sugar, and this means it’s all equally problematic if you eat too much of it. “Turbinado (‘raw’) and Brown sugar do have slightly fewer calories per gram, and a small amount of minerals (mostly potassium and calcium) that are likely inconsequential,” according to Dr. Elroy Vojdani, MD, the founder of Regenera Medical in Los Angeles and a a functional medicine practitioner. “They do, however, posses an identical glycemic index to white sugar, which means that they have the exact same potential to do harm to your metabolism.”

He recommends sticking to sweeteners that contains a lower glycemic index, such as maple syrup, coconut sugar, or agave syrup. And, in general, limit your sugar intake.

The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons (100 calories) daily of added sugar for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) for men.

2. Do Not Eat Before Going to Bed, To Avoid Weight Gain

No, you actually do not need to worry so much about taking this advice. Some studies suggest the opposite, that consuming a snack before bed can help you feel more satiated and eat less overall.

But, there is really no convincing data to prove that eating just before bedtime is a significant factor in weight gain, or weight loss for that matter. Follow your hunger cues and eat when needed.

3. Douche to Clean Your Vagina

Your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. It contains a delicate microbiome that works hard to keep itself healthy.

Douching messes with this process and can actually increase your risk of developing certain infections. Therefore, take a pass.

4. Get Vitamin D from the Sun

No, there’s no such thing as a healthy tan. Time in the sun without using sunblock should be reserved for super-short stints.

If you are deficient in vitamin D, your doctor would be the one to let you know. Therefore, in those cases, it is still not an excuse to forget the SPF, a supplement might help instead.

5. You Need to Shave Your Pubic Hair

Pubic hair serves a purpose, it is designed to be protective of your vagina, and also helps in preventing irritation from friction during sex.

Whether you do it or not, shaving your pubic hair is ultimately a personal preference. You absolutely do not have to groom down there if you don’t want to.

6. Drinking 8 glasses of Water Daily

While this is not a bad rule of thumb, it’s not 100% accurate either. How much water you really need is highly individualized, and depends on your activity level, body size, and even genetics, says Kylene Bogden, RDN, a Cleveland-based registered dietitian nutritionist who works with NBA athletes and is the co-founder of FWDfuel Sports Nutrition, because sodium levels in sweat differ from every person.

Some people need less, but some people need more. How can you tell how much you need? “It’s about listening to your body, and also knowing how you feel,” according to Bogden. “With regards to dehydration, are you pooping every day? Is your energy stable the whole day without crashes? And if you are highly active, do your joints and muscles feel good? That’s really how you gauge it.”

Also, it is important to note that you do not have to get all of your water from straight-up water. Foods such as spinach and watermelon are comprised of nearly 100% water, according to Mayo Clinic, and beverages such as juice, milk, herbal tea, and even coffee can count toward your daily intake as well.

7. Take an Aspirin Daily to Keep Your Heart Healthy

For decades, the medical community have insisted that everyone over a certain age should fight off heart disease with a daily dose of aspirin, because of its blood-thinning properties. It’s no wonder that many people still believe that claim, despite current studies debunking it, and with the new guidelines from the American Heart Association.

According to a study of nearly 20,000 people from Australia and the United States, that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018, taking an aspirin daily does not prolong the lives of elderly, healthy, people, and, in fact, it increases the risk of hemorrhage.

Another study that was published in JAMA Neurology in 2019 found that daily aspirin use is associated with an increased likelihood of intracranial bleeding.

For people who have had a heart attack, stroke, or have undergone a cardiac procedure, taking aspirin a day might still be a good idea, but that should be determined by your doctor.