When it comes to our health, knowledge is highly important and can be the difference between a long and healthy life with few problems and a short life riddled with illnesses. To get a little cheesy it's fair to say that 'knowledge' is the best 'cure' and the best 'preventative' and the best medicine.
Despite this though, many people still seem to think about health in a very odd way that is not founded in reality and that is founded on a lot of assumptions and arbitrary rules. In some ways we are super careful with our health when we needn't be, but in others we are completely carefree and lax when we should be more cautious.
Worrying About Things We Don't Need To
For instance, many of us will worry an awful lot when we've been to the toilet about how important it is to wash our hands. Now of course it IS important to wash your hands and particularly in public toilets where you can pick up bacteria from other people's hands.
However it's actually far less important than you think it to wash your hands as you are very unlikely to catch anything from the toilet which only ever comes into contact with people's buttocks and which are generally covered up all the time. You will have heard many times probably that your average toilet seat is cleaner than your average fingernail – well it's true, so you shouldn't worry too much about it. In fact the thing you are most likely to catch anything from is probably the faucet of the taps, and you touch those after washing your hands anyway (to turn them off). There are plenty of things that get your hands much more covered in bacteria than going to the toilet – for instance going for a walk with your dog and picking up a stick. But do you always wash your hands as soon as you get in? Probably not.
Likewise it has always perplexed me why people are so funny about sharing food or drinks. Sometimes you see people who won't even share a drink with their partner or spouse for instance which I find absurd bearing in mind that they will quite happily make out with them and have sex with them. Similarly my friends won't let me drink out of their glass, but they will happily pull and make out with a random person in a night club. It makes no sense. Here the only potential risk is getting a cold sore, but people can see whether or not you have one of those and even just ask you so it shouldn't be an issue. Of course you could also catch a cold, but again the chances of that are similar to being hit by a car crossing the road if I'm not showing any symptoms – and anyway I've probably sneezed all over you already. Then of course is the fact that in the wild we would just bite into raw meat. Of course I am not recommending that, but the point is that by being so supremely careful we have actually failed to give our immune systems the training they need and this has left us open to attack from illness. Sometimes eating something that hasn't been sterilized first is actually good for us in the long run, and certainly for our psychological health.
And yet despite all this, people still tell me off for not knowing what I'm talking about when I say it's okay to share. Because they are so used to hearing that you shouldn't that they don't really question it.
Things You Should Be Worrying About
Meanwhile though many people are also quite happy to engage in some seriously damaging behaviors that will cause a significant amount of problems for their health without batting an eyelid. To me the number one culprit here is sugar which is actually incredibly bad for you in high quantities, but which people continue to eat great amounts of anyway.
Here's something that might surprise you: having a glass of a soda drink is the equivalent of eating TWO cream eggs in terms of sugar. Now that's a lot of sugar, and not really the kind of thing you should chug down after a Big Mac, so order water next time instead.
And if you're still thinking 'it's okay' then think about how much it hurts when you eat a sugary snack with sensitive teeth. It hurts a LOT and it usually causes you to wince and stop eating. Think about that next time you eat a chocolate bar – that's the kind of damage it's doing to your insides.
I'm not going to go into detail here about cigarettes because you've probably heard that one to death, but suffice to say that if you could see what it was doing to you and others around you then you would probably stop. Now don't tell me I can't share your glass in case I give you a cold because that's just rude...
Who Do You Listen To?
People are also very illogical in terms of who they trust when it comes to eating and health supplements. Of course a lot of people don't trust their doctors which is a serious problem, but it seems that they are also often happy to listen to marketing, hearsay and health scams a lot of the time without questioning it too badly. Again I could easily go into a rant here, but suffice to say that you should do your own research before coming to a decision about anything and think logically and objectively about how it might impact your health. The more you learn, the better informed you will be when choosing your supplements and health treatments. Don't take anyone at their word, and be very weary of your sources. Again, knowledge is your best friend here.