Healthy Alternatives That Might Not Be So Healthy

By Genevieve Cunningham

Most of us love when a healthier alternative to one of our favorite vices becomes available. Suddenly we can enjoy one of our favorite things without the guilt attached. Win-win! While the hottest new alternative health choices can seem like a dream come true, they’re not always what they seem. Sometimes these healthier alternatives end up being just as unhealthy as their counterparts. To get the real deal on some of life’s healthier options, check out these three alternatives that may not be as healthy as we once thought.

The Original: Cigarettes

The Alternative: E-Cigarettes

When compared to cigarettes, it’s a no-brainer that e-cigs are a healthier option. But, some very serious and very complicated health problems that stem from the use of these alternative smokes  are beginning to come to light. Researchers are now finding that e-cigarettes poison your airways and can weaken the immune system. Studies have shown that electronic smokers pull bacteria into their lungs, compromising their lung health, overall immunities, and are doing serious damage to their long-term wellness. The solution? Just say no to cigarettes of all kinds.

The Original: Sugar

The Alternative: Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners come in multiple varieties. Splenda, Sweet'N Low, and Stevia are just a few of the available options. While most alternative sugars have fewer calories, they’re not always better for your body. In fact, some alternatives such as aspartame are poison to your body. In order to choose the proper sweetener, it’s important to do your research and ask your doctor for advice. The best solution? Learn to eat things a little less sweet and use any sort of sweetener in serious moderation.

The Original: Butter

The Alternative: Margarine

It wasn’t that long ago when margarine was all the rage. You were supposed to steer clear of the real thing at all costs and go for the much healthier alternative. But in recent years, the question of health has been raised in regards to margarine. As it turns out, margarine may not be the better choice after all. In fact, margarine contains trans fat, which is incredibly unhealthy for your body, especially your heart and arteries. Butter, while still containing plenty of saturated fat, contains virtually zero trans fat. The solution? This is a time when you can skip the alternative and go for the healthier (and better tasting) real thing.

It’s not a bad idea to go after healthier alternatives when they are available. In many cases, you may be saving your health long-term. But, make sure that you do your research. Not all alternatives are healthier, and you may be better off going for the original. When in doubt, ask your doctor for advice. A healthy diet is crucial for health, so get your ducks in a row and choose wisely.

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