11 “Bad Habits” That Are Actually Healthy, According To Science

Many of your supposedly “bad habits” may actually be perfectly good for you, according to scientific research. 

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Whether you like naps, can’t commit to a 2-hour daily workout, or occasionally indulge in fatty foods, there are studies to support you.

Read on to find out if your shameful practice is really a science-backed tactic.

Admitting you enjoy naps, the occasional glass of wine, or hitting the couch instead of the gym every once in a while can often land you a prime spot in the shame corner. But there’s plenty of scientific research to support many of these allegedly bad habits.

Instead of contributing to our collective guilt, we’ve taken a look at where the studies stand on a range of supposedly unhealthy tendencies — from making a pit-stop for an energy drink to indulging in an omelette for breakfast. Here’s what you should know before you prepare for another Walk of Shame.

1. Skipping breakfast

Breakfast is not mandatory, despite what you may have heard.

Although it was once believed that skipping the first meal of the day leads to weight gain, several recent studies have found the opposite — that fasting, or occasionally skipping meals, may actually help some people lose weight.

These eating plans are known as intermittent fasting, and one of the most popular involves abstaining from food for 16 hours and eating for eight. That leads most people to shift their eating window back a few hours from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m, essentially foregoing breakfast.

Large studies have found intermittent fasting to be just as reliable for weight loss as traditional diets. A few studies in animals suggest it could have other benefits, such as reducing the risk for certain cancers and even prolonging life — but those studies need to be repeated in humans.

2. Drinking coffee

In March, a California judge ruled that Starbucks and other coffee businesses must include cancer warnings on their products.

Despite this frightening announcement, there’s extensive scientific research on coffee which suggests that, if anything, regularly drinking the brew is linked with a reduced cancer risk as well as a range of other health benefits, such as protecting against diabetes and boosting heart health.

That said, doctors recommend limiting your caffeine intake to 400 milligrams per day, or about 3 to 4 standard cups of drip coffee.

3. Eating eggs

The latest advice on healthy eating seems to change as frequently as the seasons.

Eggs — an animal product high in cholesterol, fat, protein, and several key vitamins and minerals — have been vilified for years. But as it turns out, eggs are actually pretty healthy. And ordering just the whites, a practice that low-fat food advocates say is a way to shave off calories, fat, and cholesterol, is completely unnecessary.

Whole eggs are high in a handful of key vitamins and minerals that you can’t get from many foods like vitamin B12 and phosphorus. They’re also rich in muscle-fueling protein and satiating fat, which makes them filling and unlikely to be overeaten.

Plus, the cholesterol eggs contain does not appear to lead to high cholesterol levels in healthy people. Just as eating fat does not translate into being fat, recent research has shown that eating cholesterol doesn’t necessarily translate into having high cholesterol.

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