Improving your diet is one of the most common resolutions at the beginning of the year to improve your health and, why not, improve your appearance. It is necessary to emphasize that more than "good" or "bad" foods or products, there are habits that benefit or harm.

And how would you like to stop spending, catch up on payments and avoid taking your finances out of balance? In this article, you will learn how to stop 20 habits that your health and finances don't need. It doesn't have to be immediate, it can be gradual. The starting point is to think that it is to improve your health, your pocket, and your quality of life.

Cut down on salt

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), keeping salt consumption below 5 grams per day (equivalent to less than 2 g of sodium per day) helps prevent hypertension and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke among the adult population. It is estimated that 2.5 million deaths could be avoided each year if global salt consumption were reduced to the recommended level.

Medicinal juices

According to specialists, juices are not medicines, and therefore do not have healing or "miraculous" properties. They also warn that drinking juices freely or based on scarce or inaccurate information can be more risky than beneficial. For example, consuming juices as the only breakfast increases blood glucose, as it is absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream. Prefer whole fruits and vegetables, raw or cooked, and you will pay less for more products. The action of chewing facilitates digestion.

Plastic bags

According to Waste Management, a U.S. waste management, and environmental services company, only 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling. That means that the average family only recycles 15 bags a year, the rest end up in the trash. When discarded, they lead to clogged sewage and storm drains, kill and entangle approximately 100,000 marine mammals each year and, to top it off, generate toxic microplastics that infest oceans and landfills for up to a thousand years. Look for cloth alternatives that are reusable and durable.

Energy drinks

This type of drink arises from the need that some people have to recover lost energy, that illusion that our body performs beyond our real capacities. But do they achieve it? The caffeine contained in energy drinks, if consumed in moderation, does not represent health risks, but do not overdo it under the promise of greater vitality. In most cases, you can get that extra energy from a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.

Say yes to vaccinations

A timely vaccination (according to the scheduled vaccination schedules in the health sector) will prevent you from acquiring a disease if you come into contact with the microorganism that causes it, so you will avoid contagion, serious sequelae, or fatal consequences. Remember that vaccines are your right; however, understanding their indications and benefits is your responsibility. But they also help you to prevent an imbalance in your finances, since a sick person requires medicines, medical consultations, and even hospitalization.

Cereals for children

Breakfast is very important, as the calories we consume in the morning are the calories we will burn during the beginning of the day and keep us going for the rest of the day. Children's cereals are a quick breakfast option. However, the recommendation is that they should not be consumed frequently since they are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and sodium. In a country like Mexico, which ranks first in childhood obesity, the ideal is that cereal, consumed in moderation, should be an occasional complement to breakfast and can be combined with other foods to have a recommended diet, rather than becoming the only source of energy.

What about your financial health?

So that the credit purchases you made in recent months do not put you in financial trouble, the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Consumers recommends a plan to heal your finances and reduce your debts until you can pay them off completely, of course, it is essential that you no longer acquire more commitments so you can get out of this rut that affects your economy.

Make a budget to identify your income and expenses and know what your ability to pay is. Identify your debts. List your debts starting with the one you can pay off in less time. Pay more than the minimum. Do not change your plan. You mustn't deviate so as not to alter the final result.

Soft drinks

Mexicans are the leaders in the consumption of soft drinks. According to the National Autonomous University of Mexico, an average of 163 liters per person per year are consumed. In general, both soft drinks and flavored beverages contain food additives, that is, substances without nutritional value that are added to products in minimal portions to modify some of their characteristics, such as, for example, to enhance flavor, improve their appearance or even increase their shelf life.

Although no single food is responsible for weight gain, excessive consumption of soft drinks or flavored beverages can unbalance your diet. Remember that all foods provide energy to a greater or lesser extent.

No to incandescent bulbs

Remember, an energy-saving light bulb consumes 75% less electrical energy and lasts up to 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. This saving will be reflected in your electricity bill. Also, you help the environment because they give off less heat compared to normal bulbs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, besides being more efficient, they illuminate better with less energy.

The importance of breastfeeding

Healthy eating habits begin in the first years of life; breastfeeding promotes healthy growth and improves cognitive development; it can also provide long-term benefits, including reducing the risk of overweight and obesity, and non-communicable diseases later in life. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, the introduction of age-appropriate and safe foods thereafter, and continued breastfeeding until 2 years of age or beyond.

Digital Cameras

If you are not a professional or semi-professional photographer, then your smartphone camera is what you need. The latest models of smartphones already have powerful cameras with many megapixels, a large storage capacity, as well as various special features for taking pictures and recording video with high resolution.

Bottled water

If you drink bottled water every day, you'll be surprised at how much you spend on this product. You also have more economical options for drinking water every day. One of them is to filter the tap water with some water purifiers and use a reusable bottle, preferably glass. Another option is to boil your drinking water.

Frozen or canned vegetables

The rhythms of work or daily activities make people resort to the consumption of frozen vegetables or fruits. Some specialists consider that they contain a lot of ice and freezing may cause them to lose some of their properties. Prefer them fresh, so you will take advantage of all their nutrients and properties. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consuming at least 400 grams per day of fruit, vegetables, or greens to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or obesity.

Say no to unicel

Unicel is so common that it is not usual to think about the damage this product causes to the planet. The food industry in Mexico has tended to use this type of container made of expanded polystyrene, commonly called unicel, which has low costs and short useful life (single use). This type of product increases the problem of contamination produced by human beings worldwide, which has become a controversial issue around the world.

Medications containing ranitidine

In October 2019, using a preventive notice, the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris), issued the indication to the general population to avoid the purchase of medicines containing Ranitidine, to consult with health professionals about other therapeutic options, and to suspend the commercialization of medicines containing Ranitidine in their formulation, until measures are taken to guarantee the safety of the product.

Toys without stereotypes

Toys are necessary elements for the formation of boys and girls, they promote learning, creativity, and maturity. Through play they get to know the world, so prefer brands that avoid falling into stereotypes and encourage diversity.

However, everything starts at home, avoid toys that generate classes, stereotypes, or gender differences, talk to children and teach them to recognize diversity and the natural interaction that should exist between people, but above all pay attention to the products you buy, it is likely that you are inadvertently reinforcing patterns that the child does not need for their development and play activities.

Consumption of imported cigarettes

The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks informed about the health risk in the consumption of cigars produced abroad and that are marketed illegally since their ingredients and sanitary conditions of production are unknown. So be careful what you put in your mouth and then in your lungs. Remember, your health could be seriously compromised.

Beauty can cost you your health

For aesthetic reasons, you can also put your health at risk. The Cofepris has already warned about irregular cosmetic surgery clinics through private establishments or premises, without proper health warnings or authorizations. Last September 7, 2018, the institution and the Federal Health System verified a total of 4,322 clinics providing cosmetic surgery services, identifying 510 with anomalies and suspending activities in 264 of them.

Weight loss without miracles

The World Health Organization defines overweight and obesity as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that can be harmful to health. Do you want to stay in shape? There are no magic or immediate drugs or formulas. Go to a health and nutrition professional to choose the right food plan for your size, daily activities, and your particular needs according to your body and medical history.

Self-medication

Are you one of those who run to the pharmacy to get some medicine to relieve discomfort or pain? If so, you are one of the 80% of the population that self-medicates, that is to say, you use medications on your initiative without medical indication and a prescription. The Health Sector warns about the consequences of self-medication, among them, that it can cause antibiotic resistance and allergies. In all cases, it is best to consult a physician before taking any medication.