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Eight glasses of water here, five servings of fruits and veggies there – keeping up with all these health rules and regulations can be a pretty huge task. So, it might help you to know that you may be able to toss some of these rules right out the window.

Here are 12 health rules that it’s okay (maybe even good) to bend/break:

1. Don’t eat food that’s fallen on the floor.

If you’re an avid believer in the five-second rule, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news first: if you drop your food on a contaminated floor, it takes only a couple of seconds for bacteria to attach to the morsel. The good news: most bacteria found on the floor are not dangerous as long as the food hasn’t been floor-bound overnight. Where you drop it is more important than when. Kitchen floors are the most contaminated in the house. And if you drop food on your office desk, just forget about picking it up. The average office desk harbors 400 times more nasty bacteria than the average toilet seat.

2. Stay away from people with colds.

Colds are not as contagious as you might think – as long as you practice good hygiene. Most colds are spread when you pick up cold germs left on surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Even if your hands come in contact with cold germs, you can keep from getting a cold by washing and sanitizing hands frequently. Unless you have asthma, lung disease or other respiratory conditions, it’s generally okay to be around people with colds.

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3. Eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

There are no studies showing five to seven servings is more optimal than three to five. Studies do show that people who eat more fruits and veggies tend to be healthier, but more is relative. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables along with a balanced diet – but don’t obsess over numbers.


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