You’ve probably heard of many health food hypes this year, and in years past. If you’re looking to start the year off on the right foot and gain a new edge to your health, I’m all for that but be sure you stay away from health food hypes that are a waste of your time, and often your money. Stay aware of these and just stick to the basics. I hate to tell you but lean protein, veggies, low sugar fruits and whole grains, plus healthy fats are the best ways to get healthier. Superfoods are a hype that are worth most people’s time, along with certain fitness programs and even going vegetarian, but be aware of the following hypes which are nothing more than fads, trends and marketing schemes.
1. Juice Cleanses
I like to write about avoiding juice cleanses in many of my articles, because they really are one of the worst health food hypes out there. Juicing is a great thing for your health, but doing it as a cleanse or a way to lose weight fast is most certainly not. Juice, even straight green juice, is high in sugar and has little to no fiber. It also can be very costly if you’re purchasing a program, and it leaves you tired after a couple of days. Adding juice to your normal routine can be beneficial, however. Have a glass before breakfast, but if you can’t afford it, you can get healthy without juicing.
By now, I hope you’re avoiding this trend, but it still amazes me at people that fear fat in the diet. I’m not overweight and I eat a good bit of fat, all from healthy sources. Something about foods high in calories from fat seems to scare people off. Cleansing your body from fats is a trend today that I”m hearing more of, and one that upsets me. Your body can actually benefit from healthy fats. You’ll suffer depression, moodiness and even constipation without it.
3. Garcinia Cambogia
I’m sure by now, especially if you love Dr. Oz, that you’ve heard of this popular weight loss supplement. Are you really going to waste your money on another “miracle pill”? I hope not. This supplement, along with others out there, is not the key to getting healthy. What is? You got it - the boring stuff I mentioned above that actually happens to be the best for your brain and body.
I believe lower sodium diets have many, many benefits, but don’t fall for the salt-free trend that promises to shed pounds quickly. Your body’s metabolism actually needs salt to function properly, and salt contains more than just sodium. It’s full of minerals like magnesium and potassium that aid in heart health, muscle function, nervous system health, digestive health and blood pressure health. Without it you can suffer everything from depression, headaches to fatigue, bloating and even low blood pressure. Choose high quality sea salt and use it in very small amounts. I also don’t recommend salting your foods after cooking, but use it while cooking instead. This reduces the amount of sodium per serving, so long as you only use a little.
5. Paleo Diet
I know many of you probably eat Paleo, and I think there are many benefits to it, however the problem I have with this diet isn’t the nutrients consumed or not consumed, but how people turn to it as a way to get thin quick. Don’t turn to this diet, or any other to lose weight fast. This isn’t a healthy approach to eating and doesn’t teach you to listen to your body. If you want to eat Paleo, fine, but do it because you need the nutritional components of the diet and make sure you really don’t tolerate grains and dairy before you eliminate them.
6. Raw Food
I love raw food, but this is a health hype I gave up years ago. I thought it could make the “pure” and perfect in my health, but guess what? Many cooked foods are much easier to digest and you can only use what nutrients you absorb. I eat a variety of cooked and raw foods and look and feel better than I ever have. Try it! I think you’ll agree it’s a nice balance to have. Besides, your body naturally needs different temperatures of foods, depending on the seasons and even the time of day. You should listen more to your body this way, than try to feed it raw food non-stop.
I know many people that literally can not digest grains. I believe this is a real issue that everyone should be aware of, but it is a health food hype I suggest avoiding unless you physically can’t tolerate grains. Gluten-free grains like oats, quinoa and wild rice, are some of the best grains you can consume for your weight, heart, and your brain health. Eliminating them can actually do you worse harm than keeping them in your diet until you know for a fact you don’t tolerate them. Oats are one of the most heart healthy, easy to digest, and slimming foods you can eat, and wild rice and quinoa are technically not even grains at all. Quinoa is a seed and wild rice is a grass, yet they behave the same way grains do in the body and come with the same benefits. These three are also some of the easiest to digest and ones I’d suggest starting with if you’re unsure about consuming grains in your diet.
Don’t try to cut any food group from your diet to get healthy. It might work short term, but it won’tin the long run. If you have a true intolerance or allergic reaction to a food, you should definitely avoid it, but don’t because you heard it was the next new health hype to try. What’s the worst health hype you’ve heard this year?