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5 Nutrition Fads to Avoid

 Health trends are in-fashion at the moment in a big way. Every celebrity under the sun seems to be releasing their own "health" book and our society is buying in to nutrition supplements and fitness plans more than ever. While focusing on our health more can only be a good thing, it can be easy to get caught up in these ideals that are posted all over social media, and some of them are complete lies and potentially even harmful. So lets dive in to 5 nutrition fads to avoid this year.

1. Detox disaster

There is absolutely no need to “detox” and the reason is simple – our bodies already do this for us every minute of every day. Our kidneys, liver and pretty much every cell in our body gets rid of toxins itself, we would die if they didn’t! So every time you go to the toilet, that is a detox. Part of this myth stems from the idea that our food and environment is filled with all of these toxins that build up in our system and that is just not true. While there are some environmental toxins we need to be aware of, eating a few too many takeouts last month does not mean your body needs a detox. Juice diets are also incredibly unhealthy for you, our body needs fats, carbs and proteins regularly so going on a 7 day juice cleanse is basically just starving your body for 7 days, and it isn’t getting rid of any toxins. So stick to a normal diet full of fresh fruit and veggies and your body will take care of the rest.

2. Superfoods

Superfoods are a term completely invented by the health and wellness industry and they really are a false concept. While some foods have more nutrients in them than others, all foods are a source of nutrients and give something to our body, nutrition isn’t black and white. You don’t need to fill your diet with chia seeds, spirulina and raw cacao to be healthy, all foods have some benefit so once again, the normal balance diet wins.

3. Alkaline Lies

Possibly one of the silliest diet concepts out there is the alkaline diet which suggests that we should be eating foods to reduce our body’s acidity to make it more alkaline because that is “healthy”. The concept is that certain foods (meat, dairy, alcohol, fish and eggs) make our body acidic and so we should eat mostly alkaline foods (fruit, veg, nuts, legumes). Once again this can be disproved by a basic fact of biology: our body’s pH is VERY tightly controlled. The pH of our blood, tissues and stomach is so tightly regulated that even the tiniest fluctuation will cause our body to kick in to gear and bring it back to normal. So the idea that foods could even make our body more acidic or alkaline in the first place is just not possible, let alone whether that has an impact on health.

4. CocoNUTS

2017 seemed to be the year of the coconut, everyone seemed to be using coconut oil for everything under the sun, including slathering their Sunday roast chicken in it. While coconut oil does have some benefits and it does taste lovely in baking recipes, at the end of the day it is a saturated fat just like butter. In fact, coconut oil is 91% saturated fat which is even more than butter! There is absolutely nothing wrong with using some butter or coconut oil, but don’t reach for the coconut oil for your roast thinking it is a “superfood”. For a truly healthier swap, try olive or rapeseed oil which are great sources of polyunsaturated fats.

5. Sugar Sugar

Sugar is the demon in the nutrition and wellness field at the moment. We have swung from everyone avoiding fat to everyone avoiding sugar and there is a lot of fearmongering occurring. The basic unit of sugar, glucose, is our body’s preferred source of energy and our brain can mostly only use glucose. Having lots of sweets and fizzy drinks has never been the best choice but there is no need for people to be cutting out nutritious foods such as fruit because of worries about sugar. Lastly, there is absolutely no difference between white table sugar and “natural” sugars such as maple syrup, agave nectar or coconut sugar. They are made up of glucose just like your standard white sugar.


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