Every year, popular health trends that were supposed to be the future of dieting, are disproved and new trends make their way in. One year, the Atkins diet is ‘in’ and red meat is our savior. Now, red meat is connected with shorter life expectancy. Carbs are good. Carbs are bad. The list goes on and on. Although it’s hard, if not impossible, to know what to believe, its safe(est) to assume that the newer information is the most accurate. Although the same Harvard study that condemned red meat may have been conducted by the same people who praised the Atkins diet just a few years earlier, it’s hard to argue against up-to-date information. As technology and science progress, new information and trends are bound to appear; it seems as though keeping up with the times is half the nutritional battle. What are some of the new trends from this year that seem to contradict what we thought about healthy eating? Let’s bust some of these misleading health myths!
To most people, Greek yogurt and healthy eating go hand-in-hand. Being a protein and calcium rich, better version of already healthy ‘regular’ yogurt, what’s not to love? Before you take my head off screaming that you know Greek yogurt is healthy and you don’t care what any study says, well, yes and no. It is very true that plain non-fat Greek Yogurt is not only extremely healthy but may even be considered a super food. A 6oz nonfat plain Chobani has just 100 calories, a whopping 18 (!!!) grams of protein, just 7 grams of sugar, calcium, vitamins, and is great for your digestive tract! On the other hand, take a 6oz nonfat blueberry flavored Chobani, and you’re getting 140 calories, 14 grams of protein, and 20 (!!!) grams of sugar! Not to mention there are low-fat, 2% and even worse versions for you, so NOT all Greek yogurts are created equally!! And get this; a 5.3oz Fage Total 2% With Honey has 29g of sugar, so make sure you buy plain flavored and throw some real fruits, or granola in there yourself.
This next one has been a more widespread trend, especially after Dr. Oz got his hands on the issue—fruit juices. For starters, these juices contain less nutrients and vitamins than the real fruits have. Next, they obviously have no satiety effect and can’t fill you up, such as an apple can. Also, it is easy to consume too many calories, as a large glass of apple juice may contain 150 calories, whereas an actual apple may have 75 calories and fill you up. Now, add in all of the sugar added into fruit juices, and in reality, they aren’t much better than soda! Going back to Dr. Oz, he found high levels of arsenic in samples of 88 different juices, so these diet-poisoning drinks may actually be poisoning you!
One of the most popular trends these days seems to be fiber content. What if we told you this was one of the healthy food scams? Much like the Greek yogurt situation, this is true and false. Fiber IS great for you—if it is naturally occurring. Fruits and vegetables should be your main sources of fiber. Oatmeal, quinoa and other oats are great sources of fiber as well. The problem with fiber lies in products such as Fiber One dessert brownies that add fiber…along with maltodextrin, sorbitol, and inulin which basically act as faux fiber. These are not nutritionally beneficial for you, and cause stomachaches and bloating.
With thousands of different research studies offering contradicting ‘facts’, our best advice to you is keep it simple, and natural! Don’t opt for flavored items at the risk of high sugar and artificial flavoring. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, raw foods, nuts, whole grains, and naturally occurring products and you will be just fine! Stay away from sugar-packed drinks and opt for an all-natural, low-sugar Phix Energy instead!