There’s always an urge to try out different ingredients, diets, and healthy foods in our journey to wellness. However, there are healthy food trends that, more often than not, prove to be detrimental to your health instead of enhancing it. Today, our blog will look at some not-so-healthy food trends that have masqueraded as healthy.
In this article:
- Always Go For No Added Sugar
- Lower Calorie Intake by Low-Fat Foods
- Rice Cakes Are The Best Snacks
- Dairy Products Are Bad
Healthy Food Trends That You Should Stay Away From
Always Go For No Added Sugar
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 from CDC, Americans should consume less than 10% of added sugars per day (approximately 12 teaspoons).
Also called free sugars, these include both sugars added to food and natural sugars found in honey, fruit juice, maple syrup, agave syrup, or rice malt syrup. Therefore, ‘no added sugar’ or ‘100% natural sugar’ doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.
How to fix:
- Always check the “of which sugars” section.
- Consume less than 5g sugar/100g (for foods) and less than 2.5g sugar/100ml (for drinks) in your daily portion.
Lower Calorie Intake by Low-Fat Foods
While people often refer to cutting out fat as an easy way to lower calorie intake, low-fat foods aren’t the best route to good health.
Our body needs certain types of fat to function correctly, e.g., omega-3 fats (found in oily fish) are beneficial to the brain and heart. Also, fat in some natural foods accompanies fat-soluble vital vitamins A, D, E, and K – indispensable nutrients for our health.
How to fix:
- The key is not to cut back on fat completely but to choose the ‘right’ fat (unsaturated) and maintain a healthy intake of other nutrients.
- Choose reduced-fat dairy products and lean meats instead of animal fats which contain a high proportion of saturated fat.
- Other foods with healthy fat: avocados, nuts, olive oil, oil-rich fish, and seeds.
- Avoid foods high in saturated fat but low in vitamins and minerals like cakes, biscuits, chocolate, or pastries.
RELATED: 8 Best Carbs For Men To Lose Weight
Rice Cakes Are The Best Snacks
Many people assume that rice cakes are healthier than biscuits or chocolate as a between-meal snack option. While there’s nothing wrong with it, rice cakes don’t bring much to the table in terms of nutrients.
Conversely, rice cakes are the easiest way to hike up the calorie count. Due to their high glycaemic index (GI) and a tiny amount of fiber and protein, rice cakes make you feel hungry very quickly.
How to fix:
- You can top rice cakes with low-fat cottage cheese or salt peanut butter for a more nutritious and tasty bite.
- Choose other options: low-fat yogurt to add calcium and protein or a kiwifruit for fiber and vitamin C.
Dairy Products Are Bad
The media have branded cow’s milk as one of the leading causes of health conditions like cancer, heart disease, or allergies. But rather than being detrimental to our health, dairy products are an essential part of a healthy diet. In fact, dairy products are rich in nutrients like protein, phosphorus, B vitamins, and calcium (vital for our bones and teeth).
Nowadays, an alarming 200 million people worldwide have osteoporosis, a condition where bones are so fragile they can easily break. Ditching dairy can lead to a low calcium intake, especially in children and teenagers, which can damage the growth of bones later in their adulthood.
How to fix:
If you choose to go dairy-free, make sure to add calcium-rich foods:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Calcium-fortified soy products
- Canned fish with edible bones (such as sardines)
Touted by the headlines and celebrities, some healthy food trends may sound compelling as ‘quick fixes’ for weight management and a healthier body. Yet, they aren’t always accurate and sometimes can do more harm than good. Always research carefully and consult with doctors before taking up a new trend which is praised as ‘healthy.’
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