Three Trendy Diets Explained

Healthy Food ObsessionIn a diet-obsessed society, healthy diet and lifestyle trends come and go as fast as you can say coconut oil. With a constant influx of new information, it can be hard to keep up with the latest fads. Here are three popular diet tips, and some insight into whether or not to follow them:

Avoid Bananas

Recently, more and more self-proclaimed food gurus have been urging people not to eat bananas, saying things as mild as “they have more calories than you think” or as shocking as “they’re just like candy!” The USDA reports that the average banana contains about 14 grams of sugar. While this may seem large, bananas also contain a large amount of fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream (among other important benefits). This slow uptake prevents unhealthy blood sugar spikes you might experience after eating a large amount of processed sugar, making bananas a great choice for a filling snack.

Eat More Quinoa

With a name this hard to pronounce, quinoa might just scare you off. Do not be afraid though, all the hype is true: quinoa is great for your health. A whole grain that can be eaten plain or in many different recipes, quinoa contains all essential amino acids, which is a characteristic found in very few plants. What does this mean? Amino acids are the subunits of proteins. Many biological processes require certain amino acids, and quinoa contains each of the amino acids required for these processes. On top of that, quinoa contains many important vitamins and minerals such as folate and calcium. Quinoa fulfills many dietary necessities, so it is a great food to include in meals.

Go on a Juice Cleanse

Juice cleanses are all over the place now. From special juice stores in every city to celebrities spotted holding their juice of the day, you are probably aware of the trend. You may have heard someone say they are doing a juice cleanse to “flush out their toxins.” While the idea of flushing out toxins sounds nice, your kidney and liver are likely already doing it for you–they filter out unwanted or hazardous materials in the body everyday. Another popular reason for going on a juice cleanse is weight loss. After drinking all your meals for a week, you probably will lose weight initially because juice cleanses often have less energy (calories) than you would get from food. However, our bodies respond to energy restriction by slowing our metabolism which is why most people end up regaining the weight. Also, juice cleanses tend to be low in protein, some minerals, and fiber (since the juicing process removes many fibers), which can spike blood sugar and leave people hangry (hungry+angry), and malnourished. While it may not be as popular on the media, eating balanced meals and snacks is more likely to support your health and weight long-term.

New information can be hard to understand, especially when it relates to your own health. If you ever question whether a new trend is rooted in facts or just a short-term craze, doing your own research will help you in the long run. Look up reputable sources of information (think scientific research instead of tabloid articles) to unpack the information and figure out what might work for you. Most importantly, never stress yourself out too much trying to keep up with the latest trends. It is important to eat healthy, but it is also important to have a healthy state of mind.

– Maura