Scrolling through the health news can be interesting, exciting even, and downright maddening! Popular media suggests some interesting things about the public concept of nutrition – and it isn’t founded in science. Beware! Nutrition buzzwords are a part of media campaigns aimed at selling products, diets, books, or supplements, and they’re pretty successful. Here are a handful of the popular buzzwords that make me roll my eyes, and why we should stop using them.
- Clean eating: What exactly is a “clean” or “real” food? Carefully choosing minimally processed foods is reasonable, but excessive restriction can cause nutritional inadequacy.
- Cleanse or detox: Your liver and kidneys already do this, so don’t waste your money or starve yourself. Plus, these extreme measures can be dangerous!
- “Boost” or “jump start” your metabolism: This simply doesn’t mean anything.
- Superfoods: No capes here. Just because something is high in antioxidants or other nutritive quality doesn’t make it the only choice for your diet. We thrive on variety!
- “Good” or “bad” foods: We have to break the diet dichotomy and recognize there is a place for everything. Learn to listen to your body and what it needs.
- Low carb/Keto: These trends suggest foods high in carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, should be avoided. The opposite is true! Cutting out entire macronutrients is not a healthful – or sustainable – practice.
Nutrition isn’t simple, it’s science. It influences and is influenced by every aspect of life: biochemical, medical, environmental, financial, social, and so on. The truth is, a perfect diet doesn’t exist. We are all individuals with unique needs, and there is no quick fix to health. But if you’re looking for a change or to feel better, keep it simple. Eat more fruits more vegetables, choose lean protein sources and more plant proteins, and add small amounts of nuts or liquid fats. An active jaunt around the block will help, too. Small changes really do add up, so start with the next bite!
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