With so many health trends and nutrition beliefs swarming around out there, it can be hard to decipher fact from fiction. The plethora of information can be confusing and overwhelming for people who are just starting their wellness journey. What, and who, should you believe? To clear up some confusion, I’ve rounded up some popular health gimmicks that you should know about!
1. Anything Gluten-Free = Healthy
Now, don’t get me wrong here. For people who have celiac’s disease or who have a gluten sensitivity, gluten-free is the way to go. However, there’s no reason for the rest of the population to purchase gluten free products. For starters, gluten free products may be highly processed and highly refined. They may also have a high glycemic index (GI), which is not so beneficial if you’re trying to watch your weight. Try sticking with lower GI foods (like whole grains and oatmeal) in order to promote satiety and weight loss.
2. Fat-Free and Reduced-Fat Foods
We actually need fat in our diet! In fact, it 20 – 35% of our daily calories should come from the dietary fats we consume. And if you eat too little fat, you could develop nutrition deficiencies, skin problems, and memory issues.What’s more, manufacturers normally add sugar and preservatives to those “reduced fat” and “fat free” foods in order to make them taste better. You’re better off eating the real deal!
3. Organic Means Healthy
“Organic food” means that man-made fertilizers, pesticides, additives, and growth regulators are avoided during the farming process. This is great! However, even junk food can be organic! Things like brownies, cake, ice cream, and pizza can be made using organic ingredients. But they can still be high in calories and high in fat! Which isn’t ideal if you’re watching your weight.
4. Food Products Labeled as “Natural”
A recent consumer report survey found that of 1,005 adults, more than half of them seek out foods that are labeled as “natural”. Consumers believe that these foods are free from GMOs, hormones, and artificial ingredients. However, this is far from the truth! Foods labeled as “natural” are not tightly regulated, defined, or supervised. They also still contain unhealthy ingredients. Moral of the story: don’t be fooled by the word “natural”. It doesn’t mean what you think it means!
The bottom line? Be a savvy shopper, do your research before you buy, and don’t fall for the lies the media feeds us!