It seems that you cannot flip on the TV, open a magazine, or scroll through facebook without someone blasting the latest greatest nutrition information. If you believed everything you heard or read, the only way you could possibly lead a healthy life is if you:
- Go on a week long detox to cleanse your system of toxins built up over your lifetime that would otherwise sit and rot in your insides.
- Introduce only all organic, non-GMO foods. Make sure your dairy does not contain antibiotics. Avoid all white foods. Eat only foods that are gluten-free and raw and NEVER eat after 5pm.
- Eat almost no carbs, especially bananas because those are FULL of sugar. Put butter in your coffee and be sure to include at least 3 servings of meat at each meal.
- No eggs, shrimp, or poultry as they contain just too much cholesterol. Remember, one egg a day is just as bad as 5 cigarettes.
- Avoid sugar at all costs. Bake with honey or maple syrup instead because sugar is bad for you.
Is your head spinning yet?
It is enough to make anyone want to quit eating all together or say “screw it” and go on an ice cream and nacho binge.
This constant flow of misinformation is not going anywhere. As long as we are able to recognize the nonsense from the things that make sense we can at least try to save our sanity. Anyone and their grandma can call themselves a “nutrition expert”. While I may have exaggerated some of the above “healthy” rules, someone somewhere actually came up with and spread the word on all of them, and you can bet that people followed.
Here are a few “health” words and phrases that I could do without ever hearing or seeing again:
“Detox” or “Cleanse”
” Get rid of YEARS of built up toxins and reset your system to lose weight and feel great!” If you want to save some money and have the same results from a majority of the detoxes and cleanses on the market just go to the pharmacy and buy a mild laxative and diuretic. You will spend several days in the bathroom, lose weight (from diarrhea and/or peeing 20 times a day), and probably have some mild abdominal distress. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. Our bodies are designed to consistently “detox” itself. We do not need some extra tea or pill to help it to do this. For example: last night I had a glass of wine. I woke up this morning and the alcohol (toxin) was no longer in my body. I did not take a handful of horse pills or drink an expensive tea. My liver just did what my liver does best, eliminate toxins all by itself.
Using “Healthy”, “organic” and “non-GMO” in the same sentence
Such as, “It was SO healthy, everything was all organic and non-GMO“. Did you know that they now make organic Doritos? Seriously. Those all organic Doritos and non-gmo fruit snacks? They are no healthier than the conventional version. Unless they are lower in sugar, sodium, higher in whole grains or fiber they are not healthier than the conventional version. Organic and non-gmo does not equal health. We need to look past the marketing schemes and really look what is in the package.
Big bold print: Guilt Free Oatmeal Cookies, Guilt Free Bunless Burger, Enjoy this Guilt-Free Zoodle Pasta. Wait? So I am supposed to be guilty if I eat a regular cookie, put a bun on my burger, or use regular pasta noodles? Implying that foods are “guilt free” is only setting us up to feel ashamed when we actually eat the food how it was intended to be eaten or, god forbid, how we enjoy it. Let’s get rid of the “guilt free” and actually be free of guilt when eating.
Unless you neglect to wash your produce or are an avid follower of the 5 (or 10) second rule, you probably are not eating “dirty”. I am not entirely sure what “clean eating” actually means. Is it avoiding non-processed (what do we actually eat that isn’t processed?) foods, eating only organic foods, maybe eating foods with less than 5 ingredients? Eating only foods that have been made to be “healthy” by using honey and maple syrup instead of white sugar or avidly avoiding conventionally grown foods can be exhausting and likely not have a whole lot of effect on overall health. Once eaten, our body has no idea whether the glucose in our system came from a tablespoon of honey, maple syrup, or white table sugar. It is purely a mind game that can cause some serious guilt when one does not eat in this “clean” way. We can all stop using this term now so I won’t feel so dirty when I eat that cookie made with butter and sugar or snack on my very “clean” but conventionally grown carrots and hummus.
What other “health” terms do we need to lose from our vocabulary?