Every time we turn around there’s a new food that’s trending on social media, whether it’s a new superfood, a cleanse or a supplement, they’re everywhere! But for how much hype some of these fads get from friends or even celebrities, how do we know whether they’re healthy or not?
Here are a few of the most common fad foods and diets you may have seen around, and some of the facts you may not be as familiar with.
You’ve seen them everywhere- people looking to press the restart button on their nutrition or simply detox their diet, juice cleanses last between a few days to a few weeks in which you consume only fruit or vegetable juices while abstaining from food. There’s been a variety of positives reported including quick weight loss and an increase in energy- but some of the “facts” of this diet may have been skewed- so what is fact, and what is fiction?
You’ll Lose Weight
Fact. When you eat a low-calorie diet of any kind you will drop water weight and possibly notice weight loss right away, however, this isn’t a diet that is effective for long-term weight loss. As soon as you go back to eating a regular diet, more than likely that weight will come back.
Your Metabolism Will Increase
Fiction. Once you stop eating enough food to meet your energy requirements, your metabolism slows down. Although cutting calories does lead to weight loss, if your calorie count is extremely low for an extended period of time you will notice the opposite effect- your body begins storing its fat stores because it doesn’t know when it will be receiving nourishment next.
Your Energy Will Increase
Fiction. Since your calorie intake is low, you may notice a feeling of weakness and low energy. Fruit cleanses are also high in sugar and eliminate protein, which causes your body to produce insulin faster causing your blood sugar to drop- causing dizziness or headaches, or even feelings of depression. You may notice small bursts of energy, but they’re fleeting.
Maple Syrup Diet
This one became famous after Beyonce claimed to have incredible success with it. The maple syrup diet, or more commonly known as the Master Cleanse, has been advertised to help you lose around ten pounds in a week. It consists of drinking a homemade concoction of maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper for ten days straight.
Your Metabolism Will Increase
Fact. The chemical in cayenne peppers speeds up your heart rate and boosts your metabolism in addition to helping you burn more calories.
You’ll Detox Your Body
Fiction. This diet doesn’t detox successfully detox the body in a healthy way. Detoxification works when nutrients combined with toxins are processed by the liver then excreted. However, this detox diet doesn’t provide the necessary nutrients for the liver to work properly, and within 48 hours detoxification stops.
Lack of Nutritional Value
Fact. This diet, ultimately, is dangerous. On this diet you consume roughly 600 calories a day meaning you will be bored, irritated, have trouble concentrating and get headaches. You receive a minimal amount of nutrition from the lemon juice, but there is no fiber or protein to keep you going. While the cayenne pepper has the ability to speed up your metabolism, eventually your body will go into starvation mode and slow your metabolism to conserve the few calories you have.
The Grapefruit Diet
This diet has been around for quite some time. It has several variations, but the typical diet lasts 21 days and involves eating grapefruit at every meal in addition to a few other food restrictions such as starches and sugar. It recommends drinking 10 glasses of water a day to reduce hunger and keep you hydrated. But what are the facts?
Grapefruit Burns Fat
Fiction. Grapefruit is high in water content, so it may help you feel fuller faster which can reduce your calorie intake. But grapefruit doesn’t have magical fat-burning powers.
Grapefruit is Part of a Healthy Weight Loss Plan
Fact. Long-term, adding grapefruit to your diet offers plenty of nutrition and can be a good substitute for unhealthy food. Adding it to your diet is definitely a plus.
You’ll Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Fiction. Like every other “lose weight quick” diet, maintaining the weight you lost after you start eating normally is not likely.
What have we learned? Any diet that suggests you’ll lose weight fast isn’t recommended. It’s likely that you’ll end up restricting yourself to a point that, once you go back to your regular diet, you’ll gain the weight right back. Your best bet is not to choose a diet, but to commit to living a healthier, more active lifestyle. Changing your life will change your look!
Need a recipe to use up leftover hardboiled eggs? Try this delicious deviled egg sandwich recipe.
Leftover deviled eggs:
6 eggs, hard boiled & shelled
4 tablespoons mayonnaise with olive oil
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
White sandwich bread
- To make deviled eggs: Cut eggs in half and separate yolks from whites. Place yolks in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Add mayo, white vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and paprika and stir until combined. Scoop equal amounts of yolk mixture and place in empty egg white halves.
- To make the sandwich: Place extra deviled eggs in a bowl and smash until combined. Serve on gluten-free or whole wheat sandwich bread.
We’re all too familiar with the feeling of a bloated tummy or uncomfortable rumblings that you cannot explain, but keeping your gut healthy is more crucial to your overall health than you may be aware of! Your gut is one of the central hubs of your body, and it serves several purposes. Such as:
- Your digestive system absorbs essential nutrients such as proteins, healthy fats, and proteins
- Keeps unwanted bacteria out of your system
- Produces vital neurotransmitters and hormones
- Eliminates toxins
An unhealthy gut can result in a lot more than potential weight problems- it can lead to arthritis, psoriasis, acne, or even migraines. So, what are the potential symptoms of an unhealthy gut, how do you fix it, and keep it healthy? Here are a few tips!
Signs of a Potentially Unhealthy Gut
You’re Having Trouble Losing Weight
Digestive issues can be one of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to losing weight because it causes your immune system to overreact. Your gut is responsible for keeping out harmful bacteria and other toxic substances, so if it’s failing due to poor health, your immune system will automatically be activated to fill that role.
When your immune system is overactive, it requires more glucose which your body should be able to extract from your fat cells. However, when your gut is unhealthy you have less metabolic flexibility, making extracting glucose from your fat cells nearly impossible. This leads to weight gain.
Since a lot of diseases originate in the gut, you can trace almost any abnormal signs back to it. Here are a few to keep an out for:
- Excess flatulence/gas
- Bad breath
- Abdominal pain
- Skin problems
- Frequent colds
Basically, having an unhealthy gut can lead to a wide variety of health issues that no one wants to deal with. If you’re facing any of these symptoms, don’t panic! There are ways to fix it.
Restoring & Maintaining Gut Health
Restoring your gut health is fairly simple- here are a few practical options to help improve your overall gut health!
Avoid Toxins & Toxic Anti-nutrients
This will help you keep your intestinal lining from getting damaged. Toxic anti-nutrients can be found in certain grains, beans, peanuts, soy and vegetable oils. Be sure to check with your nutritionist on the best foods to avoid.
Toxins include cigarettes, alcohol, as well as exposure to toxins in the environment are both damaging to your gut and your liver. Control your alcohol intake, avoid both smoking and second-hand smoke as much as possible as well.
Sugar is extremely hard on your digestive system. It accelerates the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi reducing the space for the good bacteria to live.
Lower your sugar intake as much as you can, particularly refined or processed sugar.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that produces lactic acid and helps maintain healthy intestines. You can find probiotics in certain beverages, but you can also take probiotic supplements. Encapsulated pills are a better choice since they help the bacteria survive in the acidic environment of the stomach.
Fiber, just like probiotics, promote healthy digestion as well as help clean your intestines clean. Fiber can be found in a variety of foods including whole grains, vegetables, and fruit that you can easily incorporate into your daily diet.
Lower Stress Levels
Keeping your stress down is important not just for your gut health but for your overall health. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, keep your diet healthy, and have fun! Laughter is the best medicine, after all.
For a few tips on how to avoid sugar when pursuing a healthier tummy, check out our blog on Seven Strategies for Reducing Sugar!
Taco salad in a jar? Delicious and simple. This recipe is great when you're on-the-run or if you enjoy meal prepping! Makes 4 mason jars.
1 lb ground beef
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
2 cups canned corn
1 cup black olives
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Shredded lettuce and tortilla strips for topping
- Brown meat in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain and stir in seasoning and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Layer mason jars with equal amounts of salsa, meat, corn, olives, tomatoes and shredded lettuce and tortilla strips. Seal and serve as is or topped with your favorite ranch dressing.
Looking for a sweet afternoon snack that won't completely ruin your diet? Look no further! Whip up a batch of these yummy Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Bliss Balls the next time you're craving chocolate or peanut butter.
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3 oz dark chocolate, melted
- Combine dates, oats and peanut butter in a food processor and process until very finely chopped. Roll into 9 balls.
- Melt chocolate and drop balls one at a time into a saucepan. Use a spoon to coat ball with chocolate and remove it from saucepan. Place ball onto wax paper and repeat until all balls are covered with chocolate.
- Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 week.
This delicious Bone Broth Chicken Pho with Rice Ramen Noodles is easy to make and provides the amazing benefits of bone broth. Bone broth supports the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen. This recipe will serve two.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic minced
1 green onion, sliced
1 small bunch cilantro sprigs
3 ½ cups chicken bone broth
8 ounces cooked shredded chicken
6 ounces rice ramen noodles
Fresh basil leaves, sliced red Fresno chile, and lime wedges, for garnish (optional)
- Add olive oil to a stock pot over medium heat and saute ginger, garlic, green onions and cilantro until fragrant, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes.
- Add bone broth to pot and bring to a full boil. Place rice ramen noodles into pot and simmer until cooked, stirring frequently for about four minutes.
- Remove soup from heat and stir in cooked chicken.
- Divide soup between two bowls and garnish with basil, chile and lime wedges.