When will we learn to stop paying attention to food trends, especially those preached with such fervour by celebrities? We follow the advice religiously. We quit eating sugar/fat/GMO/all the things, or we start snacking on hot new superfoods, and then along comes science, and debunks it all.
Take a look at some of the food myths and trends that have been well and truly disproven. Once the realisation that you have been torturing yourself with all those silly fad diets has sunk in, you can have some fun and cheer yourself up by playing fanciful food-themed online slots. That should get your appetite back!
GMOs Are (Not) the Devil
If you have been awake for longer than 5 minutes at any point in the last 5 years, you probably know someone who marched against Monsanto. If activists are to be believed, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are Satan himself.
They are not. They are crops whose DNA has been modified using genes from other organisms to improve disease immunity and protection against pests – and they have been around for more than 2 decades. GMO crops have been shown to be generally more nutritious, and require less treatment with pesticides. Even the World Health Organisation said there are no confirmed cases of such crops causing health problems in consumers.
Organic Means Healthier
The mysterious revival of the early 1990s left a few things other than dusty crystals and dream catchers in its wake. Among them was the dogged belief that organic food is healthier than that grown according to conventional methods.
The 2012 Annals of Internal Medicine included a review study that contained the results of an analysis of more than 200 different organic food nutritional value studies. There was no significant difference between the crops, although a 2016 British Journal of Nutrition study did show higher omega-3 levels in organic meat and dairy products.
Celebrity = Dietician
The British Diabetic Association (BDA) appears to have had a field day debunking trendy diets made famous by celebrities. Among them were eating plans that have found a firm following in Canada.
Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Halle Berry are a few famous faces that have extolled the virtues of a low-carb, fat-and-protein-rich ketogenic or Banting diet. According to the BDA however, such diets are helpful in the treatment of epilepsy, but that’s about it. All you are essentially doing is cutting out junk food.
Actress Megan Fox has been a big promoter of a raw vegan diet, which is essentially eating raw fruit, veg, and nuts. The BDA said such eating plans can be healthy if properly supplemented with additional vitamin B12, D, and other supplements. However, as the association also pointed out, healthy, in this case, does not mean better.
Another actress, Shailene Woodley, has admitted to eating clay, yes, clay, because it apparently cleanses the body of heavy metals. Dietician Toby Amidor said eating items that are not food can cause internal damage. In fact, eating the muddy morsels by which Woodley swears, could leach iron out of your body.
Why Do We Follow Food Fads?
On one hand, it is easy to understand why so many people believe organic crops are healthier than those farmed conventionally or than those modified genetically. On the other, how could anyone ever think that eating clay is a good idea?
According to University of California food toxicologist Carl Winter, most consumers simply want to do the right thing, and stay as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, most nonsense trends could push people away from nutritious food that will do them no harm; something that could lead to future problems. In the final analysis, there is no replacement for a sensible, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – organic or not.