As a dietitian, I can tell you that there is a LOT of false information out there about nutrition. Lately, I feel that I have been spending a lot of time debunking myths with clients when the real issue at hand is a lot of these trendy terms are NOT based on science or evidence and can actually be harmful to our health! Here are some of my top nutrition buzzwords and concepts that I would be okay never hearing again.
The term superfood is a myth that one certain food can be a cure-all to whatever may ail you. For example, a head of kale. Sure, many foods that are labeled as superfoods are healthy, maybe even super healthy, but “superfood” implies that they are magic bullets that will mystically fix everything. Unfortunately, no single food can do that. By eating a variety of these types of fresh foods you will probably be in good shape, but that’s not magic, it’s just a balanced diet.
“Good” and “Bad” Foods
By labeling foods “good” and “bad”, we give food power and give ourselves a ton of shame and guilt. When we eat “bad” foods we assume we too are “bad”, and when we eat “good” foods we feel virtuous. Also, when we label foods as bad and off limits, that simply leads us to want it more. Food doesn’t have any kind of moral meaning unless you assign it yourself. Strip foods of these nutrition buzzwords and you’ll quickly find that those “bad foods” lose their power and allure.
This is one of those nutrition buzzwords that reminds me of the “bad” food / “good” food mentality and it has to stop. When we describe food as “clean” we imply that other foods are “dirty” and yet again, we take on a dirty, worthless, lazy attitude by eating that “unclean” food. When we become obsessed with eating clean, we run the risk of slipping into a disordered pattern of eating. I suggest losing the labels, dropping the nutrition buzz words and learning to find a place and time for all foods.
Detox and Cleanse
This is one of my favorites but not in a good way. There are so many so-called detoxes and cleanses out there, all promising that they will flush the toxins right out of your body. Some suggest you’ll lose weight, others promise better skin, gut health, and clearer thinking. The bottom line is that we have a liver, kidneys, skin, digestive tract and lungs to do all that for us- we don’t need a special pill or juice. My suggestion.....put down the juice and eat-real-food.
Bottom Line on Nutrition Buzzwords
I know you probably all know this but these nutrition buzzwords are all used as marketing strategies to get consumers to buy more products/books/diet plans that are usually not even backed up by sciences. I know science is not nearly as exciting as sensationalized media headlines, but science actually works.