Normally, our mission at SanDiegoHealthNut is to avoid the negative news and only spotlight the good and healthy things in the world. Today, however, we’re taking a different angle and sharing the most common misconceptions about nutrition and how to get these faulty ideas back on target. Thank you to our Facebook fans for helping us build this list of the most common health nut misfires.
- Pseudo-Diet Foods. Fat-free, low-fat, sugar-free, margarine, aspartame, diet soda… you name it. There’s no limit to the supposed diet foods that claim to be helping us but are so far from nature that they’re causing way more damage than good. Usually a chemically-derived “food” may win the battle by sparing some calories, but we lose the war on health because the toxicity of these frankenfoods are creating more long-term problems for us down the road. (How to get back on track: opt for natural, raw, whole foods and sweeteners that are as close to nature as possible.)
- Bottled Water. The “bottled water scam”, as one of our readers puts it, is so 90′s! Time to get up with the times and stop letting the clever marketing of the soda companies sell us something that’s actually bad for us. The truth is there’s less regulation on bottled water than tap water to ensure its purity; and even worse, the soft plastic it’s usually served in is high in BPAs which leech into the water and make it a toxic soup. (How to get back on track: use a reusable water bottle made from glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free hard plastic and fill it with pure, filtered water whenever possible.)
- Obsessive Eating. This practice, which may seem healthy, is actually quite the opposite. Calorie-counting, solely equating pound loss with health, not eating a variety of foods, and never cheating is usually a recipe for disaster. These New Year’s Resolution-style habits may look good on paper but they’re oftentimes not sustainable as a long-lasting lifestyle change, which usually leads to an vicious cycle of dietary crashes and guilt. (How to get back on track: focus on nutrient-dense foods, which will naturally satisfy you with fewer calories, track both your weight loss and inch loss because lean muscle is much denser/heavier than fat, and be patient with yourself as you evolve to a healthier lifestyle.)
- Vegetarian Restaurants. Most of these places have good intentions, but they overcompensate the lack of meat on their menu with soy-based mock meats that are possibly even worse than the real thing. Soy-products are hard on the body to digest, typically come from genetically-modified seeds, are estrogenic to our systems and are very far from nature. Even worse, some of these restaurants will go so far as to add MSG to their bland soy products to make them savory. (How to get back on track: be careful to check the ingredient list on veggie dishes, ask if MSG is being added, and opt for something like zucchini, eggplant or portobella mushrooms as your meat substitute instead of the unenlightened mock meats.)
- Dirty Filters. Most Americans never give their digestive system a chance to rest and recharge. Just like you would always be sure to change out the filters in your air conditioner, vacuum cleaner, and car, your body’s organs get overloaded with toxins and biochemical stress put on our bodies by all our favorite comfort foods. Even for health nuts who do eat healthy, they’re often not getting the maximum absorption of those high quality foods if their bodies are operating with dirty internal filters. Beware, many health nuts will try a trendy single-ingredient cleanse which may help cleanse out some of the organs (mostly the colon) but often result in loss of valuable lean muscle as well. (How to get back on track: make a routine of adding a full-body cellular cleanse into your healthy lifestyle every 3-6 months and let your body rest periodically with fresh, organic vegetable juice as a meal substitute.)