Juicing up can bring you down: Food fads, nutrition myths debunked in report | Inquirer Lifestyle

Juicing up can bring you down: Food fads, nutrition myths debunked in report

food fads
Thirty grams of nuts a day boosts heart health, but be wary of portion size as they are high in calories. Image: Aleksandar Zoric/Istock.com via AFP Relaxnews

Carried out by Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness in the division of cardiology at National Jewish Health in Denver, the report examined several recent diet trends, as well as “hypes and controversies” surrounding nutrition.

“There is a great amount of misinformation about nutrition fads, including antioxidant pills, juicing and gluten-free diets,” commented Freeman. “However, there are a number of dietary patterns that have clearly been demonstrated to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease.”

After analyzing current evidence, the report debunked some of the recent popular food fads, but also found that, “There is a growing consensus that a predominantly plant-based diet that emphasizes green, leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit is where the best improvements are seen in heart health.”

Some other key findings from the study on what food fads to avoid and which food trends to follow can be found below:

Eggs

Despite previous recommendations, the report advises limiting the amount of eggs in the diet, or any other high cholesterol foods, to as little as possible.

Vegetable oils

Coconut oil and palm oil, which are high in saturated fatty acids and raise cholesterol, should be limited or avoided altogether due to limited data supporting regular intake.

Extra-virgin olive oil

It’s the most heart-healthy oil concludes the study, but due to its number of calories, consume in moderation.

Berries

Enjoy three times as week for an antioxidant boost, instead of antioxidant dietary supplements. Fruits and vegetables are the healthiest and most beneficial source of antioxidants to reduce heart disease risk, whereas there is no significant evidence that adding supplements into the diet benefits heart health.

Nuts

Thirty grams of nuts a day also boosts heart health, but be wary of portion size as they are high in calories.

Juicing

Be careful with this recent food trend. Although the fruits and vegetables in juices are healthy, the process of juicing removes the pulp and increases the calorie concentration, making it easier to consume too many calories without realizing.

Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead and opt for juicing only occasionally, on days when fruit and vegetable intake needs a boost. And, if you do juice, avoid adding honey, which adds extra sugar and calories.

Gluten

People who have celiac disease or other gluten sensitivity must avoid gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye. But for those who don’t have any gluten sensitivities, many of the claims for health benefits of a gluten-free diet are unsubstantiated.

High-fat processed diets

Referred to by the researchers as Southern diets, these diets that are high in fried foods, high-cholesterol eggs, added fats and oils, processed meats and sugary drinks should actually be avoided.

The results can be found published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. JB

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