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The Eight Nutrition Trends That Drive This Dietitian Crazy

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As you can imagine, I hear and speak about nutrition day in and day out. It's a great job and I love it, but some trends just drive me nuts, and here they are:

People are getting too free -- as is, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, you name it.
There are always those people who have legitimate food intolerances and allergies who actually need a diet that is 'free' of something. Everyone else, it's not the wheat that's making you bloated, it's all those crackers you used to eat that aren't allowed on your gluten free diet. Cut the junk, lose the weight. It's pretty simple.

The concentration on one particular "superfood."
Kale, I'm talking about you. I'm a dietitian and even I'm sick of kale. Listen, no one food is going to save your life or make you healthier -- it's what you eat overall that really counts. I'm glad that people are willing to branch out and try new foods such as kale, freekeh, goji berries and the like, but let's be clear: you don't need kale in your cookies.

Cleanses.
Your body doesn't function like a sewer pipe -- you can't just flush it out, and it doesn't contain pounds of crap that is going to make you sick. The role of your kidneys and your liver is to filter toxins out, and if those things are working fine (and they must be if you're feeling well), you're good.

Juicing.
Let me explain this one. Green juices can be very healthy -- it's always good to chew your greens and I prefer that you do, but green juices do contain a lot of good stuff. It's the juices or smoothies that have eight servings of fruit and tons of sugar that I take issue with. Two to three servings of fruit a day is sufficient for most people. Juice is not fruit, it's sugar water. Eat the whole fruit.

Going overboard, because more must be better.
Whether it's eating spoonfuls of coconut oil because you heard it's healthy (yes, some people do that), or taking handfuls of supplements, some people don't know when to stop. Unfortunately for them, sometimes more isn't better. Moderation is a hard concept, I suppose, but when has it ever been a good idea to eat oil by the spoonful?

Unhealthy for the sake of unhealthy.
Hopefully we're on the back end of this trend now, but restaurants serving dishes like duck fat fries with lardons and gravy topped with a pound of cheese, or putting pork belly in everything, it's not cool, it's unhealthy, and I still can't figure out why people boast about eating that stuff. Please stop.

Healthwashing.
Organic cookies are still cookies. Period.

Vilifying one food in particular.
The world's health woes are not just because of sugar, just like they were not just because of fat when we thought fat was terrible. People are sick mostly because they eat a lot of junk with all sorts of processed chemicals in it, and far less whole foods than they should. We have always known that sugar isn't something we need a lot of. Eat less out of a box, and you don't have to worry.

And one trend I love, the "new age" of nutrition.
People are more interested in nutrition than ever before, and are concerned in a different way about what they're putting in their body. Nutrition isn't only about trendy diets or losing weight anymore -- the culture of nutrition is changing to involve new foods going mainstream (quinoa, for example), a push for families to cook together, and far more awareness about where food is actually coming from.

This is one trend that I hope continues!

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