Get the skinny on 5 diet trends
Skim a few magazines, and you can find a hot new food or diet regimen for nearly every health issue, from weight loss to allergies. Kimberly Brodie, PhD, a health and wellness specialist who teaches nutrition for the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Phoenix Raleigh Campus, pinpoints which diet trends offer a true nutritional boost and which are just marketing hype:
Of the popular healthy eating fads, Brodie says that freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice offers the most health benefits, since it brims with vitamins and minerals. By drinking berry elixirs or liquefied greens alongside meals, or doing a one-day detox by sipping only juice blends, people often hope to lose weight. Brodie cautions, however, that some juice has more calories than you might expect, and it can spike blood sugar levels. She recommends juice to supplement, not replace, meals.
Yes, as in the famous 1980s “Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia®” jingle. This low-calorie seed allegedly packs a high dose of protein, omega-3 and fiber to aid weight loss. Brodie notes that so far, these claims are just buzzwords. “The seeds are certainly safe to ingest, but this fad is playing on the heartstrings and nostalgia of people who grew up with Chia® Pets,” she says. “There is no scientific evidence to suggest the seeds provide long-term benefits.”
By using wheat kernels that have sprouted before being ground for baking, loaves of this bread are rich in whole grains. Sprouted bread also has a lower glycemic index than white bread, Brodie explains, so it’s a better choice for pre-diabetics and diabetics.
The GenoType Diet
Dr. Peter D’Adamo, known for his bestselling Blood Type Diet® book, now gives nutrition advice based on six genetic profiles. D’Adamo suggests specific kinds of foods to eat or avoid for each type of genetic makeup — given names such as Warrior, Hunter or Nomad. “The recommendations are generally good, and there are no blaring nutritional faux pas, like removing meats or carbs,” Brodie says.
This sharp-smelling tea undergoes fermentation with a yeast and bacteria colony. Kombucha fans believe the brew aids digestion, eases premenstrual syndrome symptoms and supports the immune system. It sounds like a great cure-all, but there have been reports of people getting sick from home-brewed kombucha. Instead, Brodie says, you could try sipping small doses of apple cider vinegar, a safer home remedy.
Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia and Chia Pet are registered trademarks of Joseph Enterprises Inc.
The Blood Type Diet is a registered trademark of Peter James D’Adamo.