These unpopular opinions about food may not be what you want to hear! There are so many trends in the food space, and we're weighing in.
There are SO many opinions in the online food world! Listen in as we tackle many of them and chat about where we stand.
Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN is a New York-based registered dietitian, cookbook author, creative recipe developer, food blogger & photographer, and owner of Chelsey Amer Nutrition.
When she's not playing in the kitchen, dreaming up delicious recipes, or guzzling coffee, she works with clients in 1:1 and group settings to answer the question "What should I eat?" to help eliminate restriction and promote inclusion of the foods that help you feel your best.
Check out her free Balance Your Plate Guide here!
The online space gives us so many things that people take as hard fast rules. It's overloaded with opinions, what you should and shouldn't do.
We have this lens into peoples lives and many think that if it's working for the one person then it must work for all people. But this is far from the truth.
You need to do your own research, and in doing so making sure you are looking at actual peer reviewed studies is important. However many of those are hard to read and understand for the average person, which then leads them to look at sources that are misleading or even untrue.
We need to stop polarizing foods and focus on what works for us to feel our best. We often listen to so many people that we forget to listen to ourselves.
As Chelsey says to her client, our internal cues should be strongest with the external cues coming in secondary. But the problem is that many people have this as the opposite.
Why Do People Jump on the Bandwagon?
In the diet and wellness space, there is not so much room for grey, it seems to be very black and white. However it's that grey that what works for people overall.
But that black and white set of rules can give people a sense of structure and even belonging. So it can be attractive.
Another issue is we apply one person's success to mean it will be successful for all. Many diet trends have started this way.
Take keto for example. It was originally developed for one population, dealing with epilepsy. But now the concept has been spread over a wide group of people.
Overall, even when things may work short term, they are not usually sustainable for long haul, so we find ourselves jumping on the newest trend.
Unpopular Opinions in Top Trends
Here are some of our unpopular opinions and the reasoning behind them:
Eating sweets daily is healthy for you
It is actually good to allow yourself to eat real sweets. Things you crave with added sugar, butter, oil, the whole nine yards!
When we don't allow ourself to eat something we crave, it tends to lead to binging which is a very unhealthy habit. Eventually you'll even see that you adjust and may not even crave sweets often anymore.
You should not have cheat days
Calling something you eat a "cheat" is an unhealthy habit. It's bad for your relationship with food as it attaches morality to your food. Food should be described in facts like delicious, nutritious, hard, soft, crunchy, salty, etc.
Describing food as good, bad, clean, cheat, etc adds emotions to the food and creates an unhealthy relationship. Eating a balanced diet is the best way for you to enjoy eating, and keep your mental wellness at it's best.
There is no food police to answer to. It's important that you sometimes eat for your body, and sometimes you eat for your mind as food can bring comfort and feelings of happiness.
A vegan diet is not necessarily healthier or morally superior
Eating a plant-based diet is not the end all be all. While eating a diet rich in plants can add a lot of nutrition to your diet, there is no reason it needs to be an all or nothing thing.
We are all different and while a plant-based diet can be life changing for some, adding some non plant-based foods in can also be helpful for others. It is really important that we individualize what we eat.
Carbs do not make you gain weight
Carbohydrates are so misunderstood. Our body needs them for energy and without them we would not be able to function. There are many types of carbs in so many foods (things like potatoes, fruit, veggies, etc) so when people say they don't eat carbs that is not necessarily true.
Often times when we say we are cutting out carbs, it's actually that we are cutting out things like donuts, cakes, cookies, etc that are more focused on added sugars and saturated fats.
So while we may think we are losing weight due to the carbs, it is in fact the lower amount of calories and also can be that we are replacing those foods with more nutritious things like fruit and veggies.
Stevia is gross
While sugar alternatives can be necessary for people that need to watch their blood sugar, like with diabetes, they aren't always the best choice for the rest of us.
We should all do what works best for us, but personally I stick to real sugar. I simply eat less of it and find that I am still very satisfied.
Sugar alternatives are also 100 to 1000 times sweeter than actual sugar, so it can raise your threshold for sweetness. I have noticed many people that use sugar alternatives need a lot more to get the sweetness they like.
The higher level of sweetness can train your brain to need more. Since your brain thinks it is getting calories, but then it isn't, you may crave other things after the fact.
Organic does not mean healthier
While there are some reasons that organic foods are helpful, it doesn't mean that eating only organic is a healthier or more superior way of eating.
If you can afford to eat organic, then great. But keep in mind these tips that are better things to focus on:
- We cans still get many nutrients from non organic produce, it's always best to simply pick to eat produce over not at all.
- Focusing on local can help keep fruits and veggies delicious and tasting great. Organic produce that is shipped or flown in won't taste as good as the stuff grown locally.
- Many farms still use organic practices even if they are not certified organic. It is really expensive so not every farmer can afford it.
- Frozen and canned fruits and veggies can be just as good, organic or not. Produce is picked and frozen/canned at it's peak ripeness. So opening up your options to include it when needed is a great choice.
Don't forget to grab Chelsey's free Balance Your Plate Guide!