Juicing may be a popular health fad, but evidence suggests it could actually be detrimental to a good diet. The same goes for coconut oil, which is loaded with saturated fat but has emerged as another dietary craze in the United States. And a gluten-free diet likely has little positive health benefit for people who do not have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
These conclusions are part of a new review of the latest scientific evidence on food and nutrition that was conducted to shed some light on the latest diet fads.
“There is widespread confusion in terms of nutrition. Every day someone says something is good, and then the next day they say it’s bad,” said review lead author Dr. Andrew Freeman, co-chair of the American College of Cardiology’s Lifestyle and Nutrition Work Group. “Our purpose was to do our best to give clinicians the tools they need to help their patients,” said Freeman, who is also director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver.
He and his colleagues reviewed medical evidence related to overall healthy eating patterns and specific dietary fads that are currently popular in the United States.
The Truth About Popular Health Fads
They concluded that:
- Juicing might improve absorption of some plant nutrients, but it also leaves out a lot of fiber and nutrients contained in whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing removes the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables, producing liquid that contains most of the vitamins, minerals and chemicals found in whole fruit. But, whole fruits and vegetables have valuable fiber that’s removed during most juicing.
- People who juice tend to drink more concentrated calories without feeling as full afterward. “You’re leaving behind most of the nutrients, you’re leaving behind the fiber, and research has shown that when you drink calories they aren’t as satiating as when you chew them,” said Dr. Alice Lichtenstein. She’s director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston.
- By the same token, high-dose antioxidant dietary supplements don’t appear to benefit people any more than simply eating foods rich in antioxidants. “Every time we extract things from plants, we usually don’t get the same benefit, or sometimes we get a non-benefit, a danger,” Freeman said. “If you eat a well-balanced diet, vitamin supplementation is usually not required.”
- Coconut oil is a recent health food fad, but coconut is naturally loaded with unhealthy saturated fats, Freeman and Lichtenstein said. People would do better to use olive and vegetable oils in their cooking, since they contain healthy unsaturated fats. “Everybody is buying tubs and tubs of coconut oil, and the data behind it just doesn’t exist,” Freeman said.
- A gluten-free diet can help people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, but does no good for healthy people who can digest grains without any side effects. Whole grains can actually be healthier for people than gluten-free alternatives that are higher in processed carbohydrates, Freeman noted.
- Eggs can increase a person’s cholesterol levels, although not as much as previously thought, Lichtenstein said. One or two eggs per day likely would have a small effect in most people not at high risk for heart problems or high cholesterol. “When you start going above that, particularly in high-risk individuals, it may be problematic,” she said. The saturated fats found in meat and dairy products pose a larger hazard to cholesterol levels, Lichtenstein noted.
Overall, people would be better off with a predominantly plant-based diet that emphasizes eating whole unprocessed foods, Freeman concluded.
“I would argue all brightly colored vegetables and fruits are antioxidant-rich nutrient powerhouses,” Freeman said.
SOURCES: Andrew Freeman, M.D., co-chair, American College of Cardiology’s Lifestyle and Nutrition Work Group, and director, cardiovascular prevention and wellness, National Jewish Health, Denver; Alice Lichtenstein, M.D., D.Sc., professor, nutrition science and policy, and director, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Tufts University, Boston; Feb. 27, 2017, Journal of the American College of Cardiology
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .Â
Additional Topics: Whole Body Wellness
Following a balanced nutrition as well as engaging in regular physical activity and sleeping properly are all proper lifestyle habits which can help increase and maintain overall health and wellness. Many common complications associated with improper lifestyle habits, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, however, the risk of developing these can be prevented with a few lifestyle changes. In addition, visiting a chiropractor and receiving chiropractic care can help maintain and improve the overall health of the spine as well as its surrounding structures.
.video-containerposition: relative; padding-bottom: 63%; padding-top: 35px; height: 0; overflow: hidden;.video-container iframeposition: absolute; top:0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none; max-width:100%!important;
The information herein on "Popular Health Fads May Not Actually be Healthy" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card