As you probably know if you’ve signed up for my newsletter, as soon as you are confirmed, I ask you a couple of questions about where you are at with food. I got this great response the other day:
I am so new to this healthy food thing but after watching a few documentaries I stopped eating meat at home, am buying way more veggies and trying to make sure most of them are organic!! I basically just don’t buy anything I can’t pronounce and try to be as natural as I can. I want to eat healthy, but when I think of things like flaxseed, and chia seed… what are they anyways? What is a fad, what should I invest into my body, what is worth getting into? My problem is that I feel overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start as a newbie in this healthy thing! Also water… I don’t have a filter and am not sure what the best choice is to make healthwise regarding that.
SUCH good questions. How do you know what’s healthy and what’s just a fad?
Healthy Food vs. Food Fads
Here’s my two cents on healthy foods and fads: We all know what’s healthy. An apple is healthy. Broccoli is healthy.
Chia and flax certainly aren’t UNhealthy, but I think they are fads, to some extent. They’re both frequently used as egg replacements in cooking and baking for people who are vegan which is a perfectly fine use for them, and flax seeds are often added to things to add Omega-3 fatty acids.
But if you’re not vegan or opposed to eating fish in some way, they’re not some magical mystery bullet for excellent health.
Our society looks so hard to nutritional science to give us a magic pill for health, be that Omega-3 fatty acids, lycopene, goji berries, whatever. But the truth is, nutritional science hasn’t got it all figured out. Scientists believe that the vitamin A in foods like carrots is good for your eyes, but when you take it out of the carrot and put it in a pill form, it doesn’t work quite as well. Something about eating the whole carrot is more important.
I think the same is true of any new superfood or supplement you might see. Unless you’re trying to fight a specific disease (which I would only do with the help of a qualified nutritionist), I say just let it all wash over you and eat what you know is healthy: organic, whole foods.
If you want to read more about this, Marion Nestle is the leading expert and she has some great books. I like What to Eat.
And P.S. I really think those people who say you have to have special reverse osmosis, deionized, peed-in-by-pixies water are bunk. I think there’s a lot of hype around it for no good reason. Get a $20 Britta pitcher or one of those inexpensive ones that snap onto your faucet and let the rest go! 🙂
What do you think? How much do you pay attention to the latest thing to hit the health food shelves?
Have you got a question you’d like me to answer here? Leave a comment below or drop me a line at lacy @ laughinglemonpie.com.