Trends in Nutrition – Where are we heading?

Trends in Nutrition – Where are we heading?

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There are interesting trends developing in nutrition.  People are overly exposed to “free diets” – as in gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free – you name it!

Don’t get me wrong, there are always those people who have legitimate food intolerances and allergies, who actually need a diet that is “free” of something.  For those who do not fall under the previous category, it is not the wheat that’s making you bloated: it’s all the processed and junk food you eat that aren’t allowed on your gluten-free diet!  By cutting out processed and junk foods, you eliminate most of the cause(s) of your discomfort PLUS you get the bonus of weight loss!

The current fad of identifying particular grub as super-food puzzles me.  Kale is an example.  Kale, while high in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and calcium to start with, will not provide you ALL the daily nutritional requirements. There is no singular food that is going to save your life or make you healthier.  It is what we eat overall that really counts.

What about so-called “internal cleansers”?  They confuse me.  Our bodies don’t function like  sewer pipes.  You can’t just flush it out.  It doesn’t contain kilograms of gunk that going to make us sick.  The role of our kidneys and livers is to filter toxins out.  If these organs are working and you feel well, then you are okay.

Juice_smoothiesAnd what about juicing?  Green juices can be very healthy as they contain a lot of very good nutrients, but the better option is to chew your greens.  By chewing your greens, a lot of the fibres are retained plus the act of chewing releases a lot of chemicals in the mouth that aids in healthy oral care.  On the other hand, the juice and smoothies that have eight servings of fruit and tonnes of sugar concern me most.  “Fruit juice” is usually sugar water.  Two or three servings of fruit are sufficient for most people.  Best option is to eat the whole fruit.

Just because you’ve heard that something is healthy, more is not necessarily better.  So whether is eating spoonsful of coconut oil, or taking handfuls of supplements, moderation is a simpler concept.

Dining out and having potato chips fried in duck fat, gravy topped with half a kilogram of cheese, or mountains of pork belly, is actually unhealthy and I’m not sure why people boast about constantly eating stuff like this.

The world’s health woes are not just because of sugar, just like they weren’t just because of fat when we thought that 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 really should.  We have always known that sugar isn’t something we need a lot of.  Eat less out of a box or takeaway carton, and you don’t have to worry.

Enough of my whingeing!  “New age” nutrition is here!  People are more interested in nutrition ever before, and are more concerned in a different way about what they are putting in their body.  Nutrition isn’t about trendy diets or losing weight any more.

Family Cooking in the Kitchen --- Image by © pixland/Corbis
Family Cooking in the Kitchen — Image by © pixland/Corbis

The culture of nutrition is changing to involve new foods going mainstream (e.g., quinoa), a push for families to cook together, and far more awareness about where food is actually coming from.

And that is a trend that I hope continues.


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