As a Nutritionist, I am bombarded with individuals who have “googled” their nutrition or have taken advice from unqualified “experts” and often have to debunk the information received. I already tackled Keto and now I am going to tackle 3 Nutrition Fads that make us Nutritionist go cray cray…
There is a lot of solid science that shows that fasting 10-12 hours a day (time restricted fasting) has a lot of health benefits for most individuals and I always encourage my clients, when appropriate, to implement this simple daily fast as part of their lifestyle practices. Fasts that last longer than 12 hours, however, do not have conclusive quality science backing it up. What we do know about longer fasting is that it can cause low energy, fatigue, moodiness, muscle loss, and slows metabolism. It may put the body into starvation which leads the body to store calories as fat much quicker or prevents the body from releasing fat stored in adipose tissue. Longer fasting durations also increases the risk for malnutrition, elevates cortisol levels, contributes to hormone imbalances in women, may lower glucose tolerance especially in women, and causes poor quality sleep… Ask yourself if this is a risk you want to take, will these health imbalances help you reach your end goal? Instead, learn to eat a healthy whole food balanced diet and implement a simple 10-12 hours time restricted fast.
Update: December 2019: I have come across even more research that supports time restricted fasting. For every positive there is a possible negative that should be individually considered when one fasts longer than 12 hours however. So if you are considering starting or currently doing time restricted fasting it is even more important to sit down with a Nutritionist to see if it right for you and you are not doing harm and just reacking all the benefits.
Kombucha, like all beverages made with sugar fermentation (beer, wine), is a sugar-containing beverage; don’t kid yourself. Depending on brewing/fermentation technique, 95% or less of the sugar used is consumed by the bacteria. The average home-brewed Kombucha contains 2-6g of sugar in an 8 oz. glass. The sugar present is what we call extrinsic a.k.a added or free sugars, these are the sugars that are not needed by the body for health, and instead contribute to weight gain, and increases risk for various diseases through inflammation and stress… Let’s be real here, this alone should be a clear indication this beverage should not be consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle, but kept to special occasions. Add on to this that currently, health benefits of consuming Kombucha are inconclusive and some studies have indicated risk of the brew producing toxic bacteria, alcohol, and causing liver stress. Store bought Kombucha is generally higher in sugar then home brewed Kombucha and may have unhealthy additives added. Nothing says healthy like sugar and the potential for toxic bacteria!
Juicing & Juice detoxes:
Juicing removes the fiber (needed for detoxing) and other important synergistic components that regulate the fructose in the body as the fructose is no longer an intrinsic (whole food) sugar and now hits the body hard (stressing the body during a detox is counterproductive). Although touted as being a great source of available antioxidant, in actuality it’s the opposite, those quality antioxidants (important in detoxing) are actually bound to the fiber that has been removed leaving you with fewer antioxidants. The sugar effect of the juice has hypernatremic effect removing water from the cells, thus not supporting health. In addition, sugar also impedes vitamin and mineral absorption (again not supporting wellness and the bodies ability to detox). So ditch the juice detox or daily juices and aim for quality properly formulated smoothies/shakes made from whole foods. If you are interested in doing a detox speak with a Holistic Nutritionist, not a salesperson!
If you want to make healthy changes with your diet, take the time to invest in quality sourced information and advice from a Nutritionist instead of wasting your time, money, and health on gimmicks.
Dana Clark, CNHP, CHC, CHN, CLE
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