News

11-01-2015

Many trends cost a significant amount of money and time and there is often little evidence to show a health benefit.

 Food trends from 2014 appeared to involve being free of something, gluten , sugar, carbohydrates, dairy or anything discovered after 10000 years ago. Food ethics, benefits, economics, culture and provenance have also become more important.

 

  • Activated almonds: these are soaked for 12-24 hrs, dried at a low temperature for another 6-12 hrs to reduce the amount of phytates, improve nutritional benefits and ease digestion. There is no scientific evidence to support the claims. No evidence exists to demonstrate whether activating improves digestibility or nutrition.  There is some evidence that phytates are protective against bowel cancer. Almonds are a rich source of healthy fats and vitamin E for heart health without any extra treatment .

 

 

  • Coconut water: the clear liquid inside young, green coconuts. Marketed as a health alternative to sports drinks . There is no scientific evidence of improved hydration over water, and it contains only small amounts of minerals and other nutrients. There is no evidence regarding assisting weight loss or improving digestion .

 

 

  • Cacao: the beans are the seeds of the cacao tree, compared to fruit powders, including acai, cranberry and pomegranate juice, cacao powder and dark chocolate have equivalent or greater antioxidant levels. Dutch Cocoa has reduced antioxidant properties due to an alkalinising process used to moderate the flavour.

 

 

  • Acai: cultivated from a palm tree in Central and South America and widely claimed to be a 'superfood' , reducing weight, controlling cholesterol, treating arthritis, detoxifying and improving health. Laboratory studies have confirmed the antioxidant properties, but not weight loss benefits.

 

 

  • Goji berries: red berries native to China and the Himalayan region. Studies have confirmed their antioxidant properties, particularly their carotenoids. There is some concern that they may interact with medications broken down in the liver.

 

 

  • Chlorophyll: the green pigment of leaves. Bottles of liquid chlorophyll claim to improve general health, boost energy and detoxify. It is a non- poisonous substance, but eating green vegetables provides the same benefits and fibre, generates a sense of fullness after eating and may taste better ( the dose suggested daily will cost almost $2000 dollars over a year)

 

 

  • Aloe: derived from a cactus plant. Topical use can be of benefit for some skin conditions and burns, but there is no evidence of benefit orally. It is unlikely to benefit arthritis, bowel disease or heal stomach ulcers when swallowed.

 

 

  • Green Smoothies: research repeatedly demonstrates Australian's lack of vegetable intake. A green drink of vegetables is low in calories, high in minerals and vitamins, ( little fibre) , but adding fruit and extras adds calories and adding protein powder, maca powder or chia seeds makes a meal replacement drink. The danger is having the smoothie with extras as a snack and the meal with the extra calories.

 

 

  • Gluten- Free: most people self- diagnose gluten intolerance. It is important to check that gluten-free food does not contain replacements with reduced fibre and nutrients or unhealthy alternatives. True gluten allergy needs additional monitoring associated with the condition and strict gluten avoidance.

 

 

  • Paleo Diet: reducing refined carbohydrates and sugars in favour of whole fruits, vegetables and protein is a good aim, but removing fibre- rich whole grain, legumes, calcium rich dairy , antioxidant rich coffee is not healthy in the long- term and would require additional supplements.

 

 

  • Cross Fit: the push yourself to the limit workouts and severe Cross Fit programmes can cause medical consequences re heart attack , tendon injury, and even significant muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) .

 

 

  • Detox: the body has a well regulated detoxification system in liver, lungs, kidneys and skin. The detox process  is often associated with immediate weight loss, but fluid loss, health gut bacteria loss and muscle loss rather than fat loss.

 

 

  • Wearable Technology: it is possible to track BP, heart rate, sleep cycles and keep a diet audit . the information gathered can be useful for motivation and give information about how active and how much sleep is occurring .

 

 

  • Standing Desks: research clearly shows extended periods of sitting increase heart disease risk, type 2 diabetes risk, some cancers and early death. The key is to change position every 30 mins as standing for long periods can also have complications .

 

 

  • Functional Fitness: describing Exercise Programmes using movement patterns we naturally make in everyday activities, carrying shopping , gardening and household activities  Instead of gym equipment such as rowing machines  and exercises such as  bicep curls and bench presses. 

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