Take swapping your dairy milk for almond milk. Is liquid from nuts really nutritionally superior to milk from a cow?Or splurging on pink Himalayan sea salt. Healthy habit or a little bit of nonsense?
The answers to these questions might surprise you.
That isn’t to say we don’t need small amounts of vitamins to survive — without vitamins like A, C, and E, for example, we have a hard time turning food into energy and can develop conditions like rickets or scurvy. Here’s the thing: Research shows we get more than enough of these substances from what we eat, so no need for a pill!
Everything from Gwyneth Paltrow’s daily breakfast smoothie to the grocery store around the corner now seems to contain almond butter, but the stuff is incredibly pricey.
So we asked Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian and the co-founder of the group Dietitians for Professional Integrity, what the harm was in substituting almond butter for plain old peanut butter, which is roughly four times cheaper. “It can just be peanut butter!” says Bellatti. “If the only ingredients are peanuts and salt, that totally works. It’s still going to have your protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E.”
When you juice fresh fruits and veggies, you remove all of their fiber, the key ingredient that keeps you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.
What you keep is the sugar. In the short term, a high-sugar, low-protein diet means constant hunger pangs, mood swings, and low energy. In the long term, you can lose muscle mass since muscles rely on protein.
Unless you’re one of the 1% of Americans who suffer from celiac disease, gluten probably won’t have a negative effect on you. In fact, studies show that most people suffer from slight bloating and gas when they eat, whether they consume wheat or not. So go ahead and eat that bagel.
Alternatives to dairy milk have been surging in popularity in the last few years, chief among them almond milk. Yet almond milk is practically devoid of nutrients.
By themselves, almonds are protein powerhouses. But a typical glass of almond milk, by volume, is just about 2% almonds and contains almost no protein. And all the vitamins inside are added. So if you’re looking for a truly healthy alternative, opt for soy, skim, or low-fat milk.
If you’re like me, you associate anything crunchy and sold in bags in the health-food aisle with nature-loving hikers — people who get lots of exercise and keep their bodies lean and healthy. But most granola is no health product. In fact, it’s packed with sugar and calories — a cup contains about 600 calories, or the same amount as two turkey and cheese sandwiches or about four cereal bars.
Lots of people began avoiding egg yolks when nutrition experts came out with a recommendation that eating cholesterol was bad for you because it raised your cholesterol.
But there’s good news: A growing body of research shows that for the vast majority of people, dietary cholesterol (from foods you eat) doesn’t really have much of an effect on your blood cholesterol. So unless you have high cholesterol, ditch those nasty egg-white-only alternatives. Good morning, eggs Benedict!
Bottled water is not cleaner or healthier than tap water. Yet globally, we spend more than $100 billion on the bottled, yet otherwise widely available, good every year.
Author Elizabeth Royte writes in her book, “Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought it,” that 92% of the nation’s 53,000 local water systems meet or exceed federal safety standards and are at least as clean and often cleaner than bottled water.
Once upon a time, many health proponents (including Dr. Oz) claimed that you should swap your sugar for agave since it has a low-glycemic index and doesn’t lead to the kind of impromptu spikes in blood sugar (a.k.a. glucose) linked with plain old white sugar.
As it turns out, while agave isn’t high in glucose, it is high in another type of sweetener — fructose (the same stuff in high-fructose corn syrup). Some recent studies suggest that diets high in fructose are linked with several health problems, including heart disease.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t so much which sweetener you use as how much you’re using. “Sugar is sugar is sugar,” says Bellatti.