2017 Health Food Trends That Are a Total Waste of Your Money
2017 saw the rise of some really great food trends (we’re looking at you, poke) that won’t break your bank. On the contrary, it also brought a few meals and ingredients to prevalence that aren’t worth the time, money, and effort.
Whether you’re a fan of adding nutrients to your smoothies or creating barbecue out of a fruit, these 2017 food trends are better left behind for 2018.
Matcha was a dominant force across many domains over the past few years. It is a finely ground powder made from green tea leaves known for its abundance in antioxidants and caffeinating properties.
The downside is the cost outweighs the value; it’ll cost you an average of $25 per 1.5 ounces of the powder, which makes around 20 cups of tea. By comparison, you can buy Tazo Zen Green Tea for $3.83 per 20 tea bags.
Next: This pasta may surprise you.
Zoodles and spaghetti squash
The low-calorie, low-carb veggie noodle took over as a viable pasta replacement. Zucchini noodles, or “zoodles” and spaghetti squash are sold pre-made at retailers like Whole Foods and Trader Joes.
Next: This tea isn’t worth the crazy cost.
This fermented beverage is a concoction of tea, sugar, and bacteria, smells like vinegar, and reportedly tastes like tart, rotten apple cider.
Celebrities, chefs, and health foodies alike drink the tea for its perceived health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, limited evidence suggests the tea offers similar benefits to probiotic supplements, and can actually have adverse affects like infections and allergic reactions.
Next: The vegan lifestyle doesn’t come cheap.
If you haven’t heard of vegan meat replacement, don’t worry — it’s not worth the price. The Jackfruit Company meals, like the popular Tex Mex Jackfruit, cost $51.66 per six serving box.
Jackfruit isn’t as good a protein source as its marketers will lead you to believe. Today found that while the seeds of the jackfruit are rich in protein, the fruit itself is not. A 2.65 ounce serving has just 1g of protein, compared with 21g for a chicken breast.
Next: This disease sparked a diet trend that’s wasting your money, and your time.
Anything gluten free
Unless you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, don’t try the gluten-free diet. Plenty of healthy dieters have been seeking gluten free options under the impression it will help them lose weight, but the diet just helps you lose money.
If you aren’t part of the 1% diagnosed with celiacs disease, going gluten free can hurt your health. Whole grains contain 31 different antioxidants that are essential to your body. The dietary fiber in whole grains also improves gut health.
Next: This expensive product recently became a billion dollar brand.
Halo Top ice cream
Halo Top pints are all the rage this year and cost a pretty penny to boot. The kicker? It’s not as healthy as it seems.
Halo Top uses the “natural” artificial sweetener Stevia to sweeten its ice cream without adding in calories. However, a recent report analyzed 37 studies on zero-calorie sweeteners and found that they don’t actually help people lose weight — and instead may contribute to weight gain.
Next: The food trend that follows astrology.
Astrologically farmed eggs
2017 welcomed a highly unique farming trend. Astrologically farmed eggs that come from chickens birthed according to the moon almanac.
There isn’t any scientific research to support these eggs are any better than regular ones. Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, told CNN, “Not using hormones or antibiotics in the process of growing chickens is definitely beneficial, but it may not differ from other organic methods.”
Next: Stick with tap water to save money.
Grocery store shelves are stocked with bottles of water which claim to help consumers relax, lose weight, and energize. These nutrient-enhanced products claim to pack high levels of vitamin C and few to no calories, but they’re mostly just chemicals.
Take Whole Foods‘ lemonade-flavored nutrient enhanced water, for instance. Its ingredients include citric acid and beta carotene for color. That’s not exactly healthy …
Next: Opt for chicken instead of this protein source.
The protein powder craze underwent a healthier transformation, with whey, hemp, and soy powders. According to TIME, protein powder still isn’t an adequate replacement for the real proteins you get from food.
Protein provides the nine essential amino acids that the human body doesn’t make by itself. Many protein powders don’t pack these amino acids, so by replacing food with the powders you cheat your body out of nutrients.
Next: The fad diet that will break the bank, and doesn’t really work.
Multiple dietitians agree that juice cleanses do more harm than good. “ … most cleanses have people severely restricting their calories by drinking only juice. These types of cleanses are neither effective nor safe,” said Caroline Cederquist, M.D., author of The MD Factor Diet.
The average cost of a start-up cleanse (usually a three-day cleanse) costs between $60 and $200. A local juice bar can charge as much as $15 for just one drink. Save the money and time and eat solid fruits and vegetables instead.
Next: We’ll stick to sugar instead of this substitute.
Truvia natural sugar substitute
Sugar substitutes like Splenda and Extra have been denounced for their potentially cancerous chemicals like aspartame. Health nuts began to opt for Truvia, a zero-calorie natural sweetener comprised of erythritol, natural flavors, and rebiana.
Stevia has been used for centuries as a natural sweetener in South Africa. However, Truvia has some concerning side effects like compromising digestive issues and metabolic interference.
Next: Not all breads are bad, but this one breaks the bank.
Sprouted grain bread
Grain bread like Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread took off in 2017 as an alternative to whole wheat products. However, the health benefits aren’t significant enough to justify the high cost (and lack of taste).
Licensed nutritionist Monica Reinagel found that, “The advantages of sprouted grains are maximized when you are eating the sprouted grains themselves … But most of those nutritional benefits get lost when you take that sprouted grain, then dry it, grind it into flour, and expose it to heat.”
Next: Choose Lays over these chips.
While kale itself is packed with healthy nutrients (and super low-calorie), the chips aren’t worth your money.
Packaged kale chips are better for you than potato chips, however they still have preservatives. They also cost a lot — $5 per personal bag, on average — significantly more than a bag of potato chips. Buy kale fresh, season it with salt, and bake your own homemade kale chips to save money and calories.
Next: The spread that isn’t heart healthy.
While many people claim coconut oil is good for your heart, studies show that the butter replacement is actually detrimental to your health. The American Heart Association recommends you limit your saturated fat intake to 13 grams per day or less.
One tablespoon of coconut oil alone packs those 13 grams. You can keep using the oil as a treatment for insomnia, heartburn, cuts, acne, and dry hair, but dietitians recommend laying off consumption.
Next: The Majik supplement that isn’t all that magical.
Blue Majik is a natural phycocyanin extract that rose to relevancy as an addition to protein shakes, smart waters, and lattes alike. Supporters drink the chlorophyll source for its reported anti-inflammatory properties, but not at a low cost; 30 single packets will cost you $60.
Nutritionists are still wary about Blue Majik’s healing properties. “[Blue majik] contains a compound called phycocyanin, which may also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but research has been done widely in mice,” said Smith.
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