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.


a woman holding a cup filled with matcha green tea

Don’t bother wasting your paycheck on this expensive beverage. | Pattanaphong Khuankaew/iStock/Getty Images

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

Spaghetti squash on a wooden background

It’s just not the same as real pasta — sorry. | iStock.com/DipaliS

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.

Zoodles can cost you as much as $6.99 a pound, and you seriously diminish the health benefits by adding extra sauces. Opt for buying whole grain pasta and adding in sliced vegetables.

Next: This tea isn’t worth the crazy cost.


Jar and glass of kombucha

Kombucha might actually hurt your health rather than help it. | iStock.com

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.


Green jackfruit hanging on a tree

It’s just not worth the expense. | iStock.com/Sirirak

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

Gluten-Free loaves of bread

Unless you have an intolerance or an allergy, there’s no need to go gluten-free. | iStock.com/chameleonseye

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 ice cream pictured with an ice cream scoop and cones

You might have a few stomach issues if you eat the whole pint. | Halo Top Creamery via Facebook

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

woman taking an egg out of her refrigerator

Do you know your egg’s astrological sign? We didn’t think so. | jarabee123/iStock/Getty Images

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.

Nutrient-enhanced water

hand holding water bottle

Just drink your average water — it does the trick, we promise. | iStock.com/gpointstudio

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.

Protein powder

three different proteins in scoop containers

Do your best to get protein from real foods. | iStock.com

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.

Juice cleanses

Three different juices, one with a straw in it

Chewing your fruits and veggies is necessary for your fiber intake. | Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

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

a natural sweetener in a bowl next to a leaf

Truvia isn’t as good for you as you think. | iStock.com

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

whole-grain bread slices with blades of wheat

You’ll be paying an arm and a leg to get your hands on one of these loaves. | iStock.com

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.

Kale chips

kale chips in a bowl

If you’re going to eat these, make sure you make them yourself. | iStock.com

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.

Coconut oil

coconut butter and oil in a coconut shell

Sorry — this food still has a ton of saturated fat. | Rodrigo Bark/iStock/Getty Images

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

a blueberry smoothie

This ingredient will cost you major money — is it really worth it? | baibaz/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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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