As a Toronto dietitian, I can tell you that there is a LOT of misused information out in this city about nutrition. And from what I have been reading online, it’s not limited to the good ole’ T.O. only. It’s not just an internet problem either – these buzzwords impact conversations with family, friends, trainers and even other health care professionals.
The eye-roll-inducing nutrition buzzwords and concepts below are not entirely untrue, but their meaning gets a bit blurred and their benefits over-inflated with overuse. So today, I have decided to make sense of them all and discuss their real meaning.
Toronto Dietitian’s List of Nutrition Buzzwords and Their TRUE Meaning
The myth of the cure-all super hero head of kale from Kensington market – AKA one of the greatest marketing schemes of modern times. Sure, most of these foods are healthy, maybe even super healthy, but “superfood” implies that they are ‘magic pills’ that will fix everything. Sorry, but no single food can do that. For example, even though salmon has omega-3s and protein, eating only salmon and nothing else would be disorderly at best, and dangerously unhealthy, at worst. Eat a variety of these types of fresh foods – it’s all about a balanced diet.
“Good” and “bad” foods
Why do we love to categorize everything? By labeling foods “good” and “bad”, we give food power and give ourselves a ton of shame and guilt. When we eat “bad” foods we assume we too are “bad”, and when we eat “good” foods we feel virtuous. Here’s the truth – food doesn’t have any kind of moral meaning unless you assign it yourself.
This is one of those nutrition buzzwords that remind me of the “bad” food / “good” food mentality and it really just has to stop. When we describe food as “clean” we insinuate that other foods are “dirty” and that again, we take on a dirty, worthless, lazy, gross persona by eating that “un-clean” food. There is a disorder known as orthorexia where people become obsessed with eating clean, slipping into a disordered pattern of eating. Trust me, that is so far from the healthy you’re after. I suggest losing the labels.
There are so many so-called cleanses out there, all promising that they will flush the toxins right out of your body to yield a clean body inside and out. Some suggest you’ll lose weight, others promise better skin, gut health and clear thinking. The bottom line is that we have a liver, kidneys, skin, digestive tract and lungs to do all that for us – we don’t need another $10 bottle of putrid green juice.
Any Toronto dietitian (and those all over the world for that matter) will tell you that assigning labels to food ruins your relationship with it. At the end of the day, eating healthy is not a goal, it’s a lifestyle and like any lifestyle it has to be sustainable. Eat foods that are good for you, but if you crave something sweet, schedule it into your calendar and indulge! You won’t stay on your nutrition plan if you ice-cream is on your mind all the time!
Need help with making your diet plan more flexible? Book a free consultation with me – I’d be glad to help out!