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Home  »  Wellness  »  Food and Nutrition  »  Health Food Fads
Health Food Fads
Health Food Fads

Health Food Fads

Definitions of Food Faddism….( courtesy internet)

Food faddism and fad diet usually refer to idiosyncratic diets and eating patterns.

Food faddism and fad diet are terms which refer to the tendency for idiosyncratic diets and eating patterns. A fad diet is supposed and promoted to improve health but often has the opposite results, if it is nutritionally unbalanced and unconfirmed by science.

Food for thought ….. ( a few famous quotes)

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825
French gourmet & lawyer (1755 - 1826)

"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art."
- La Rochefoucauld

"I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is two weeks."
- Totie Fields

What is healthy food ?
Nutrition professionals usually do not use the term “healthy foods” because the fact that a food is healthy or not will very much depend on how much we eat of it how often, what our nutritional needs are, what else we eat in the diet.. There is no single complete food that provides all the nutrients we need, so including a variety of different foods (vegetables, whole grains, fruits, dairy products, legumes, lean meats, poultry and fish and enough fluids like water) and watching portion sizes is key to a healthy diet.
Healthy eating and lifestyle are important to how we feel, look and how much we enjoy life. Eating a healthy diet will reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, obesity or diabetes.

Obsession with diet and health foods

Here are a few excerpts on the subject from internet…. that surely should work as eye-openers:

Let us also listen  to experts on ‘food psychology’….


“Diet-obsessed parents are bringing up children with a dangerous fixation with healthy eating, experts have warned. Youngsters are being pushed into eating only the 'purest' foods, creating eating disorders in children as young as nine.
Eating disorder expert Dr Steve Bratman said a growing number of youngsters are eating such a limited amount of sugar, fat, salt and artificial additives that they are in danger of seriously damaging their health.
Slavishly following such a strict diet, deficient in vital nutrients and vitamins, can lead to stomach upsets, headaches, skin problems and irritable bowel syndrome.”

“People often think they’re eating healthier just because it’s advertised that way, and even end up ordering more high-calorie side dishes — like soda and cookies — that increase their total calorie intake. In estimating a 1,000 calorie meal, we found that people on average underestimate calories by 159 if the meal was bought at Subway than at McDonald's," says Brian Wansink, author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think" (Bantam 2006) and the director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab". Since it takes an energy imbalance of 3,500 calories to put on one pound, that extra 159 calories could lead to almost a 5-pound weight gain over a year for people eating at Subway twice a week compared with choosing a comparable meal at McDonald's with the same frequency, he says.

Wansink and co-author Pierre Chandon, a marketing professor at INSEAD, an international business school in France, also report that by simply asking people to reconsider restaurants' health claims prompts them to better estimate calories and not to order as many side dishes. These studies help explain why lower-calorie menus at fast-food restaurants have not led to the expected reduction in total calorie intake and in obesity rates.”

"Though many people are concerned about overeating and obesity, usually it’s in the context of intentional bingeing and grazing. The Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, however, studies the unintentional overeating that contributes to obesity.
Often it’s about perception, and marketers who exploit those psychological mechanisms. For example, people eat more of and report more satisfaction with menu items that have long descriptions instead of simple names (chocolate cake vs. a name like Belgian extra dark chocolate mousse layer cake).
There’s the club store curse, which leads to overeating when food is stockpiled. Also, large package sizes increase consumption by an average 22%, while large movie popcorn buckets led people to eat 45% more even when the popcorn was 10-days-old stale.
A visual illusion (vertical-horizontal illusion) causes people to pour more liquid into a short wide glass than a tall thin one - something to remember at your New Years Eve party.
Of course, while unknowing overeating can have negative effects, the same principles can be applied to increase consumption of healthier foods."

“Evidence is accumulating that a diet that draws heavily on fatty food and only lightly on fruits and vegetables isn't just bad for your heart and linked to certain cancers. It may also be a major cause of depression and aggression. Such a diet is particularly common among men.
The health of your brain depends not only on how much (or little) fat you eat but on what kind it is. Intellectual performance requires the specific type of fat found most commonly in fish, known as omega-3 fatty acids. Even diets that adhere to commonly recommended levels of fats, but the wrong kind, can undermine intelligence. What makes this finding awkward is that certain oils widely touted as healthy for the heart are especially troublesome for the mind.
Omega-3s are known to be particularly crucial constituents of the outer membrane of brain cells. It is through the fat-rich cell membrane that all nerve signals must pass. In addition, as learning and memory forge new connections between nerve cells, new membranes must be formed to sheathe them. All brain cell membranes continuously need to refresh themselves with a new supply of fatty acids. A growing amount of research suggests that the omega-3s are best suited for optimal brain function.”

To conclude….

Eat a wide variety of food….sensibly…..happily….and refrain from fads and half-truths !!!

 “We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”
Adelle Davis


Added on: 15 Jul 2009
Views: 1842
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