/ 5 min

3 Nutritional Trends: Are They Good for You?

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By: KURU Footwear

Have you ever invited over a dinner guest only to have them tell you they do not eat gluten, and suddenly you had no idea what to prepare? Have you ever had another parent scoff at you as you hand your child a non-organic snack? There is so much contradictory advice about what you should eat that it sometimes feels confusing to sort out all the information. Here are three nutritional trends and what we think of their health benefits.

Key Takeaways

  • Following a gluten-free diet can be beneficial for individuals with celiac disease, and some people without the disease may also experience benefits, but it can be difficult to maintain and may lead to overly restrictive eating habits.
  • While organic farming methods are more environmentally friendly, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to show that organic food is inherently healthier, safer, or tastes better than traditionally processed foods.
  • Substituting vegetables for carbohydrates is a healthy trend as it adds more vegetables to your diet, which is beneficial for digestion, cardiovascular health, and weight loss.

1. Gluten-Free

There is, perhaps, no nutritional trend that has received as much publicity as the gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. A gluten-free diet is not a new idea and has been used for decades to treat celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, and in people who have it, gluten causes inflammation in their gut. People who have celiac disease find that avoiding gluten helps control the disease. Some people who do not have celiac disease experience the same helpful effects.

That being said, a gluten-free diet is difficult to follow and maintain. Wheat is one of the main staples of the American diet and is found in bread, pasta, crackers, and most cereals. Wheat is also a thickening agent and is consequently found in things that you would not expect, like salad dressings and french fries.

Is it Good for You?

The organic question is hard to tease out. This is because people pick organic food for different reasons. Some people choose organic food because they think it tastes better or believe that there is a smaller risk of putting chemicals into their bodies if they eat organic food. There has not been any conclusive scientific evidence to show that organic food is better for you, tastes better, or is safer than traditionally processed foods. Some people choose organic food because they are worried about the environmental and moral implications of traditional farming. Organic food production is more friendly to the environment.

Some people mistakenly think that organic means healthy. Organic speaks nothing to the content of the food you are eating, only how it was processed. An organic cookie is still a cookie, and eating four of them is still a problem that you are only going to be able to solve by putting the cookie down, and putting on your workout shoes and hitting the gym.

A healthy mix of vegetables and fruits on a kitchen countertop.
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2. Substituting Vegetables For Carbs

Spiralizing is a new trend in preparing vegetables. Spiralizing is cutting vegetables into long, thin strips–like noodles. For years, spiralizing has been popular among the dieting crowd, and it has been used to cut zucchini into the shape of pasta (zoodles). Dieters use them as a noodle substitute which lowers the carbs and calories in traditional pasta dishes. Spiralizing has taken off in the last couple of years, and suddenly people are spiralizing squash, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, and anything else they possibly can.

Cauliflower is like the new kale. People are using cauliflower to make pizza crust, using it as rice and even mashed potatoes. Everywhere you look these days, there seems to be cauliflower in place of carbohydrates. Some people claim that it “tastes just like the real thing.”

Is it Good for You?

This is a no-brainer. YES! Any time you can add more vegetables to your diet, you should. Vegetables are good for digestion, cardiovascular health, and weight loss.

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