Marketing can be sneaky and misleading! These are the most commonly de-bunked marketing myths I see in my office. Let’s dig into each so that we can understand why these fads are not as healthy as they’re made-out to be.
Probiotic yogurt aids digestion – FALSE
Probiotic yogurt like Activia have convinced us that eating these foods helps build a healthy gut microbiome. To put it bluntly… they don’t! The strain “B. regularis” is not a research-driven strain of bacteria that is part of a healthy microbiome.
Kombucha is healthy for gut flora – FALSE
Kombucha is a fermented tea made with yeast culture. If you have #digestion issues like IBS, Crohn’s or colitis it’s important to be mindful of the types of bacteria you’re introducing into your system. The yeast cultures in kombucha can be like adding fuel to the fire if our gut microbiome isn’t already in a healthy place.
Diet soda is better than regular – FALSE
Diet soda is made sweet with artificial sweeteners that have been shown to be linked to cancer. Research also shows diet soda negatively alters the gut flora within hours of drinking even one can. Interestingly, research also shows that people who consume artificial sweeteners typically eat more total sugar in a day than those who do not because the tongue tells the brain to expect calories that never arrive, so in turn, we crave more sugar.
Lactose-free doesn’t cause indigestion – FALSE
Lactose free dairy IS helpful for people who genetically don’t have the “scissors” needed to snip a lactose sugar molecule in half; you know who you are, my lactose intolerant friends! This is DIFFERENT from someone who has an inflammatory response (aka food sensitivity) to the PROTEINS (not lactose sugar) in dairy. If you have IBS, bloating, IBD or heartburn, simply avoiding lactose isn’t enough because your body reacts to the proteins found in dairy and those are still present in lactose-free products. Simply put: it’s an immune system issue, not a sugar-scissors issue.
Gluten-free is always healthier – FALSE
I’m all for living a gluten free life, however a lot of gluten free products are very high in sugar and other additives. Always read labels to make sure sugar content is as low as possible. More importantly, try to buy whole-food substitutions instead of look-alike products. For example, quinoa, GF oats, lentils, sweet potato and squash are all healthy whole-food sources of GF complex carbs.
The world of online nutrition advice can be tough to navigate, so peer-reviewed research studies are always my go-to for getting to the truth!
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