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Eating healthy and nutritious can become a challenge with fad diets and information coming from different sources. It can become increasingly difficult to learn healthy food habits when there are new food trends constantly. Atara Schayer, Registered Dietitian at NorthShore, debunks healthy food trends.
Turkey Bacon. Often shoppers will choose turkey bacon over traditional pork bacon because they believe it has less sodium and less fat. Thinking turkey bacon is healthier, many will overeat and not realize that turkey bacon is high in saturated fat, as well as sodium. Although turkey bacon is lower in calories and saturated fat it can contain more sodium per serving than regular bacon, making it important to look for lower-sodium varieties and monitor your portion size.
Coconut Oil. In recent years many have searched for alternatives to butter or olive oil and have begun to use coconut oil. Some believe that coconut oil is high in antioxidants, but in reality, one tablespoon of oil has twelve grams of saturated fat which is a majority of what is recommended for a normal day. Using coconut oil sparingly and using more plant-based oils such as olive oil or canola oil can have heart-healthy benefits such as lowering cholesterol.
Artificial Sweeteners. Looking for an alternative to sugar can be difficult for many to find which can lead to choosing artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners give a sweet taste with fewer calories but can possibly cause headaches and upset stomachs for some people. Sweeteners should be used for reducing calories and to help people control their diabetes.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables. Many times shoppers will shy away from frozen or canned fruit because they believe they aren’t as nutritious as fresh fruit and vegetables. Many quick frozen fruits and vegetables contain the same amount of vitamin and mineral content as their fresh counterparts. Fresh fruit and vegetables should always be an option, but keep in mind the long road some fruit and vegetables may have traveled during different seasons.
If you do choose to eat any of these foods, it is important to always eat in moderation and consult with your physician about your diet and eating habits.