Nuts for health food

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By Kaydee Donohoo
Staff Writer

The term “health food craze” has a negative connotation, and this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, some health food trends are just that—trends. People may add a simple healthy feature to their routine, like a kale shake, but, contrary to the claim of the trend, they do not magically become healthier when they don’t change anything else. Some of these trends are even harmful when too extreme. Drinking only protein shakes for a month is not beneficial for a person’s nutrition.

One issue I have with the negative connotation of health crazes is that wanting to be healthy shouldn’t be viewed as trendy. It’s important. It’s also an enterprise that’s hard enough to navigate without a stigma attached to it.

We are living in a society where fast and processed food is much more readily available and inexpensive than anything organic, plant-based, or overall more nutritious. Eating healthier is often fighting through what your family buys/cooks for you, as well as getting what’s more expensive.

There is also information overload when it comes to what should or shouldn’t be eaten. New studies always seem to override other studies. It makes sense that someone health-conscious would cling to something that’s popular, and therefore stands out against all the other noise.

Keep in mind while battling this terrain that it is important to always do some research before making any major lifestyle changes. Also, there is some amount of intuition that can leave one feeling better about nutritional decisions. Want a healthy snack? You probably know to grab an apple instead of a bag of potato chips. Trust this, form habits, and just work from there.

And, as always, don’t shame others for forming different opinions on what role nutrition plays in their life. Sure, hearing about the latest heath fad can be annoying, but keep in mind those that do them safely are navigating the unclear road to a healthier lifestyle. And when they flood the market with better foods, and test out all the imperfections of diets, it just makes it easier for the less health-conscious to ease their way into it at their own pace.