We begin thinking about our New Years resolutions as each year comes to a close. In 2016, we learned many health trends we thought were beneficial are actually not so hot. To help you plan your resolution for 2017, vow to leave these debunked trends in the past.

Sugar Is Less Harmful Than Fat

1. Sugar Is Less Harmful Than Fat
The country was shocked when news broke that multiple organizations in the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to downplay sugar's role in health conditions like heart disease and obesity. As a result, saturated fat has been framed as something to avoid. It's common sense that high doses of sugar or fat can have a negative impact on your health. But now we know refined carbohydrates and especially sugary beverages put you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. In 2017, leave the added sugars behind in favor of a moderate diet of naturally occurring sugar in nutrient-dense foods such as Greek yogurt, apples and even veggies like carrots.

Health Food Buzz Words

2. Health Food Buzz Words
Certain buzzwords can seem appealing to consumers, so manufacturers play them up—whole wheat, multigrain, gluten-free, healthy—the list goes on. You may already be reading your food labels, but in 2017 take a more critical view. Many of these descriptions are merely marketing techniques to appeal to your desire to eat a well-balanced diet. Flip the box over and look first for the serving size. Often, health foods that seem like the package would be one serving are actually two or more. Then determine what matters most to your health and diet needs. No one meal should be many more calories than the other, so make sure your label has a reasonable serving size to fill you up, with balanced calories, fat grams, fiber, sugar and sodium. Then you can be the judge of exactly what is “healthy” and “natural”.

Fat-Free Diets

3. Fat-Free Diets for Health and Weight Loss
Many people avoid fats as a way to control their cholesterol or weight. The problem is that fat free food often lacks the same taste as its higher fat counterpart. To make it taste better, manufacturers often add other ingredients such as sugar, salt or flour into foods, adding calories and other risk factors. In reality, healthy fats are important to your diet. Drop the fat-free trend in 2017 by looking for monounsaturated fats (found in canola and olive oil) or polyunsaturated fats (found in fatty fish like tuna and salmon) on your food labels. Avoid saturated and trans fat. If you have fat-free foods you enjoy, choose which products you want to eat just the serving size outlined on the nutrition label, rather than several servings trying to curb your craving.

Protein Bars

4. Protein Bars As a Substitute for Meals
There are too many diets and products centered on high protein to count. Protein bars may seem like a convenient option to keep you full on the go. Unfortunately, they also provide more protein, fat, calories and sugar than the average person needs per meal, and remove the opportunity for you to eat fruits and vegetables for your meal. An average woman only needs about 46 grams of protein per day, which is easily consumed through normal balanced meals, so ditch the protein bar as a meal substitute.


5. Juice Diets to Improve Your Health
Juice bars popped up everywhere in 2016. While juices can be delicious and nutritious, you’re missing out on the valuable fiber in the real thing. There is actually no sound scientific evidence that juicing is healthier than eating the actual fruit or vegetable. If this is a trend you loved this year, in 2017 try blending instead. Blending gives you the juice and the fiber you need to feel full and keep your digestive system moving.


6. Eating Avocados Helps You Lose Weight
It’s true that avocados have wonderful health benefits, especially on your waist line and cholesterol levels. But the adage “too much of a good thing is a bad thing,” can also be true of the creamy green fruit. (Yes, avocado is a fruit!) Average-sized avocados contain about 250 calories and 23 grams of fat in comparison to apples which have less than 100 calories and relatively no fat. A 2000-calorie diet caps daily intake of fat at 65 grams, and less for lower caloric intakes, so it’s important to understand portions for indulging in your avocado obsession this new year. Nutritionists say a half of an avocado a day is plenty, with eating a well-balance diet, of course.

For more information on a balanced diet, consult a Registered Dietitian in your area. They can help you determine your health goals and achieve them.

By Blair Klayko