5 Red Flags to Look Out for When Reading Trendy Food Blogs
By Katrin Alyss--These days, it seems that trendy food bloggers have taken over the Internet. These bloggers have built sizable followings across social networking sites like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Unfortunately, because they are not trained dietitians or registered nutritionists, they often offer food advice that is inaccurate and even dangerous. Here are some possible red flags to be mindful of when reading food blogs:
1. They suggest meal plans that limit food groups.
Certain modified meals may call to limit one or more food groups. This is a no-no. Our bodies need all the food groups to stay healthy and well-nurtured.
2. They encourage calorie limits.
Diets that limit caloric intake can be dangerous; calories provide us with the energy we need to keep up with the demands of school, work, and managing our schedules.
3. They promote fast weight loss.
There are some gimmick diets that offer followers the chance to “be thin by the time bikini season is in.” I fell for the fast weight loss promise and took some diet pills because I wanted so badly to be thin that I didn’t see the dangers of these pills. The pills dangerously increased my heart rate, putting my life in danger.
4. They suggest cleansing and fasting diets.
Cleansing diets often ask followers to drink juices or eat a very small amount of fruits and vegetables, and they may recommend herbs and colon cleanses. These diets may be trendy and celebrity-endorsed, but they are very rigid and possible side effects include dizziness, fatigue, muscle aches, and low blood sugar. Cleanses come with false promises of rejuvenating effects, but starving yourself via a ‘cleansing’ diet will deprive your body and brain of calories, leaving you feeling tired and groggy.
5. They encourage avoiding essential nutrients.
Some food blogs demonize entire categories of nutrients, like carbohydrates. They claim that it’s “cleaner” to avoid essential nutrients that keep our brains and bodies functioning. This obsession with eating healthy foods and avoiding foods deemed unhealthy could lead to malnutrition, cardiac problems from weight loss, and even death.
If any of these modified meal plans on social networks tell you to fast or to limit calories or food groups, they are not safe. If you are concerned that you may be experiencing a negative physical or emotional response to certain foods, speak to your doctor about a food allergy test or share your concerns with a counselor. Food blogs can be great sources of inspiring recipes and stellar photography, but they should leave nutrition advice to the experts.
Image courtesy of Fine Dining Lovers