There are a countless number of health fads that have become popularized 2018. Here are my favourite followed by my opinion of “do or don’t”.
Cricket powder for protein
You have likely heard this trend was on its way! But now, it is literally on your grocery store shelf! Whereas eating insects is considered extremely sustainable and therefore healthy for the planet as well, the practice can’t quite fall into a vegan trend. These beings may not be sentient but they are very much alive. Many cultures around the world turn to nibbling on insects as a great source of protein – especially when animal protein isn’t available and/or is too expensive. Like animal protein, but unlike vegan sources, insects supply a full spectrum of amino acids as a complete protein. Most of the products that I have reviewed at your local grocer are nearly 100% protein by weight. The taste delivers a nutty / earthy flavour that is easily incorporated into a banana based smoothie.
Do or Don’t
I give this a “do” (at least once to say you have!).
Black is the new black! You can now have charcoal in your cocktail, your pizza crust or an ice cream cone!
There are a number of health claims about the medicinal values of activated charcoal such as a natural purifier, may aid in digestion, and improve detoxification. Activated charcoal is used to treat victims of poisoning or overdose in a hospital setting by binding to chemical toxins in the stomach to flush them out. But, it binds to a lot of good things, too. Talking it in supplement form or incorporating it into your food for days and weeks can cause mineral and micronutrient deficiency.
Do or Don’t
Take a selfie with black ice cream and then take a pass and make this fad a “don’t”.
Intermittent fasting has become popular in biohacker circles because it shows tremendous promise for fat loss, building the immune system, building muscle, and increasing resilience. The basic idea is to eat all of your daily food in a shortened period – eat within an 8 hour window and fast the remaining 16 hours. For example, eat nothing after 6pm and breakfast starts at 10am.
That may seem difficult – and for some it can be – but having a Bulletproof coffee upon waking can make it much easier and provide you a metabolic boost. The healthy fats from the added grass-fed butter and MCT oil give you a stable current of energy that sustains you through the day. The other benefit provided by Bulletproof coffee (or an organic alternative) is the ultra low toxin coffee beans. The added fats also serve to increase ketone production which boosts your metabolic rate by up to 12%.
Do or Don’t
This is definitely a “do” trend.
Make your own:
- 2 ½ heaping tablespoons ground Bulletproof Coffee Beans
- 1 teaspoon – 2 tablespoons Brain Octane Oil or MCT Oil
- 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee
- Make your coffee. Brew 1 cup (8-12 ounces) of coffee using filtered water with 2 ½ heaping tablespoons of freshly ground Bulletproof Coffee Beans. (Try using a French Press for ease of use and to preserve beneficial coffee oils that paper filters keep out.)
- Add 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons Brain Octane or MCT Oil.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee. (Make sure your butter is unsalted)
- Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it looks like a creamy latte with a good amount of foam on top.
Some of us have laughed so hard that – should we have been simultaneously drinking it – chocolate milk may have streamed out of our nose. But this new trend calls for snorting chocolate, along with some energy drink ingredients, into your nose. Reminiscent of the cinnamon challenge – a viral internet craze that challenged one to eat a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under 60 seconds without drinking anything. Many were badly injured and lungs scarred for life.
And now, a chocolate snorting challenge? Why are people doing this? Actually it’s not so much a challenge but rather people are doing this for a 30 – 60 min high. Apparently you can achieve a euphoric feeling but also may become motivated to get things done. But at what cost!?
The inside of your nose is lined with a delicate mucous membrane and produces secretions and is home to different types of bacteria. Putting anything unusual into the nasal cavity and potentially up and into the sinuses risks disrupting your nasal passage lining and the natural defenses as well as the nasal microbiome. This can lead to injury and infection not to mention what the risks and complications of getting chocolate powder into your lungs might do!
Do or Don’t
This is a certain “don’t”. Seriously don’t.
Drinking hydrogen peroxide
If you were a teen in the ‘80s then your encounter with this oxidizing bleaching agent and antiseptic was likely to try and match your hair to Madonnas.
This new health trend suggests that drinking hydrogen peroxide may be an “alternative” way to ward off infections, naturally treat sinus inflections, remove mucus, and even whiten teeth.
Most blogs are recommending to mix a few drops of food grade 35% hydrogen peroxide with 8 ounces of water and drinking it three times a day.
But this new “health trend” could be landing people in the emergency room.
Many people were treated at the end of 2017 for injuries from drinking highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide many of whom said they intentionally drank it believing it was making them healthier.
Hydrogen peroxide is a colourless, odourless potentially very toxic chemical that can be bought at any local drug store.
But ingesting it can burn holes in the esophagus and stomach. Alarmingly, it can also create oxygen bubbles that can be released into the blood stream.
However I look at this trend, none of it can be good. Keep the hydrogen peroxide for minor cuts and scrapes – or in the case that 80’s hair bleaching returns.
Do or Don’t
This is yet another “don’t”.
This is something many still struggle with. Is it really worth it? Organic eggs, milk and salad greens can cost upwards of 60 percent more than conventional alternatives, while items like apples, carrots, granola and spinach carry premiums of between 7 and 30 percent. (Here’s why.)
Organic produce must be grown without synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms. Organic meat has to come from animals that were raised in a natural setting, didn’t receive any antibiotics or hormones, and were fed 100 percent organic feed.
When it comes to packaged foods, only a label that says “100 percent organic” indicates a product made solely with organic ingredients. “Organic,” on the other hand, means 95 percent of the ingredients are organic, while “made with organic ingredients” is reserved for products with at least 70 percent certified organic ingredients.
A 2012 meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine comparing organic and conventional foods found that exposure to pesticide residue was more than five times higher in conventional produce. A 2014 study found that organic foods had significantly lower levels of toxic metals compared to conventional alternatives, and “substantially higher” levels of antioxidants. An even more recent study concluded that organic dairy and meat contain about 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids. The science is endless. Opt for organic. Your health is an investment, not an expense.
Do or Don’t
This is a definite “do”!