While the 90s was packed with health trends we don't miss, the top five I hope never get a reboot are the cultural obsession with low fat foods, veggie oils in everything, eating twelve servings of grains a day, drinking juice to get our daily dose of fruits and veggies, and sugary meal replacement weight-loss shakes. Let’s dig in to why these five trends need to be left on the shelf with over-plucked eyebrows and frosted tips.
1. Low Fat Everything
The war on fat started well before the 90s, but you couldn't walk an aisle in the grocery store without seeing stickers claiming products were low-fat, no-fat, or contained fat alternatives, like the infamous Olestra.
We need healthy fats, like omega-3s, to nourish our brains, to build healthy cell membranes, and to absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Antioxidants and phytonutrients are also more absorbable when eaten with healthy fats.
To add some healthy fat to your diet try one of Genuine Health's omega oils.
2. Swapping Saturated Fats for Veggie Oils!
The other side of the low fat trend was an overwhelming fear of saturated fats and food manufacturers replacing them with “Heart Healthy” veggie oils. Throughout the 90s we saw them make their way into almost every manufactured product, restaurant, and pantry (who remembers those giant bottles of Mazola in every kitchen cabinet?!).
Though they were supposed to be a healthier alternative to saturated fats, veggie oils are actually loaded with omega-6 fatty acids. Since the 90s we’ve learned that diets too high in omega-6s can set the stage for inflammatory conditions, like heart disease, which is anything but joyous.
Luckily, we now focus on the importance of omega-3 fats and healthy saturated fats to manage inflammation, build healthy cell membranes, and provide our bodies with sources of energy. Let’s leave those veggie oils back in the 90s where they belong!
3. Eating Up To 12 Servings of Grains A Day!
According to the 1992 Canada Food Guide, the recommended daily intake of grain products was between 5 to 12 servings a day. That’s more than the recommended amount of fruits and veggies! And while I do believe that whole grains have a place in a joyous diet, we don’t need to be eating 12 servings a day- that can seriously mess up our blood sugar balance!
Also, when it comes to nutrient density, grain products don’t stack up quite as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and proteins. That’s why I love including whole grains as a complement to a joyous meal packed with a range of foods from all the groups!
4. Drinking Juice For Fruits & Veggies
While there's no one way to eat to support optimal health, eating lots of fruits and vegetables is always a good idea. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, and phytonutrients that nourish the gut microbiome and keep blood sugar stable.
One trend from the 90s that we can forget is drinking juice to get your fruits and veggies. Packaged juices are typically made from fruit concentrates and all of the fibre is removed, leaving mostly natural fruit sugars and some added sugars behind. What you get is basically a sugary drink with a few vitamins that can shoot your blood sugar through the roof.
If you want to add juice to your diet, I recommend making your own and using more vegetables than fruit to keep blood sugar stable. If you don't have the time to make your own juice, you can drink a whole foods form of your fruits and veggies with one of Genuine Health's Greens+ mixes. Stir it into water or add it to smoothies for a dose of phytonutrients to nourish and energize your body.
5. Meal Replacement Shakes
The last 90s health trend that I hope never makes a comeback is the obsession with weight-loss focused meal replacement drinks, like Slim Fast. These shakes were packed with sugar, inflammatory veggie oil, inactive forms of vitamins, and fat-free dairy for protein. While technically these drinks could be classified as “food,” they’re pretty far from joyous as there isn’t a whole food ingredient in sight.
A great alternative to these meal replacement shakes is a nourishing smoothie! I absolutely love making smoothies for my loves, Walker and Vienna to fuel their day. They’re an amazing way to fill yourself up with whole foods or to sip up a meal on the go. I love adding Genuine Health Protein Powder to my smoothies since it’s a delicious and easily digestible source of fermented plant protein.
As you can see, a lot of 90s health trends were great for spiking blood sugar and subbing out healthy whole foods for manufactured products. I definitely don’t miss a single one and am so happy that we left these trends in the past!