If I had two sets of hands, I still wouldn’t have enough fingers to count the various food fads that have crossed my path in my lifetime. Some food fads do turn out to be good for you, some are only good for some people and others are not really good for anyone. Unfortunately, the food fads that may have some benefit for some can also be extremely harmful to others and the pusher of the fad bears a responsibility of honest disclosure.
Every Fad Has An “Expert”
You can find an expert or a so-called “credible source” to back-up just about anything and everything these days including what is and what isn’t healthy and why. Many of these experts have pretty convincing credentials after their names, but credentials do not equal integrity. Or, in some cases, intelligence.
Just because some expert pipes up about the newest super-food to add to your blender or supplement to add to your morning vitamin regimen doesn’t mean it is good for anybody and even if it is good for many people; it doesn’t make it good for you.
A real expert would not hold steadfast to unproven or embellished claims and instead would research all of the caveats that could make their suggestions deadly or otherwise harmful to some who may blindly follow.
Every Fad Has Fans & Fools
Even when we hear news stories about tragic consequences, food fads still have their fans. Some of these fans are so committed they become self-designated ambassadors for their miracle food [drink, vitamin, diet, whatever … you ill in the blank]. It is these ambassadors that can do the most harm.
We know fresh [non-GMO organic] fruit and vegetables are still good for us, but most of us categorize them as foods we can [and should] eat a bunch of and they will be harmless. Freelee, the “Banana Girl”, claims she gets at least 95% of her calories from fruit, 5% from greens, nuts and seeds and drinks 3 litters of water or more a day.
According to Freelee’s website, her average day of food consists of:
- Breakfast: Datorade: 20-30 dates blended on high speed with around 1.2-1.5 litres of water plus cinnamon to taste. Around 1300 calories
- Lunch: 8-10 Mangoes/half a large jakfruit/3 pineapples
- Dinner: A baby green salad with 5 chopped up bananas and 5 dates. Put aside some dates and banana and blend as sauce. Or you can eat Rawtill4 style for dinner.
Freelee tells her readers,
“Eating large quantities of healthy fruit sugar is not only good for your health but vital for health. In order to thrive, every one of our trillions of cells needs to be receiving a steady supply of sugar … Eat as much fruit as you want and then put some more down the hatch!”
I am pretty sure every diabetic and their physicians would disagree with you Freelee.
Freelee is the co-founder of, “30 Bananas a Day” — a high carb raw vegan lifestyle site and community that boasts of a growing membership that exceeds 10K.. She also claims that bananas are a miracle food harmless to pretty much everyone. When questioned about the high potassium content of her suggested diet plans Freelee says,
“The only people who should be concerned about their potassium intake are those in hospital with renal failure. Their kidneys are not working properly due to their adherence to a crap diet and lifestyle. Don’t be scared of the humble banana! It will turn you into a superhuman if you eat enough of them.”
While she also fails to address the high-sugar content that a fruit-diet is and what that can mean to a diabetic, she dug her heels in on the potassium issue and wrote an “in depth” article for her fans after more people questioned her and pointed out their potassium concerns. The article repeats her same suggestion that a high consumption of bananas and other potassium rich foods are safe for all and basically called naysayers idiots,
“Easily one of the MOST frequent comments I get when I tell people how many bananas I eat is “OMG That’s TOO much potassium! You will get hyperkalemia!“. For those of you who don’t know, Hyperkalemia is a condition of TOO much potassium in the blood. So seeing I’m the bananagirl and all it’s DEFINITELY time I addressed this. As a carbed up sugar monkey I’m sure you have heard this comment before right? Luckily now you have a banana blog to share with those uninformed folks! I’ve noticed it always comes from people who have no idea about health but are just parroting what they have heard from the mainstream … Those folks with renal failure in hospital are really the only ones who need to worry about getting too much potassium in their diets. 99% of the population NEVER have to worry about consuming too much potassium.”
Um, Freelee? I am not “in hospital with renal failure“, but I do in fact have to watch my potassium. I suffer from stage-3 kidney failure of the right kidney. I also have a tumor on the left kidney. I am not yet on dialysis nor am I in the hospital. In fact, I am currently not under any care at all, but I still have to watch my potassium [and my protein and my phospherous] intake; otherwise a plethora of nasty things happen not the least of which is sudden and dangerous heart arrhythmia that is not only painful but extremely frightening,
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH),
“Potassium toxicity manifests in significant, characteristic, acute cardiovascular changes with ECG abnormalities. Besides cardiovascular effects, neuromuscular manifestations in the form of general muscular weakness and ascending paralysis occur. Gastrointestinal symptoms manifest as nausea, vomiting, paralytic ileus, and local mucosal necrosis which may lead to perforation. It is imperative when treating hyperkalaemia that the whole clinical picture is taken into account rather than the numerical potassium values. Only the extracellular potassium can be measured in the laboratory, yet 98% of the body potassium is intracellular and cannot be measured.”
In addition, Freelee, you should know and note for your fans that some medications, like Diovan for blood pressure, change the way the body processes potassium as well causing a potential for danger and even a healthy person ingesting too much potassium too quickly can lead to heart damage and cardiac arrest.
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