Almost every city street now has a shop that sells CBD. It’s known to help reduce pain, treat depression, alleviate anxiety, wipe away acne, heal the heart, cure brain cancer, and bring people back from the dead. Basically, CBD is rumored to do everything. And it now comes in oils, gummy bears and roll-on topicals. Intrigued?
Impossible Burgers and Beyond Burgers have now made their way into almost every restaurant. McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, KFC and even Dunkin’ Donuts. Their taste is almost identical to beef burgers but they’re entirely plant based. So, they’re healthier. Right?
And if you’re not on a Keto diet, what nutrition advice are you following? These days, many people swear by the diet and are constantly concerned about their state of ketosis.
CBD is an ingredient in cannabis derived from the hemp plant. It’s been rumored to treat all kinds of problems and is one of the fastest growing industries in the US. Despite this, when trying to research the science behind the claims, I couldn’t find much at all. But, what I did find were three common trends:
- Little to No Research: There have been very few studies conducted on CBD and it’s benefits. This is due to the fact that US regulations make obtaining CBD difficult and the CBD available is fairly low quality. And, the studies that have been conducted show few positive results. Essentially, the people touting CBD’s benefits are the people selling it, and not the scientists researching it.
- Quality is Low: The quality of CBD available is fairly low. What’s easy to scientifically test are the contents within a product. And what science has found is that the contents within CBD products are more often than not, misrepresented in their labeling. This is partially due to the FDA not regulating the safety and purity of the product. Since this isn’t happening, it’s hard to even trust what you’d be buying.
- Unknown Long Term Effects: Since there hasn’t been many studies conducted on the effects of CBD, we don’t know the long term consequences. What may provide relief today, may cause chronic pain in the years to come.
And besides these common trends, I’ll also point out two overarching themes of health and wellness. 1) Most supplements are very ineffective. Vitamin D supplements barely work compared to getting a few hours of sun. Multivitamins are relatively useless when compared to getting vitamins through your nutrition. Anytime we’ve attempted to supplement our bodies, our bodies resist many of these one off supplements in favor of a larger, more wholesome treatment. 2) Almost all of the things that are proven to be healthy both in the short and long term, aren’t new products we’ve discovered, created, or marketed. They’re things we’ve known for a very long time. Get eight hours of consistent sleep. Exercise for an hour per day while being relatively active otherwise. Eat veggies, fruits, beans, and nuts… a whole foods plant based diet. So if you’re looking to address a problem, start with the core healthy principles we all know are proven to work before hoping a few CBD infused gummy bears are going to fix everything.
With plant based diets proving to be very healthy in recent years, many of us have associated the new plant based burgers as being healthy too. The Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are two brands of plant based burgers sweeping restaurants everywhere. They’re made to look, taste, and even bleed like real beef. But are these plant based burgers much better than real beef (a known carcinogen)? Like CBD, we don’t know. The science hasn’t tested these look-a-like burgers yet. But what we do know is that these burgers are highly processed foods, created in a lab, and constantly tweaked to look, taste, and act like real beef. The Impossible Burger has even started versioning it’s burgers after tweaking ingredients just like software has versions for updating code. What we also know is that these burgers are very high in fat and sodium just like real beef. For these many reasons, many doctors don’t believe Impossible Burgers or Beyond Burgers are that healthy. If you’re going to consume a burger, you’re much better off sticking to a veggie burger made from whole foods. Below, are delicious black bean and sweet potato burger recipes which I can tell you are way healthier than any Impossible or Beyond burger.
The Keto Diet
The Keto Diet! Now, we finally have some research on this topic. It has been proven to be great at helping you lose weight in the short term. But, let me tell you why I’m going to go 3 for 3 in not recommending any of these “health” fads. The Keto diet relies on people to consume a majority of their calories from fat like steak, bacon, fish and butter. First, these foods are the opposite of nutrient dense. While they contain lots of fat, they lack many micro-nutrients needed for a healthy diet. And second, these foods are known to cause diabetes, cancer, and heart disease over an extended period of time with high consumption. Therefore, I have to ask if losing extra weight in the short term, usually the first year, is really worth the long term damage, which could last decades. Many scientists agree that this health fad has become popular because of it’s quick results, easy to follow instructions, and allowance of great tasting food. But all of this comes at a cost. Most would agree that sticking to a whole foods plant based diet will help you lose weight in the short term, although maybe not as much as a Keto diet, but will also keep you healthy and disease free in the long term.
CBD, Impossible Burgers and the Keto Diet have become all the rage recently. But, this same reasoning is what leads me to not recommend all three. If you’re looking to relieve anxiety with CBD, try meditation. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to beef, try a whole foods veggie burger. If you’re looking to lose weight and eat healthy, stick to a whole foods plant based diet. These ideas are far from revolutionary but sticking to the tried and true methods for long term health, has many more benefits than any of these short term fads.
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