According to each fad diet that trends on Google MD, every food on the planet is bad for you. You should either be eating a diet with all meat or no meat. You should be trying to alkalize yourself or trying to cleanse yourself (or both at the same time?). You should cut out fruit because it has too much sugar, or you should be living on an all-fruit diet like the fruitarians. You should give yourself coffee enemas because they detoxify your liver, but drinking the coffee through your mouth-hole is bad.
So we can safely conclude that you should just live on gin and cigarettes. They're gluten-free!
According to lnternet advice-land, here are the seven foods that are perfectly healthy and, of course, you're a bad person and should feel bad for eating them. You're probably a bad mother even if you don't have kids. Because nothing is ever good enough according to the Internet.
Oh, kale yes! Kale is what unicorns eat to make them poop quinoa to fertilize …more kale. Obviously. It's a magical plant of health that everyone and their mother should be eating. And if you're only living on kale, your only mistake is that you're not eating MORE kale.
Not so fast. Too much kale can actually be dangerous. Kale can seriously fuck up your thyroid. Oh, kale no.
Kale has a compound in it called thiocyanate that, in high amounts, severely interferes with iodine metabolism, which can, in turn, result in hypothyroidism. Eating too much kale in an effort to lose weight can actually lower your metabolism (and affect a lot of other things that your thyroid controls). The condition is not common, and drinking kale juice seems to pose the biggest risk. So enjoy it, the stuff is healthy in moderation. But have some goddamn non-kale lettuce too.
Maybe eat something with calories too. Like...
Avocados are tiny little tear-drop-shaped miracles of healthy fats. They're luscious, creamy, versatile, and I'm sure that tortilla chips were just invented as a guacamole delivery system.
But then there's this: Avocados are fucking fattening.
The alleged standard serving size for 50 calories? It's one-fifth of an avocado. Who the hell puts one-fifth of an avocado on their taco salad? Monks, that's who. You put that entire 250 calorie bomb on your well-balanced kale salad and say, "Oh, it's healthy fat," before eating the salad that, I'm sure by now, has as many calories as a Big Mac.
Mmmhmmm. Avocado is goddamn delicious, but too much of a good thing will mess up your best-laid plans. Might as well eat a steak.
Alternative health and conventional health practitioners alike love this fish, and why wouldn't they? Salmon is a damn near perfect food. Rich in omega-3s, selenium, B12, and protein, it's been referred to as one of the world's healthiest foods. I will eat it cooked, I will eat it in sushi, I will eat it in a salad, I will even eat the new genetically modified salmon. It's yummy almost any way you make it and it's healthy. Shove in face hole. Now.
But be careful. Salmon contains mercury, a neurotoxin. Too much of it can cause mercury poisoning and major neurological damage. Pregnant women are especially advised to limit their consumption of fish due to the presence of mercury.
But …how much mercury? Trace. About a zillionth the amount of fat that there is in the avocado. It's considered a low-mercury fish, and you can safely eat 12 ounces of it per week (about two standard servings). But that's it. So enjoy it, but don't live on it just because you read one article that says it's healthy.
Quinoa is one of those superfoods that everyone is eating. It's gluten-free, vegan, a complete source of protein, meaning it supplies all nine essential amino acids that your body needs for growth. It also doesn't taste as good as rice, so it must be good for you. There's no way anybody will have any issues with unicorn poop, right?
In the land of Internet expertise, of course somebody does have a problem with it.
Quinoa is not paleo, so of course it's killing you right now just by existing. Some research suggests that saponins, a naturally occurring chemical in quinoa, cause stomach discomfort and damage your stomach lining.
To this I say relax and enjoy your pretentious fancy overpriced grain. It's good for you in moderation, just like everything else. It's up to your tastebuds if it's worth the price.
They're not just for making creepy statues grow hair anymore (and yes, the chia in your pudding and the chia that grows out of that weird terra cotta thing your grandma loved are the same thing). They're so healthy that you're probably dying right now simply because you're not eating them. They're touted as an ancient superfood, rich in antioxidants, protein, fiber, and omega-3s. They should be added to your salad or even your raw organic kombucha. When mixed with a little agave nectar and almond milk, they taste delicious and look vaguely like frog eggs. Why the hell did we ever waste these little guys on statues?
Probably because of the potential for severe gastrointestinal side effects. That cute thing chia seeds do in almond milk when they puff up? They do that in your body too, and the side effects can be painful. They even landed a guy in the ER for expanding post-ingestion and obstructing his airway.
Are they healthy? It's clear from how they stack up nutritionally that they can be part of a balanced diet, but so can pretzels.
SO WHAT CAN YOU EAT?
Everything on this list is a perfectly healthy food that the Internet is simultaneously calling healthy and, occasionally, unhealthy. The point is not that any of these foods are dangerous for you, it's not to buy into fear or hype about food. Eat a balanced diet and don't worry too much when diet guru tells you that the next thing chock full of buzzwords is going to kill you. The diet gurus who tell you that these are healthy one day and killing you the next are probably the problem, not the solution. Unless it's rife with foodborne illnesses, odds are that your next meal is not going to kill you. Not even a kale and quinoa salad topped with chia seeds, avocado, and salmon.
Actually that sounds pretty good.