10 revolting food trends

24.08.2013 00:22

When it comes to trends, some fads are
over in the blink of an eye, while others
withstand the test of time. Here's hoping
that these culinary crazes meet the same
fate as sky-high shoulder pads and teased
bangs—forever in the past. Our health
depends on it.
Gross-ery store staples
As far as pizza toppings go, there's one
ingredient that no one likes to see on
their pie—and no, we're not talking about
anchovies. We're referring to phthalates.
Researchers from The University of Texas
Health Science Center at Houston recently
examined 72 supermarket staples and
discovered traces of the chemical in
several groceries, including prepackaged
pizza, meats, and beverages.
While the levels of the toxins still fall
under what the Environmental Protection
Agency considers safe, scientists are
alarmed that this toxic compound is
making its way into our diet at all. How
did these chemicals leech into our dinner
in the first place? Lead investigator, Dr.
Arnold Schecter, believes plastic
packaging could be the culprit.
Buck the trend: The winners of our 100
Cleanest Packaged Food Awards are
the healthiest, cleanest boxed and bagged
foods on the market. Specifically, they're
all low in sugar and sodium, and free of
BPA and GMOs.
Not-so-subliminal messaging
Imagine this: You pop in a rental DVD and
halfway through your Friday night rom
com, you suddenly get the craving for a
hot, fresh pizza. In fact, you can smell
pizza. No, it's not your imagination—
Domino's has teamed up with DVD rental
stores in Brazil to make discs that release
the scent of a fresh pie as the movie goes
on. How? The discs are printed with ink
that emit smells of cheese, sauce, and
dough when it reaches a certain
temperature inside the player. The
thermal ink even changes color: By the
time you eject the flick, an image of a pie
is front and center on the DVD.
Do we smell a worldwide trend? While
Domino's is the first company to hop on
this scent-sation, we don't think it'll take
long for other companies to follow suit.
Buck the trend: Make a no-food-in-front-
of-the-TV rule. In fact, if you save those
Scandal episodes for when you're running
on the treadmill, it will make exercise
more entertaining, says Prevention's
fitness expert Chris Freytag. And you'll be
less likely to call your delivery guy while
you're getting your sweat on.
S.O.S. (Save our sauce)
Because the chemical preservative
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) has been
linked to stomach tumors in rat studies,
the National Toxicology Program put this
chemical on its naughty list. But that
didn’t necessarily mean that it was
eliminated from the shelves. In fact, the
potential carcinogen is still in some foods
like the ranch dressing at Carl’s Jr. (makes
you a little less happy you opted for the
salad, eh?). But the story doesn’t end
there. Since the preservative used to be
commonly used in everyday items like
potato chips, cereal, and chewing gum,
there is a chance that more BHA is lurking
in some of our go-to foods.
Buck the trend: Be sure to check
ingredient labels for BHA. Better yet, whip
up your own ranch dressing for both
salads and sandwiches.
Caffeine gone crazy
The caffeine craze goes beyond energy
drinks and venti Starbucks cups. Now you
can get a jolt from everyday foods like
waffles, syrup, jelly beans, and gum. For
example, two squares of the newly-
invented Wired Waffles contain more
caffeine than the typical cup of joe. Pour
on some of the company's caffeinated
syrup and pair it with a mug of coffee,
and you've got one hyped up day on your
shaky hands.
And believe us, there is too much of a
good thing. According to the Mayo Clinic,
an overdose of caffeine could cause
insomnia, muscle tremors, and
abnormally fast heartbeat.
Buck the trend: You don't need to turn to
caffeine for an energy fix. These all-day
energy foods from Karen Ansel, will
help keep your energy up all day long,
The uncomfortable side of comfort
Walk into any fast-food restaurant and it’s
apparent that comfort food is back...with
a vengeance. Many chains are embracing
lard-laden menu items that pack on
cheese, processed meats, and carbs. Case
in point: Pizza Hut's Cheesy Crust Pizza,
which features the world’s first “cheese
pockets” in the crust. Each slice of their
Meat Lover's pizza weighs in at a
whopping 460 calories and tallies 1090
mg of sodium. Another biggie? Sonic’s
brand new Cheesy Bacon Pretzel Dog. Just
one dog with all the fixings accounts for
42 percent of your daily fat intake and
over half of your day’s recommended
Buck the trend: Cutting your cheese
cravings off at 400 calories can be what
you need to indulge and still lose weight.
Fruit fakers
You know the phrase, “Fake it 'til you
make it?" Well, that doesn’t apply to fruit.
When it comes to getting your vitamin C
and antioxidants, it doesn’t pay to cut
corners and take the easy route by opting
for baked goods, like WhoNu treats or
Girl Scout cookies. The Girl Scout’s Mango
Cookies with Nutrifusion, for example,
boast a hearty helping of essential
vitamins thanks to the "whole food
concentrate powder" found at the
bottom of the ingredient list. Closer to the
top of that list are some ingredients that
don’t rank high on vitamin levels,
however: namely sugar, dextrose, and
corn syrup. Sorry, Scouts, these cookies
lost our honor.
Buck the trend: For sweet, sinless
desserts, bake any (or all!) of these
healthy fruit desserts . And if you go
for the Blackberry-Peach Tart, be sure
and save us a slice.
The fat that won't budge
When research surfaced that trans fats
were wreaking havoc on heart health,
several chains and packaged food
companies were practically forced to rid
their recipes of partially hydrogenated oil.
In the years to follow, several supermarket
staples touted "No Trans Fats" on the
front of the box and many restaurants
switched out their deep-fry oils. But could
there be a sneaky resurgence of the
cholesterol king? Maybe. The dirty little
secret behind Pop Secret's Movie Style
popcorn, for instance, is 4.5 grams of
trans fats. Plus, just one slice of Marie
Callendar's Lattice Apple Pie contains 3
grams of the fat. And let's be honest—
who can stick to just one slice of pie?
Buck the trend: Skip bad fat for good fat,
such as monounsaturated fatty acids
(MUFAS)—plant-based fats found in
avocado, nuts and seeds, oils, olives, and
even dark chocolate. Studies show that
these good-for-you fats enhance heart
health and protect against chronic
disease. Plus, MUFAs target stubborn belly
Vending machine delicacies
When it comes to getting food on the go,
it’s no secret that convenience is king.
And while we applaud companies for
trying to add more healthy offerings to
vending machines, we're not so thrilled
with Cupcake ATMs as spotted in Beverly
Hills, Washington DC’s hot dog vending
machines, or mashed potatoes coming
from convenience store dispensers, as
seen in Singapore. Hearing gravy squirt
from a machine doesn’t exactly get the
appetite juices flowing.
Buck the trend: Who needs empty calories
when you can easily prepare these 17
Snacks That Power Up Weight Loss?
Sour news about sweet milk
Got sugar? In an effort to boost milk sales
in schools, the International Dairy Foods
Association and the National Milk
Producers Federation have filed a petition
with the Food and Drug Administration to
change what’s called the "standards of
identity” for milk and 17 other dairy
products. This would allow manufacturers
to add sweeteners like aspartame to our
moo juice—and not disclaim it anywhere
it on the carton. And if you thought that
adding fake sugars to our children’s milk
was something new, think again. Right
now, many cafeteria pints are riddled with
aspartame, which has been linked to
leukemia and lymphoma in certain animal
Buck the trend: Almond milk, like
Diamond Breeze's Original Unsweetened
Almond Milk, is a rich, creamy alternative
to the sketchier stuff. With fewer calories
than fat-free milk, you can get 20 percent
of your calcium and 50 percent of your
recommended intake of vitamin E per
Red alert on red meat
Put down that burger. For the past few
years, researchers from the National
Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring
System have been examining grocery
store ground meat, and their findings
might make you sick...literally. They
discovered that over half of beef samples
had traces of antibiotic-resistant bacteria,
like Salmonella, which can cause acute
illness and lead to chronic arthritis. The
worst part? The germs weren’t limited to
just ground beef. Scientists found these
microbes in 81 percent of the turkey they
tested, 69 percent of the pork, and 39
percent of the chicken.
Buck the trend: Opt for grass-fed meat.
It's higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids
and vitamin E, and it's lower in saturated
fat and calories.