You roast two chicken breasts, flop some lettuce into a Tupperware, drizzle it with vinegar, and wonder what your life has come to: welcome to dieting in 2020. With sugar, carbs and animal fats all off the table, life is now an endless cycle of salad and chewy poultry.
You then reach for a healthy mid-afternoon snack: a protein ball, which the packaging assures you is high in protein and ‘good’ fats. But is it really good for you? Luci Daniels, top dietician for The Daily Mail, argues not.
Last week Luci wrote that protein balls are “packed with dried fruit such as dates, nuts and ‘natural’ sweeteners like agave nectar – all known Fodmaps [foods which cause irritable bowel syndrome]” in an article entitled, “Why woke diets featuring superfoods such as avocado… are leading to a surge of distressing gut problems.”
Not only that but as nutrition coach Max Lugavere points out, there are much better ways of attaining healthy fats than protein balls.
Taking to Instagram late last year, the author of New York Times bestseller Genius Foods wrote: “Did your keto guru tell you that you needed to eat ‘fat bombs’ because KeToSiS? Let’s dive in to this issue.”
“If you chose to adhere to a keto diet, it’s empowering to know that ketone production is a function of low insulin, which is achieved by consuming a low carbohydrate diet,” Max said. “Adding more fat to the mix is only going to offset the fat that you burn off of your own body, but feel free to enjoy such high fat foods if you enjoy them.”
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“A cheaper and likely healthier alternative, however, are nature’s fat bombs, aka nuts!” Max continued. “Nuts are an incredible source of many antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and a large meta-analysis of observational studies shows that 20g a day of nuts, equivalent to a handful, can cut risk of coronary heart disease by 29%, cancer by 15%, and premature death by 22%.
“I don’t have comparable figures for the fat bombs on the left.”
For those that want a cheaper, more natural alternative to protein balls, Max then left some information on the carb content of nuts: “Good news! Nuts are all low in carbs, though there is still some variation. Hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts have fewer than 2g of digestible carbs per serving, while cashews have more at almost 8g digestible carbs per serving.”
Let the squirrel diet begin.