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It’s no secret that healthy foods can expand your waistline when you consume too much. And while weight is definitely a concern, too much of certain foods can also negatively affect your health in other ways. “Our bodies are made for variety,” says Angela Lemond, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “That is the fallacy of fad diets. There is a tendency to overdo one food or completely eliminate an entire food group.”
Resist the temptation to go all-or-nothing with your diet and work toward building a better balance. Start by practicing portion control when it comes to the following foods.
Yes! It’s possible to drink too much water. “There is a point where water can be fatal because in excess it dilutes the electrolyte balance in our bodies,” says Lemond. “The upper limit of water varies by age, gender, activity level and health condition,” says Lemond. (You can estimate your suggested water intake using this handy calculator.) Dehydration is also dangerous, so it’s important to stay in tune with your body and its needs throughout the day.
Aloe drinks are gaining traction in the wellness community—and fast. Some swear by its benefits, which include aiding weight loss, easing digestion, and boosting immunity. “Aloe is a popular supplement used for constipation,” says Lemond. “But it can cause some adverse reactions on the short term such as cramps, spasms, and even calcium excretion. It is not advised to take aloe long-term, as it is correlated with electrolyte imbalances, malabsorption, kidney strain, and excessive protein losses.”
This actually goes for all dairy. While incorporating things like low-fat milk and cheese into your diet can promote bone health and provide you with essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, too much can be problematic. “Excessive dairy can actually make people anemic,” says Lemond. “That is because calcium blocks iron absorption.”
Seeds and nuts are nutritionally dense, but they also contain a lot of calories. If you are watching your weight, and especially if you’re trying to lose weight, you really need to pay attention to portions here. “Although excellent sources of healthy fats, vitamins and mineral, excessive intake may cause weight gain,” says Lemond.
“Fiber is generally helpful with gut health, slowing digestion, helping with elimination, lowering cholesterol, and balancing blood sugar levels,” says Lemond. “There are lots of benefits. But an excessive amount of fibrous foods can also cause bloating, gas, constipation—and even excessive binding of minerals so they are unable to be absorbed. We generally recommend an intake of 25-35 grams of total fiber per day. And drink your fluids along with that.” We know you’re hungry in the morning, but one or two servings of oats or any other fiber-rich foods should fuel your body just fine.
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