Here’s What Your Diet Would Look Like If You Ate Based on Internet Headlines

Do you find today’s headlines about diet and nutrition to be endlessly confusing? Are you tired of trying to separate the "bad" foods from the "good" foods? Do your eyes glaze over while reading blogs about gluten-free, raw, vegan diets, only to snap out of it with an empty bag of potato chips in your lap? Well, then I guess it’s your lucky day.

We here at the FACTS Network pulled the Internet Headline Guide to what you should definitely* stop eating immediately, based on recent news headlines. Take a deep breath … here we go.

scary-kaleGluten. Do we really need to explain the horrors of gluten to you? Unless you Rip-van-Winkle’d your way through the last few years, it’s been impossible to avoid hearing about why gluten is the epitome of vilified foods, even if many people don’t exactly know what it is.

Fruits and vegetables. Residues in our cucumbers and carrots? No, thanks.

Yes, even kale. This "superfood" can be super toxic.

Yes, even organic foods. Intermission in our sarcasm: Here’s some real talk. Organic foods aren’t food safety angels: Seven percent of all food recalls are related to organic products, compared to just 1 percent in 2013--an increase of 600 percent, even though sales of organic foods increase only about 10 or 11 percent annually. And almost 90 percent of organic recalls were due to bacterial contamination from bugs like salmonella and listeria.

Brown rice. You thought you had a safe whole-grain alternative to gluten? Think again, because cavemen didn’t eat it. But then again, caveman didn’t use forks either, so do we have to regress to finger food also?

Potatoes. Also, tomatoes, peppers, chilies, and eggplant. These plants are all members of the nightshade family, which has been reported to have negative effects on the immune system and may also be poisonous. Who knew there was so much poison lurking in our vegetables? So long, salads!

scary-coffeeDiet anything. Some low-calorie sweeteners were found to be potentially harmful to a small population of rodents a few decades ago. Even though they were given a far higher dose than could ever be achieved by a human, and even though those results haven’t been consistently reproduced, you probably shouldn’t feed your house rats low-calorie sweeteners. And whatever isn’t good enough for your rats obviously isn’t good enough for you!

Coffee. According to this article, more than four cups is somehow "linked" to early death, so cross it off the list. You can cross extra energy and mental performance off the list as well.

Meat. There are at least 22 reasons why vegetarians are smarter, sexier, and happier than meat-eaters. Done.

Beans. Uncooked red kidney beans are poisonous! How can you trust a food that can’t be eaten raw? Forget the fiber and protein that you get with beans--poison is poison.

Chicken. Also not safe to eat raw (eww, bacteria), so you may as well just cut it.

Eggs. If you Google "eggs are bad for you," the first site that pops up is titled, "Study Claims Eggs are as Unhealthy as Smoking." SMOKING. That’s enough evidence to ditch my breakfast omelet. I didn’t stop to read through the design of the study and its limitations, but I’m going to trust the Internet on this one.

Yogurt, cheese … well, all dairy. So … apparently dairy addiction is a thing. We had no idea, but we’re glad we came across this article full of citations from personal websites and blogs and zero credible experts.

scary-eggsCanned anything. I hope you have a few extra hours to cook your own veggies and chickpeas–healthy and convenient can’t coexist, can they?

Fresh anything. I mean, you’re practically asking for food poisoning.

Frozen anything. "Chemicals" released by grocery store refrigerators are as environmentally harmful as plastic bags?

All right, now that we’ve tackled that list, what are we left with?

Water? We still have water. If we have to starve, at least we won’t be thirsty. Wait, what? There are seven different toxins in our water supply. Seven.

Well, my work is done. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be crying on the couch with my addiction ice cream and nightshade-poison bag of potato chips, awaiting my impending doom. It’s been nice knowing y’all.


* We hope it’s obvious that this article was produced in satire.

Ok, every food and beverage can be cast in a negative tone, or just completely made up (we proved it with the ultimate health halo food). In our "anything goes" digital world, there are reputable sources, and then there’s the flashy-headline fear-mongering of the day. The results of high-quality nutrition research have stood up to a rigorous scientific review process (like this one and this one on fruits and vegetables and whole grains). That’s way more credible than any passing headline. Stick with the dietary guidelines and practice balance, variety, and moderation.

But go ahead and have a good laugh the next time you hear that kumquats are going to kill us all.

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