All trends seem to have a way of making a comeback. I literally just saw a segment on E! News explaining how to bedazzle denim. So it’s no surprise that diet trends follow the same waves. Unfortunately, in the same way that we’ve made some fashion mistakes over the years, we’ve also made some diet mistakes. One in particular is featured in today’s Throwback Thursday diet ad: the liquid diet. The Sego diet drink debuted in the ‘60s as a meal replacement beverage meant to be consumed alongside a low-calorie diet. Each Sego drink came in delicious flavors (chocolate! Banana! Orange!), and boasted two times the protein as other diet drinks on the market. But at 900 calories per can (yes, can…that which you would have to open via can opener as the “pop top” has not yet been invented), is this really part of a healthy diet?
Sego was all about “avoiding temptation”, and was advertised as being “good for your ego”, but the blatant shaming of women is clearly the game in this installment of their marketing:
Liquid diets seem to once again be all the rage, as every corner that used to feature a Dunkin’ Donuts now features an organic juice bar. Next to the juice bar? A smoothie place. Across the street? Vegan protein shakes. We hear the words “almond milk”, “hemp powder” and “kefir” more than ever, and pretend to know what they are as we place our order. For some reason, we want to take all those beautiful, colorful fruits and veggies and obliterate them in a blender for our own personal gain. I bet I can guess your response: “Well, juicing is the only way I can stomach eating kale.” I’m about to let you in on a little secret…you don’t HAVE to eat kale. There are tons of veggies out there that are just as nutritious and way less bitter. Also, protein doesn’t need to be in powder form. We have access to chicken and fish and beans and chickpeas…why would you rather drink sand mixed in milk?
Every time we blend up our fruits and veggies, we change their composition a little bit. They’re not in the original packaging anymore, but rather reconstructed like the plastic surgery we see in Hollywood. All that fiber, vitamins, and minerals? Not quite the same as before. Plus, at an average of $7 per juice or smoothie, you could buy 4 bags of spinach or a bushel of apples.
The biggest problem with any liquid diet is we feel hungry again SO much faster. How long does it take you to drink a juice vs. sit down to a meal that requires chewing? The liquid is absorbed faster, and the fiber isn’t able to do its job of slowing down that absorption as well. We end up eating MORE calories because we’re hungry more frequently. For the Sego-drinking folks, reaching for a “diet drink” sets you back 900 calories. You could chew a snack of fruit, nuts, and cheese for 300. Plus, I don’t know about you, but it’s just less satisfying. Your teeth WANT to chew, I promise. That’s their entire purpose in life. Don’t take that joy away from them.
Whether it’s a meal replacement beverage (ex. Carnation Instant Breakfast), smoothie, juice, or protein shake, I’m just not convinced that these liquid forms of nutrition are our best bets. Every time I see innocent fruits and veggies being shoved into a blender, I think of a tree going into the chipper. And then I get sad, like Phoebe did that one Christmas on Friends:
Chew your foods. Enjoy your foods. Eat foods you actually like. If you don’t like kale, it’s really ok. No one is judging you, except probably the health fanatic employee behind the counter at the juice bar.