Beware of Bizarre Bites: Unraveling Unhealthy Eating Trends

In this discussion with a Registered Dietitian, learn about unhealthy eating trends, food trends in social media, and other factors that influence our food choices.

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Crystal O’Keefe: Welcome to the MetPro Method Podcast. I’m your host, Crystal O’Keefe, and today I’m joined by MetPro coach, Bianca de la Rosa, and we are going to be discussing unhealthy eating trends. Bianca, thank you so much for joining me today. There’s a lot here. There’s a lot we could talk about.

Bianca de la Rosa: There is a lot. There were some… Thanks for having me by the way, Crystal. But there are just so many food trends that I didn’t even know of and I thought I knew everything. So, I’m excited. I’m excited to dissect them a little bit more. The good, the bad, the ugly, things like that.

Crystal O’Keefe: And there are some ugly ones. I think we should probably start with what exactly are we defining as an unhealthy food trend? So, what does that even mean?

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah, I think the first thing is what defines something as unhealthy. Highly processed, high on empty calories, fat, sodium, sugar, things like that. And then food trends. Food trends are changes in food preferences that have gone viral, especially on socials, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, things like that and become very popular amongst people over a certain time period.

They’re hot for a reason. They come and they go and then we have new food trends, things like that.

Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah, it’s really interesting, to your point about it being eye opening. I was like, what, where are these things even coming from? How is this happening? I blame TikTok.

Bianca de la Rosa: It’s like TikTok is huge, right? I mean, you have like, well, celebrities, you have, TikTok influencers, people that are just like it’s the newest, hottest thing, so people that truly do influence you and come out with these new, crazy, trends, and everybody wants to try them. Some of them are good, they have a good intention behind it, and some of them are like, this is bizarre, and this is not right in any way, so, to each their own, but it’s interesting, for sure.

Crystal O’Keefe: All right, let’s talk through some examples. Let’s start with the spaghetti bread bowls. What the heck is a spaghetti bread bowl?

Bianca de la Rosa: Oh my gosh, bread bowls are hilarious because they’re just so hot. For some reason, our society deems it fascinating to put everything in a bread bowl. You know, spaghetti, pizza, fried chicken in a bowl, you name it. Um, so spaghetti, a spaghetti bowl is basically, you know, it is what it is. It’s spaghetti in a bread bowl.

So, the thing behind that is, should you put spaghetti in a bread bowl? Well. It’s unhealthy, right? I mean, it’s super high in carbohydrates and sodium and fat, and it’s a lot of carb loading at one time, and that can cause drawbacks like, blood sugar level changes, digestive discomfort, bloating, even lightheadedness and weakness because of blood sugar, elevations and then dips, water retention/gain. So not necessarily the best, but maybe have either the spaghetti or the bread bowl, maybe not both at the same time.

Crystal O’Keefe: All right, so inherently spaghetti’s not bad, bread’s not bad, maybe like this giant serving of both at the exact same time. Not the best idea.

Bianca de la Rosa: Not the best idea. You’re going to feel super bloated and tired afterwards. And just try to find a balanced meal, really. Trying to have the nutrition you need to stay healthy. You need a little bit of protein, you need a little bit of fiber, veggies, but that amount of carbohydrates all at one time, probably not the best thing to do.

Especially if you’re on a weight loss journey,

Crystal O’Keefe: Okay. That’s fair. All right. Talk to me about this thing called a butter board. What?

Bianca de la Rosa: Gosh, butter boards, as beautiful as they look and as intricate as you can make them and present them to be, butter contains a lot of saturated fat. And so, in one tablespoon of butter, you’ve got about seven grams of saturated fat. So, if you make a butter board that has 20 tablespoons of butter.

That’s 140 grams of saturated fat. That’s-

Crystal O’Keefe: Ew.

Bianca de la Rosa: -a lot. So, eating too much saturated fat, it’s awful for your LDL or bad cholesterol, in your blood and it can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. So, butter boards, I mean, why don’t you just put a little dab of small butter on bread?

Crystal O’Keefe: So, so this is literally a board, like a charcuterie board with butter on butter.

Bianca de la Rosa: Yep, like little dips of butter and some people will do like regular butter, a chive butter, a herb butter, whatever you call it and kind of make it into like a fancy presentation and I get the intention behind it. You’re trying to do something different, but you know, maybe try something healthier like a hummus board or a whipped ricotta board or something like that.

It’s more balanced in protein and healthy fat, not just straight saturated fat.

Crystal O’Keefe: I love that. Although I do have to admit whipped ricotta board, not the same. It doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same.

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah. Yeah. Right. It’s a little bit different. Maybe we’ll stick to the hummus board, or you could do a baba ghanoush board, which sounds fancier eggplant dip or something like that.

Crystal O’Keefe: I love that. I love that. Okay. So, what exactly is a nacho table? I am really astonished by the creativity of people coming up with these things. What exactly is that?

Bianca de la Rosa: Gosh, okay, I will admit nacho tables are really fun because they’re just fun to set up, especially like if you’re doing like a football game is really popular during football games or people would create like little football tees and then like the full just like layout. And you’re basically just piling up a lot of nacho chips.

It’s cheese, ground meat, sour cream, you name it, on top of it. And so, um, you can decorate it however you want. If you want to create it into like a, a football table, if you want to create it into a baseball table, whatever you want to do, ultimately at the end of the day, you’re probably most likely going to overindulge in it because nothing is measured out.

It’s just kind of all out there. Tie in sodium. fat, um, salt, things like that. So, I kind of just think about if you want some nachos, just stick to smaller portions. Just make a normal, traditional nacho bowl. Why do we have to go to the extent of nacho tables?

Crystal O’Keefe: I don’t know. I don’t know. I feel very old when I see these things.

Bianca de la Rosa: Right. I’m like, we’re just really emphasizing something so traditional, just a nacho bowl. And so, you know, and add those heart, healthy toppings on the top of it, like beans and jalapenos, veggies, avocado, things like that, that can make it a little bit healthier. Um, but it doesn’t have to be to this crazy extent of, literally building up a whole table full of nachos.

That’s a lot.

Crystal O’Keefe: That’s fair. Yeah. And anytime I get nachos at a restaurant, they’re always like a massive amount too. They don’t just give you like a normal amount, they give you like this crazy, like a dare amount, you know what I mean?

Bianca de la Rosa: Oh my gosh, yeah. And are you really going to save those for later? So do you think to yourself, well I probably have to eat them now, I paid for them, so might as well, you know, and then again, carb loading, all at one time. Carb and fat loading so won’t make you feel good, it’s going to really upset the digestive system and um, not, not fun.

Crystal O’Keefe: All right. All right. Well, we’ll move on. I’m confused about this next one too. What is pilk?

Bianca de la Rosa: Ah, yes. So, talk about a bizarre trend. So, this actually was popularized by Lindsay Lohan, um, in a commercial back in 2022. And pilk is a mix of whole milk and Pepsi. So, you mix the two together, um, I have not tried it, so I can’t tell you, but I can’t foresee milk and Pepsi actually tasting good.
It’s just wrong.

Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah, that’s not appealing to me at all.

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah. And it’s high in fat. If you’re doing whole milk, it’s super high in fat. If you’re doing Pepsi, it’s going to be high in sugar. So, you know, just have, if you’re craving a soda or something like that, have a seltzer. It’s just such an odd trend.

I don’t know. I would like to meet the person that has tried it and really likes it.

Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s a good, that’s a good point. If anybody out there has tried the pilk-

Bianca de la Rosa: Let us know.

Crystal O’Keefe: -we want to hear, we want to hear about this. Speaking of drinks, I don’t understand what’s a Dirty Shirley.

Bianca de la Rosa: What an interesting take on a regular, basic Shirley Temple. Um, so, a dirty Shirley is like your ultimate concoction of a serious hangover waiting to happen. So, you have grenadine, maraschino cherries, Vodka and lemon lime soda all mixed together, which is a little bit of a different version of your regular Shirley Temple, which has ginger ale in it, a splash of grenadine, and then it’s just garnished with a maraschino cherry.

So again, it’s over exaggerated, it’s a lot all at one time, there’s zero nutrition in it, it’s very high in sugar, and also food coloring. So, wouldn’t be my drink of choice.

Crystal O’Keefe: Okay. So, this one we would call unhealthy, just the massive amounts of sugar. Am I right to assume it’s the sugar that you’re referring to that’s going to cause that hangover the next day?

Bianca de la Rosa: For sure, yeah, definitely, but the lemon lime soda and then the maraschino cherries, they typically like to put the cherry juice in there too, which, maraschino cherries are, they’re just very high in sugar, so, it’s a very high sugar drink, and again, zero nutrition content in it.

So, I mean, there’s a lot of different drink options out there that are much lower in sugar. You can get a skinny margarita, or you can do a vodka soda with, lime squeezed in it. It’s a little bit more basic, but there’s other options.

Crystal O’Keefe: I even like the rum and diet coke. That tends to be my go to. I like that a lot.

Bianca de la Rosa: Rum and Diet Coke. Yeah, that’s a good one right there. And put a little fancy garnish in there, and then there you go. You won’t have as much as a hangover, so.

Crystal O’Keefe: You know, and a fun way to change up the flavor of any drink is, and one of my original MetPro Coach actually shared this with me and I love this idea. Adding a little crystal light, uh, those little packets and you can take them with you. And, uh, they’re really nice for cruises and things like that, where you want to have your drinks, but you don’t want to have a bowl full of sugar and have that headache.

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah, exactly. It can give a little bit of extra flavor and, I mean, you can also add those to water too and it makes your water taste good. So, stay hydrated, drink your drink, and then stay hydrated at the same time. So, it doesn’t get better than that.

Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah, totally. Okay, now, I’m seeing one here called what I eat in a day video. That doesn’t sound inherently bad. What’s wrong with that one?

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah, I mean, I think that these videos… Have historically had a good intention to them in the way that you can get good recipe ideas. You can get some good, inspiration, especially if you’re looking for something a little bit different for any of your meals during the day. One thing I always think about is that everybody has different nutritional needs.

And so, if you’re following a fitness influencer and they’re showing you what they eat in a day, that is based upon their journey, not yours. So, if you try to eat like them, and you’re not getting maybe the result that they have, that can be really, hard, especially on mentality. It can be very frustrating if you’re doing something that somebody else is doing, but you may be getting a different result or nothing at all.

So, you know, I think at the end of the day, it’s good for inspiration. It’s good to kind of have different meal ideas, but if you’re trying to follow the amount of calories and macros and exactly what somebody else is eating, um, that can, lead to different feelings, negative feelings about food and even body image, things like that.

So, it’s important to know everybody’s different. Everybody has their own nutrition needs. Um, the intention is good behind it. Just got to kind of watch out for that.

Crystal O’Keefe: Okay, okay. That makes sense. Also, I am confused by the next one. Healthy Coke. That seems, uh, counterintuitive.

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah, so this is definitely a new one. Um, so you’re basically just pouring balsamic vinegar in sparkling water. So it’s, it’s beyond me, Crystal, it’s beyond me. So, balsamic vinegar is a condiment, right? So why you put a condiment in sparkling water, I don’t know who came up with this, but it’s um, you know, I think about balsamic vinegar and its acidity.

It’s very high in acidity. It’s a condiment for a reason. You know, you can mix it together with salad dressing and stuff like that. If you drink that regularly with sparkling water, I mean, it could be pretty detrimental to irritating your throat, stomach because of the acidity of it. So, if you like to enjoy the occasional soda, maybe don’t try balsamic vinegar and sparkling water.

Have a La Croix, you know, just anything, anything else really.

Crystal O’Keefe: Any drink, stay away from the balsamic vinegar. Like we do not need to be drinking vinegar, like balsamic vinegar. Yeah. Okay. Okay, that’s fair.

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah.

Crystal O’Keefe: All right, what’s this lemon coffee? Could it be as simple as it sounds? We’re adding lemon to coffee and why? Why would you do that?

Bianca de la Rosa: You are right. You are correct. It is just literally squeezing lemon and coffee and you know individually coffee and lemon have potential health benefits on their own and so the thing is, is that there is no evidence right now, currently, to my knowledge, that mixing both of those together creates weight loss magic.

But, you know, combining the two together has, I don’t know who has said this, but that it’s supposed to help speed up metabolism, and it’s supposed to melt fat away. But honestly, in fact, drinking too much of the two together, it’s just going to be a really tough combo. Um, again, because of the acidity on tooth enamel or people that have heartburn.

And it can cause staining and erosion to the teeth. So, it’s a highly acidic beverage. Just because lemon has its own health benefits and coffee has its own health benefits doesn’t mean if you mix the two together, all of a sudden that’s the magic drink to, you know, melting body fat or losing weight or things like that.

So you have to always think about, okay, two acidity things right here. What is it going to do?

Crystal O’Keefe: Okay, just because it’ll more is not always better. Less is more is sometimes true.

Bianca de la Rosa: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Yep. You’re correct.

Crystal O’Keefe: All right, what about this next one called vegan eggs? What does that even mean?

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah, I mean, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of vegan, um, there’s egg-free substitutes out there, especially with so many people being, vegan or having allergies to eggs and things like that, so there are egg substitutes out there, but a lot of those options are very high in sodium, they’re high in carbohydrates which a regular egg just doesn’t contain.

A regular egg is high in protein, it’s lower in carbohydrates and has a medium amount of healthy fat. So, my best advice is, if you want to do, like a vegan egg substitute, you can actually mix together a tablespoon of flax seeds and then two and a half tablespoons of water. Mix it together, and that creates a vegan egg.

So, if you need to use that to… make a recipe or make baked goods, things like that. Quick, easy, and it’s high in anti-inflammatory omega fats, which is good. And it’s not going to have any of those high carbohydrates, high sodiums that a lot of the egg-free substitutes will have.

Crystal O’Keefe: Okay. So, it’s more about what’s in the egg-free substitutes rather. Okay. I gotcha.

Bianca de la Rosa: Yep, exactly. Yep, exactly.

Crystal O’Keefe: Okay. So, these next three are kind of a variation on a theme. So, I feel like you’re going to have a similar answer. So, I’m going to lump them together. We’ve got eating once a day. Eating only rice all day long or eating only grapefruit all day long, all of which sounds miserable to me.
What are your thoughts on these?

Bianca de la Rosa: I think if you do something, no matter what it is, only once a day, you’re going to have a lot of cons to that. You’re going to have a lot of things out there that tell you, Dr. Google, that tells you it’s going to help promote fat burn. It’s going to help improve blood sugar levels. It’s going to help with weight loss.

What I always think about is what are the downsides of that, of only, truly only eating once a day. That is a very, very strict diet. That’s basically fasting for maybe 22 to 23 hours a day. Assumingly, it takes an hour for you to eat all your calories in one meal.

Crystal O’Keefe: I might feel like I just did.

Bianca de la Rosa: But we have other meals to help balance it out a little bit. So, it’s, it’s like a little bit of a balance right there. Um, it’s difficult to sustain to that’s just so hard and to have that challenge on yourself and also on your body. Um, it can just be extremely restrictive in that area. Um, it can make some people actually hungrier than they normally are.

If you cut all of your foods out and you only have one specific food for one meal, you’re at risk of nutritional deficiencies, you’re at risk for different variations of blood sugar, up, down, and all around, like a roller coaster. So, when you do only have like one specific thing, there’s a certain hormone in your body called ghrelin that can cause excess hunger if you go through prolonged periods without eating.

So, that can also result in binge eating or things like that, breaking your fast. I think at the end of the day, it may be no more effective than calorie reduction. Being in a simple caloric deficit. Have your normal meals all day, don’t suffer, don’t deprive yourself, you know, don’t put yourself through this crazy diet fad scheme or anything like that.

Just a simple caloric restriction in a balanced way, I think is the best way to put it.

Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah, and y’all should listen to Bianca because she’s actually a dietitian. So, she’s not just like making this stuff up. She has the science behind it, which I think we all need. I wish, I wish that all these videos and things on social came with like a little bit of a warning because trying something one time is not going to change your life, but if you turn this into something that you’re doing all the time, any of these that you’re doing constantly and you don’t realize the effects of it, that can be cumulative and that can really cause some problems.

And, and so I think just having somebody, kind of, like, de normalize trying these things over and over again is probably a good idea.

Bianca de la Rosa: Yeah, 100%. And, you know, at the end of the day, you have to take each of these food trends with a grain of salt. If it looks unhealthy, it probably is. Um, in the short term, poor nutrition is just going to contribute to stress and tiredness and stress on the body, your ability and capacity to be able to focus on work.

And over time, it can contribute to a risk of developing illnesses and health problems and things like that, body issues and things of that sort. So, as fun as it is, I love food trends, there’s a lot of really cool ones out there, but there’s a lot of really interesting, scary ones out there that you really have to watch out for.

Crystal O’Keefe: And it’s hard to discern between the two if you haven’t really studied up on all the different ways that nutrition can affect your body. Is there a way to sum up what people should be eating?

Bianca de la Rosa: Come to MetPro. We’ll show you exactly what to eat.

Crystal O’Keefe: Yes!

Bianca de la Rosa: Come to MetPro and we will tell you exactly how and what to eat. You know, I think the big thing here is a good approach is focus on a balanced diet. And, you know, enjoy a nacho bowl here and there. Enjoy a plate of spaghetti here and there.

Um, that’s completely okay. Have food that is proteins that are lean. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, things of that sort, um, definitely, by all means, I am not saying that, you know, any of these food trends you have at one time, and it’s going to completely be detrimental to your health, but over a period of time, if they’re consistently consumed, it can contribute to unhealthy things.

So, it’s all about trying to figure out balance. Um, if you, if y’all do have anything, you know, any questions or you really just truly aren’t sure, seriously, come to MetPro. We want to help you. We really do. We want to coach you. We want to, put some of these food trends down to shame and some of them like, hey, okay, maybe let’s try these.

Crystal O’Keefe: I love that. Is there anything else you want to make sure people know about eating trends, healthy or unhealthy, before we go today?

Bianca de la Rosa: Just, you know, again, just take these food trends with a grain of salt. If it looks healthy, maybe it is. If it looks very, very unhealthy, it probably really is. And don’t wait until you try it and have a sick stomach to be like, oh wow, I should not have had that. Not good. Not good, so that’s where I’ll leave y’all with.

Crystal O’Keefe: That’s perfect. Bianca, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it. And, uh, thank you for walking through all these health trends, and educating me on, on what the kids are doing.

Bianca de la Rosa: Thanks so much, Crystal. I loved being here.

Crystal O’Keefe: Listeners, that’s all for this week. You can find all the MetPro Method episodes anywhere you get podcasts, or you can go to Please be sure to follow the show and rate and review that lets other people know what they can expect from the show. You can also learn more about MetPro at

I’m your host, Crystal O’Keefe, and I’ll be back next week. Until then, remember, consistency is key.

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