There are a lot of health trends out there that many people are jumping on to. Miracle diet plans and superfoods are all the rage, but are they all effective? Here are 10 health trends that are overblown.
This is a type of diet where you only consume juices from fresh fruit and vegetables with the aim of losing weight and to detoxify the body. These cleansing diets present several possible risks. For instance, they have insufficient calories, and not having enough of those can lead to low blood sugar levels.
They also put a strain on your liver and kidneys, the actually purpose-built detoxifying organs. Stick with those and consume a balanced diet. This will be a common theme throughout many of these health trends.
Another one of those health trends that advocates drinking stuff. Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s slightly alcoholic and has sugar and yeast. All sorts of benefits are thrown around like improved gut health, reduced cancer risk, and improved mental health, but there are no studies that with any certainty link them to Kombucha.
Most of us know that white, refined sugar is one of the worst things for us out there. Natural Sugars refers to things like Agave syrup and coconut sugar, and they really aren’t any better for you than the stuff processed from sugar canes. When it comes to calories and nutrients, there isn’t much difference here. It’s worth noting that natural sugars found in fruit are healthy and part of a balanced diet.
The act of trying to change your body’s pH by eating certain types of food. A misconception. You can’t change your body’s pH. The thought process behind it states that acidic food is behind many of our health problems. Another misconception.
Our body’s organs and compartments are functioning perfectly at our current pH because that’s what they’re supposed to do. There are several chemical reactions occurring within our bodies constantly, and to attempt to throw that out of wack is not something to strive for.
Superheating sources of carbon, like wood, produces activated charcoal. It’s mostly used in emergency rooms to treat overdoses, as it’s said to have toxin-absorbing properties. Although authorities have approved for its use in this context, people have jumped on to it as a treatment to a large list of problems.
Many oral health products contain activated charcoal. There is no research to support the safety or effectiveness of this. So as far as we know it doesn’t strengthen your teeth, but it may wear away your enamel. Some side effects of using charcoal have been recorded such as constipation, dehydration, blocking of the intestinal tract, and regurgitation into the lungs. The latter two especially are rare.
The Ketogenic diet deprives the body of carbs, with the intent of forcing the body to take on a different kind of fuel, in this cake ketone bodies. The liver produces these from stored fat. So the idea is to burn a lot of fat.
OK. One, the state of ketosis is very hard to reach and maintain and two, you’re eating a whole lot of fat, unsaturated and saturated, to get there. The number of saturated fats that you have to consume pose a problem. There are links with saturated fats and heart disease so it follows that the keto diet increases cholesterol, another link to heart disease.
But wait, there’s more. Not eating a great variety of fruits and grains puts you at risk of nutrient deficiency. Liver problems could arise from so much fat to metabolize, as could kidney problems from metabolizing protein. And just to top that off, you could suffer from fuzzy thinking and mood swings, as well as constipation.
Lemons are pretty good for you. Drinking water is a health necessity. Drinking lemon water doesn’t go too far either way. As covered in earlier health trends, juice detoxing isn’t really a thing so don’t count on lemon water to do that for you. Let me put it this way: If you’re already consuming a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, then lemon water won’t be of much nutritional value, and if you don’t have a balanced diet, this certainly won’t push you on to the healthy side.
In the end, there’s no evidence to suggest that putting a slice of lemon into your water is more beneficial than just drinking regular water. Don’t let this stop you from drinking it though. It’s ultimately a harmless trend, apart from the risk of the acid content eating away at your tooth enamel. Aside from that though, drink on.
Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulphate, is most commonly used in baths, though it is also consumed. Like all health trends, it is believed to have many health benefits, chief among them muscle relaxation. The idea is that once dissolved into water, Epsom salt releases magnesium and sulphate ions which are absorbed through the skin. There’s no evidence that the body absorbs these minerals through the skin.
Lots of people are lacking in magnesium. The claims that absorption through the skin is more effective than oral consumption simply cannot be backed up. There’s the possibility of side effects when taken orally and in unregulated amounts. It can have a laxative effect, cause nausea, lightheadedness, and flushed skin. In the worst case scenario of a magnesium overdose, you can become comatose, paralysed, or die.
There’s not a whole lot of evidence around that dark chocolate is that much better for you than regular chocolate or any other sweets for that matter. Dark chocolate has about the same if not the very same amount of sugar, so you can discount that benefit. And it can constipate you just as easily as normal chocolate. I really should have said that constipation would be the running theme here, it’s popped up a lot. Try not to get constipated folks.
Superfoods in General
To wrap things up: Superfoods. Fruits, grains and other things singled out for their supposedly all-encompassing health benefits. No one food will make you the epitome of healthy. Say it with me, a balanced diet is key.