In an effort to lose weight or stay healthy and fit, you’ve probably come across your fair share of bogus health trends. While extreme fasting and diet pills are downright dangerous, other diet trends seem healthy. With all the hype surrounding these fads, it can be difficult to differentiate between what’s legit and what’s not. Here are some health trends you shouldn’t waste your time or money on.

Vegetable juice

Juicing

Juicing has become incredibly popular, and its proponents believe it promotes weight loss and better nutrition. While a glass of freshly squeezed juice can add vital vitamins and minerals to your meals, juicing shouldn’t be used as a meal replacement. When you juice, you miss out on the fiber, protein and healthy fats that are found in the pulp and skins, which juicers extract. Try blending your fruits and vegetables so that you aren’t passing up important nutrients. (Get blending with our delicious smoothie recipes here!)

Gluten-Free Diet

Very few people have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, yet many are choosing to forgo gluten. Some cut out gluten because they believe it will help with weight loss, while others think it’s harmful to their body.  As a result, many people believe a gluten-free diet is healthy for everyone, when in reality it’s not.  And, because of this assumption, gluten-free foods are usually much pricier than their gluten-containing counterparts.

There’s no real evidence supporting eliminating gluten from your diet promotes weight loss. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found celiac disease patients who cut out gluten have a greater risk of obesity than those who eat wheat. Compared to foods containing gluten, gluten-free varieties are often higher in fat, sugar, sodium, and chemical fillers to make up for the lack of taste.

Additionally, wheat is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, and folic acid— key nutrients that gluten-free foods often lack. So, unless instructed by your doctor, you should not follow a gluten-free diet. Instead, avoid processed grains and stick to whole wheat.

Sugar-Free Foods

Refined sugar is obviously bad for your body, but foods labeled “sugar-free” are no better. Many sugar-free foods replace regular sugar with artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda. Though it has zero calories, Splenda is teeming with chemicals and is linked to a weight gain, swollen livers, and depletion of good bacteria, according to a Duke University study.

Now that you know the truth about these health trends, you can make the necessary changes to your diet so you can stay healthy.

For more ways to improve your diet and health, head over to our Food + Drink section.

 

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