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5 Popular Health Trends That Are Actually Dangerous

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

There are so many health trends that have been popularized in the past few years that it’s hard to tell which ones are actually healthy. It’s very easy to be misinformed about health, especially with the growing popularity of pseudoscience in the media. A lot of celebrities promote harmful health fads which often leads to fans trying them and then harming themselves as a result. I think it’s important to address some of these health trends because a lot of them are actually very dangerous. These are some health fads that can actually cause more harm than good:

1. Using Raw Foods or Juices to Detox

One of the more popular health trends in the past few years is the practice of detoxing which is eliminating toxins in your body that have entered from the air and from your food. There are a lot of health stores that sell products labeled with the promise to detox your body. However, detoxing is a sham and a rip-off, and it often causes people to feel sick. Any detoxification that your body needs is done naturally and effectively by the liver and kidneys.

2. Gluten-Free Diet

Diets that eliminate gluten are really only beneficial for people with Celiac Disease. For everyone else, it’s not healthier to stick to a gluten-free diet and it won’t help you lose weight. It’s actually dangerous. Risks of being gluten-free include birth defects in pregnant women, nutrient deficiency and a weakened immune system.

3. Coconut Oil

It’s a popular misconception that coconut oil is healthier than other oils such as vegetable and olive oil. There hasn’t been much evidence to back this claim up and coconut oil is a very saturated fat, so it’s actually more fattening than a lot of people might think. Studies show that it may even have associations with heart disease and high cholesterol.  

4. Raw Water

A lot of people think natural foods and drinks are better for you, and there’s a “raw water” trend where people drink unfiltered water. This is dangerous because water that hasn’t been treated is very likely to have dangerous bacteria and pesticides, and this can make people very sick. Some companies are now selling bottled, untreated water so people are basically paying to get sick. Don’t fall for this scam! 

5. Anti-Vaccination

The anti-vaccination movement has been growing to the point that there have been measles outbreaks in the United States. Some diseases that had previously been eradicated have reemerged, killing millions of people in multiple parts of the world. Of the health fads that have been discussed, this is one of the most dangerous ones because it has resulted in large numbers of people dying. Vaccinations have helped to eradicate some of the most deadly diseases and the anti-vaccination movement has led to some of these diseases coming back. It’s very important to get vaccinated since it provides protection against many harmful diseases.

It’s important to remember that a lot of the health trends that are popular right now are not backed by science. If there’s a health trend you’re thinking about trying out, make sure to consult with your doctor first. Stay healthy and stay safe!

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Kindy graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health. When she isn’t writing, studying, or doing research, you can find her reading, singing (off key), watching movies, or spending time in nature. She loves animals, yoga, Gilmore Girls, and dark chocolate.
UCF Contributor