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Jan 3

Health Fads and Avoiding Them in 2018

With the new year starting, it’s time to prepare for health fads and advertisements. While some of these are simply useless, others can be very harmful! Please stay safe this year as you work to become healthier!

Fads to Avoid


  1. “Detox” doesn’t work. The only true detox is when medical professionals help you get drugs or alcohol out of your system, not a product. Products and programs marketed as “detox” behave like a “get slim now” program or pill, and won’t do much for you. In reality, a healthy liver and kidneys will do all of your detoxing for you. Eat foods that treat them well, and you’ll be fine.
  2. Essential oils are not a cure for anything. What essential oils do is smell nice, and this contributes to mild physiological or psychological effects. For example, the smell of lavender is calming, but it’s not going to cure diseases. If you want essential oils for these mild effects or just to make things smell nice, avoid anything that claims to be “therapeutic grade” and save yourself the extra money.
  3. Does a product come with a complicated, mystical description of how it works? Then it won’t. The creators of magnetic bracelets and other “natural cures” rely on the average American not studying science past 9th grade. They can be pretty, but they aren’t likely to cure diseases.


  • Juicing is an expensive habit that can do more harm than good, and not just to your wallet. The best way to eat produce, always, is whole. Juicing removes the precious fiber from these, giving you mostly sugar. If you must drink your produce, blend it rather than juice it to keep in the fiber and other healthy elements.
  • Some diets may claim to make you feel good, but generally they’re just a more expensive way to eat. For example:
    • Sugar is not unhealthy in moderation, nor will it cause cancer. You can reduce sugar from your diet for health reasons like to prevent diabetes or other concerns, but unless directed by your doctor, you don’t need to cut it out entirely.
    • Fad diets like paleo or the alkaline diet don’t have scientific backing behind them.
    • Gluten-free diets are only a concern for those who have Celiac disease or real gluten allergies.

Should you actually lose weight or feel better on special diets, it’s likely not much to do with the “special” part of the diet. It’s more to do with the fruits and veggies you’re eating instead of empty calories.

If you are concerned about your diet and how it affects your health, talk to a registered dietician. In the United States, it’s possible for unqualified individuals to use the term “nutritionist,” so don’t rely on names alone.


  1. Talk to your doctor before starting a fitness program. This is especially important if any of the following applies:
    • Heart disease
    • Asthma
    • Diabetes
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer or recent cancer treatment
    • You’re older than 35
    •  You smoke or recently quit smoking
    • Sedentary lifestyle (you don’t exercise most days of the week)
    • Overweight
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol

If you have no fitness experience, meet with a certified personal trainer. He or she will help you get started without the risk of injury or other health concerns.


  1. Some “wellness gurus” may advise you to stop taking medications for which you have a prescription. Never do this. Stopping your medications cold can be very dangerous. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor about changing medications or a dose. But do not stop taking your medications without consulting your doctor first.
  2. Don’t believe that a pill or product will cure anything and everything. No product can cure it all or replace your current medications.



The placebo effect is real. Your mind can have a powerful effect on your body. But you shouldn’t pay money for expensive sugar pills and fake diets.

Talk to your doctor today to find a health plan that is right for you. You’ll be able to work out the details of any routine that benefits your own unique body.

Have a safe and healthy year!

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