Fruitarian Only Fare … And Four Other TikTok Diet Trends You Need To Stop Trying

By Marie-Antoinette Issa
on 11 June 2024

Spoiler alert! While social media can be a great resource for cult beauty products and buzzwords, health advice served online is best taken with a grain of (Himalayan) salt. Here’s a recap of some of the most questionable TikTok diet trends we’ve encountered. And, why this professional doctor recommends you avoid every single one of them.

According to recent research conducted by Bupa Health Clinics, almost three-quarters of individuals believe that cutting out certain foods aids weight loss. With around half seeking diet inspiration from social media, platforms like TikTok. However, the reality is that only 2% of TikTok diet trends are deemed nutritionally accurate. With this in mind, Dr. Samantha Wild, GP and Clinical Lead for Women’s Health, delves into some of the popular fads that have garnered millions of views on TikTok. Examining their efficacy and potential risks.

Diet myths debunked

  1. Quick-fix ‘gut healing’ foods

The promise of a quick fix for digestive issues is tantalising, especially when it comes to gut health. With videos flooding TikTok and promoting “gut healing” foods, claiming to alleviate symptoms like bloating and heartburn within days.

However, Dr. Wild warns against the allure of these quick fixes. While certain foods like yoghurt and turmeric may offer temporary relief for some individuals, sustainable gut health requires more than just a short-term dietary change. Dr. Wild emphasises the importance of consistency in eating a balanced diet and leading a healthy lifestyle to support long-term gut health.

  1. Following a fruitarian diet

Fruitarian diets, which advocate for consuming solely fruits, have gained traction on TikTok, with some videos amassing millions of views. However, Dr. Wild cautions against the potential dangers of such restrictive diets. While fruits are undoubtedly a nutritious component of any diet, relying solely on them can lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients and even malnutrition. Additionally, extreme dietary restrictions can trigger unhealthy behaviours and may result in adverse health effects. Dr. Wild advises individuals to prioritise balanced nutrition and seek guidance from qualified health professionals when considering dietary changes.

  1. Eating almonds to prevent cancer

The notion that certain foods possess miraculous healing properties is not uncommon on TikTok. One prevalent myth is the belief that consuming five almonds a day can prevent cancer. However, Dr. Wild stresses the importance of approaching such claims with scepticism. While diet does play a role in cancer prevention, there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that almonds alone can ward off the disease. Furthermore, relying on single food items as miracle cures can lead to a skewed understanding of nutrition and may result in inadequate dietary intake. Dr. Wild urges individuals to focus on a well-rounded diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins for optimal health.

  1. Using an onion poultice for ear infections

Home remedies have long been touted as solutions for various ailments and TikTok is no stranger to such advice. One particularly popular trend is the use of onion poultices for treating ear infections. While onions do possess antibacterial properties, Dr. Wild warns against relying solely on home remedies for medical conditions. Ear infections can have various underlying causes, including bacterial or viral infections and may require medical intervention. Dr. Wild emphasises the importance of seeking professional medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

  1. Homemade wellness shots

DIY wellness shots, featuring ingredients like ginger, turmeric and lemon, have become a staple on TikTok. These concentrated concoctions are often touted as quick fixes for various health issues, from boosting immunity to aiding digestion. However, Dr. Wild cautions against placing too much faith in these homemade remedies. While some ingredients may offer health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet, there is limited scientific evidence to support the efficacy of wellness shots in isolation. Dr. Wild encourages individuals to focus on overall dietary patterns rather than relying on single-shot solutions for health.

How to spot fake health information

Ultimately, according to Dr. Wild, it’s crucial to equip ourselves with the tools to discern fact from fiction in the digital age. Who shares the following tips for identifying misleading health information:

  • Sense-check: Question the validity of surprising claims and seek information from reputable sources.
  • Look for credentials: Verify the qualifications and expertise of health content creators.
  • Be wary of tell-tale phrases: Beware of exaggerated language that may indicate misinformation.

To better understand these insights and navigate the fact v fiction of TikTok Diet Trends, check out the full findings of this research at Bupa Health Clinics Diet Myths.

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