Love a good juice detox? Getting into gluten-free baking? Taking antioxidant dietary supplements with your meals? Not so fast, says a large team of researchers who investigated peer-reviewed studies on a variety of recent nutrition fads. In fact, the American College of Cardiology reports that many of these diet trends are not only hype, in some cases they can be harmful, especially when it comes to heart health. A top takeaway? "There is sort of mass confusion about what foods are healthy or not healthy," the lead author tells ABC News. Juices bring in far too much sugar and not enough fiber, they found; our bodies have evolved to be our best detoxers, filtering out "toxins" without freaking out our bodies with sugar spikes.
While avoiding gluten isn't harmful in and of itself, "there is no evidence that avoidance of gluten by healthy individuals will result in weight loss or that gluten promotes weight gain," per the study. If you've become a coconut oil addict, well, sorry: "Current claims of documented health benefits of the [coconut and palm] oils are unsubstantiated and use of these oils should be discouraged." And finally, they write that fruits and veggies, and especially berries, are the healthiest source of antioxidants, but there is no compelling evidence that antioxidant supplements are helpful. Adds Popular Science: "You probably already know what a heart-healthy diet looks like: leafy greens, fresh fruits, and taking it easy when it comes to calories." (It seems that the mere acting of chewing one's food is important.)