Every year, it’s something different – new health trends and diet fads pop up crop up promising quick weight loss and/or healthier bodies. And as trends do, they come and go — some beneficial, some not so helpful, and some can even be detrimental.
Here are trends to skip or ditch this summer:
- Smartphone apps to diagnose melanoma. Do not use an app to diagnose skin cancer. These apps require users to upload a photo of the mole or skin area in question, then run the image through an algorithm that is supposed to tell you whether or not it’s potentially cancerous. Research suggests that the apps are only 60 percent sensitive, which can cause many cases to go undiagnosed. If you’re concerned about a mole or spot, the best option is to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.
- Using E-cigarettes to quit smoking. E-cigs are marketed as a safer alternative to smoking as well as way to help you quit. However, the FDA doesn’t regulate the devices yet, meaning you don’t know what chemicals are really in them. Until longer-term studies show they are safe and can help you quit, use other methods to quit smoking.
- Adopting a gluten-free diet. Many think that going on a gluten-free diet will help them to lose weight. However, many gluten-free products are heavily processed, low in fiber, lack vitamins, and contain many calories. The only people who need to follow a gluten-free diet are those with Celiac disease, which is an immune reaction to the protein found in grains.
- Hot yoga or hot fitness classes. More than 36 million Americans practice yoga regularly, and its benefits for the mind and body are well documented. However, hot yoga and fitness classes increase the chance of overheating. Working out in high-heat environments can lead to serious health risks such as dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Here are some trends to try:
- Fitness apps. With the plethora of free fitness apps available, you can now keep track of everything from your exercise to your eating habits, and get health advice at the same time.
- Organic skincare. Make the switch to organic, if you’re able to do so. Using chemical-based skin products can irritate the skin and lead to premature ageing. Many products also contain potentially harmful chemicals that are transmitted through the skin into the bloodstream.
- Cold showers. Turning down the water temp has purported benefits including shinier hair, greater energy and better circulation.