Fact Or Fiction? Evaluating 2024’s Top 5 TikTok Nutrition Crazes

TikTok Nutrition

Expert gives advice on whether to skip or try five of the hottest TikTok nutrition fads this year

In the whirlwind of TikTok trends, nutritional fads come and go faster than you can say “kale smoothie.” But which are actually worth your time?

Richard Smith-Bernal, the founder of Juice Smith, shares five of this year’s most buzzed-about nutrition trends, with insights on whether to skip or give them a try.

Lettuce Water: Sip Or Skip?

One of the most viral trends on TikTok this year is the “lettuce water” craze, where users claimed that steeping lettuce in hot water and drinking it before bed could aid sleep. 

While some studies have found that lettuce contains compounds that may have mild sedative effects in mice, there is little scientific evidence that lettuce water is an effective sleep remedy for humans. 

Richard says, ‘Drinking lettuce water is generally harmless but unlikely to provide significant benefits beyond placebo effects. Those seeking better sleep should focus on established practices like maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.’

Salmon Rice Bowl: A Healthy Hit

In contrast, the salmon rice bowl trend showcases a genuinely nutritious and delicious meal. Combining protein-rich salmon, whole grain rice, healthy fats from avocado, and flavorful seasonings, this dish provides a balanced and satisfying lunchtime option. 

TikTok Nutrition

Richard notes, ‘The salmon rice bowl is an excellent example of how TikTok can inspire people to prepare wholesome, home-cooked meals. By swapping out high-calorie condiments like mayo for healthier alternatives, users can make this trend even more nutritious.’

#WhatIEatInADay: Proceed With Caution

The popular “#WhatIEatInADay” hashtag on TikTok has raised concerns among experts. While these videos can provide meal inspiration, research has found that less than three per cent of such content is weight-inclusive, potentially promoting unhealthy body image and disordered eating habits, especially among young viewers. 

Users should approach these videos with a critical eye and focus on finding sustainable, balanced eating patterns that support their overall well-being, rather than comparing themselves to unrealistic standards.

The 75 Hard Challenge: Too Extreme?

The “75 Hard Challenge” gained traction on TikTok, requiring participants to follow a strict regimen. The five rules are: work out twice a day for forty-five minutes each, follow a diet (any, so long as it’s healthy and doesn’t include “cheat meals” and alcohol), drink a gallon of water per day, read ten pages of a non-fiction book every day, and take a daily progress picture. If you break one rule, start the seventy-five days over again.

While the challenge may motivate some, it can also be an unsustainable and potentially harmful approach to health and fitness. ‘Experts caution that such intense programs can lead to burnout, injury, and an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. A more gradual, personalised approach to lifestyle changes is generally more effective and safer in the long run,’ says Richard.

Healthy Coke: A Refreshing Alternative

The “healthy Coke” trend, which involves mixing carbonated water, balsamic vinegar, and various flavourings, offers a lower-calorie alternative to sugary sodas. 

While it may not taste exactly like the real thing, this DIY soda can be a refreshing and relatively harmless way to satisfy a craving for something fizzy and sweet. Richard advises, ‘As with any dietary change, moderation is key, and users should be mindful of the potential acidity from the vinegar, which can harm your teeth.’

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