The biggest celebrity-approved food trends of the year are actually kind of terrible for your health, according to a new report. This will probably come as not so great news for everyone who has been smugly out-Gooping Gwen with their #paleo diet triumphs, or anyone who has spent a dinner party preaching the benefits of going sugar-free.
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) just announced its list of the top five celebrity diets to avoid in 2015. In second place, beaten only by urine therapy (the Bear Grylls-approved method of literally drinking your own urine), is perhaps the most talked about food fad of the moment: the paleo diet. If you haven’t heard of paleo (which is basically impossible considering it was most Googled diet of 2013), it involves going back to a caveman style of eating by cutting out diary, grains, processed foods, and most things delicious in favor of meat, fish, and vegetables. Miley Cyrus and Matthew McConaughey are both, reportedly, fans.
The BDA calls the trend a “Jurassic fad!” (their pun, not ours), but admits that a less processed diet is probably a good thing: “A diet with fewer processed foods, less sugar and salt is actually a good idea, but unless for medical reason, there is absolutely no need to cut any food group out of your diet. An unbalanced, time consuming, socially isolating diet, which this could easily be, is a sure-fire way to develop nutrient deficiencies, which can compromise health and your relationship with food.” Yikes.
Third on the BDA’s list of celebrity diets to avoid at any cost is the sugar free diet—which has been reportedly embraced by both Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin. Not only is this trend majorly unhealthy, its guidelines are almost impossible to meet: “Some versions of the Sugar Free Diet call for you to cut out all sugar from your diet which is not only almost impossible, but would mean cutting out foods like vegetables, fruit, dairy products, nuts–not exactly a healthy, balanced diet,” the BDA said in a statement.
Shailene Woodley fans will know that the health-loving hippie thinks eating clay is the best way to detox. Last year she told David Letterman that she’s all about the clay, claiming, “Clay binds to other materials in your body and helps your body excrete those materials that aren’t necessarily the best for you.”
If that statement doesn’t cue some raised eyebrows, perhaps it will help to know experts found traces of arsenic and lead in Clay Cleanse Diet products. The Food Standards Agency warned against the trend, saying, “We remind consumers, especially pregnant women, about the dangers of ingesting clay, clay-based detox drinks and supplements.” The BDA agrees, saying the concept itself is complete nonsense, and that the body is already amazing at detoxing and removing waste all on its own, so we should just stop messing with it. ‘Nuff said.
The VB6 Diet is reportedly Beyoncé-approved, but also made the BDA’s top five. It stands for “vegan before 6 p.m.” and calls for followers to eat a plant-based diet earlier in the day. At night, nothing is off-limits, so common sense will tell you this diet doesn’t sound particularly balanced. The BDA report agrees, saying, “Following a vegan diet doesn’t automatically translate into a healthy diet. The reality is, eating different food groups at different times of the day doesn’t matter, in terms of your health, its nutritional balance that’s important.”
The moral of the story here is to remember that fame does not equal a college degree, and a celebrity rarely doubles as a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician, so don’t take their health advice until you consult a proper professional.