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  • Writer's pictureSara Yuen

Health Fads to Avoid in 2022

Somehow, we're halfway through 2022 –– which means many of the year's major health trends have already emerged. Some of these, including an emphasis on gut health or making lifestyle changes (like opting for the Mediterranean diet or ditching alcohol,) are for the best! Others are little more than means to sell a new product, device, powder, or celebrity "wellness" brand.

The team at Trusted Referral Network has written about the true "secret" to a healthy lifestyle –– eating healthier, avoiding processed foods, and ensuring food group diversity –– and we keep a close eye on the health and wellness trends that emerge each year. Below, we outline the four health fads you should steer clear of.

losing weight, diet trends, healthy fats, diet trends, whole grains, minimally processed foods, vegetarian diet

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Watch Out for These Fads

  1. Technology Overload

  2. Miracle Fad Diets

  3. Supplements

  4. Wellness Influencers

Technology Overload

In 2015, Apple released one of the most famous pieces of wearable technology in human history: the Apple Watch. As the Apple Watch has evolved and gained added functionality, hundreds of similar products have popped up. Of course, the marketing masterminds behind these products will have you believe you need to have every piece of wearable technology on your person to "accurately" track your health, but that's far from the truth.

In addition to fostering an unhealthy reliance on the technology among users, fitness trackers might not be as accurate as their marketing departments claim. So, when an athlete-spokesperson tries to convince you that you need to be tracking your sleep, breath, steps, and recovery, take it with a grain of salt.

Miracle Fad Diets

The calendar may change, but some things never do –– and there will always be a new crop of fad diet trends. Like the last several years, the ketogenic diet is holding strong, despite the abundance of research linking the diet to a substantial increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol. Other diets like the paleo diet and Whole30 have waned in popularity, but the Dukan diet has taken its place as the fad diet du jour.

Developed in the 1970s by the diet's namesake, Pierre Dukan, this diet is not exactly new. However, famous fans like Jennifer Lopez and Kate Middleton have helped elevate the ultra-restrictive diet's status in the last year. As with the keto diet, the Dukan diet plan helps practitioners lose weight dramatically by eliminating entire food groups, but the risk may outweigh the reward. In a study of 51 women following the Dukan diet, researchers found abnormal nutrient levels –– hypothesizing that abiding by this diet mentality long-term could lead to high blood pressure, kidney and liver disease, or osteoporosis. Rule of thumb: If diet trends seem too good to be true, they probably are.


By definition, "supplement" refers to something that completes or enhances another thing when added. Wellness supplements have lost their original intention. They are frequently used as a replacement for a diet rather than an addition to one. While those with a vitamin C deficiency may need a supplement to get their levels in an optimal range, supplementing vitamins is not a replacement for fruits, vegetables, or a balanced diet.

The same goes with protein, one of the most common wellness supplements. Though a protein shake may be a low-carb and low-calorie alternative to a nutrient-dense meal, it is not a suitable replacement for healthy eating. Scientific evidence also shows that some protein supplements can be hiding added sugars and calories, turning that "low-calorie" alternative into a Chipotle burrito bowl-sized meal.

Wellness Influencers

Whether we like it or not, influencers have become a part of our daily lives. For the most part, they're (relatively) harmless. They get paid obscene amounts of money to promote products we don't need, and if you're a conscious consumer, you pay the shilling no mind. But, for those who are easily influenced, they can spell danger.

Many in the so-called "wellness" industry predominantly prey on female audiences. Influencers in this space can do severe damage. From celebrity-led brands selling $70 jade eggs with little evidence of their alleged health benefits to influencers touting the detoxing powers of a $25 bag of green tea, there's no shortage of wellness influencer-related trends to look out for in 2022.

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