As an employee of Smart for Life, it's my job to be aware of the latest trends and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I'm a seeing is believing type of guy, so I usually prefer to try something before I write it off as a myth.

The 5 myths below represent some seriously popular trends in health and wellness, but do they deserve their fame?

1. Artificial Sweeteners are Better For You

Maybe not. Artificial sweeteners are known to be highly processed and have been shown to cause health issues from headaches to digestive issues. Next time you need a little sweetness in your life, try the natural route(honey, agave, etc).

2. Cravings Signal a Nutritional Deficiency

Did you know that sugar can cause an increase in cravings as well as foods such as white rice? Although your body is designed to warn you when you're lacking, there is no clear correlation between cravings and nutritional deficiency. In fact, latest studies show cravings could actually be a sign of dehydration.

3. Juice Cleanses for Detox

Juice cleanses can be very effective for losing weight, but it's not necessarily because it's cleansing your body of "toxins". Studies show that juice cleanses may actually be removing nutrients and calories from your system, forcing your body to go into a "starvation" mode. Next time, try a balanced diet program like Smart for Life's which offers a balance of high protein and low calorie to ensure you're maintaining muscle mass while not starving your body.


4. Activated Charcoal is a Superfood

When our blog writer Courtney Wolfe previously wrote about Activated Charcoal, we had no idea some corners of the health industry were calling it a superfood. Well, it turns out that it can actually deplete nutrients in your body, and may lessen the efficacy of medications due to it's high absorption properties! Yikes.

5. Eating After 6 PM is Always a Bad Idea

While we certainly don't recommend eating late at night, portion control still seems to be the best piece of advice. It's not necessarily about what time you're eating, but what you're eating and how much of it. Moderation, although inherently boring, always seems to come back as a staple of nutrition.

As always, it's best to consult a doctor or healthcare professional when the next health trend hits mainstream. Ingesting anything without proper research can be dangerous, so do your homework before you make a lifestyle change based on what could be a myth!