21st Century Health Hazards Everyone Should Know About
The Danger: You risk cutting out foods that are actually beneficial (or eating ones you probably shouldn't), analysis paralysis at the grocery store, and if you get seduced by the cleanse hype, catastrophic hanger episodes.
Your Safety Plan: First, consider the source of the information you're basing your choices on: If someone is recommending a certain diet or avoiding a specific nutrient or food group (looking at you, gluten), check his or her credentials. Oftentimes so-called "experts" don't actually specialize in nutrition, says Jessica Crandall, RDN, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Second, trust actual science. Of all of the eating plans out there, the one with the most research and trustworthy experts backing it is the Mediterranean diet (meanwhile, there are zero studies backing up cleanses). Or you could follow Crandall's very simple, loosely Mediterranean advice: Base your diet around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy.