It’s good – no wait, it’s bad?

We’ve all come to expect that something hailed as a superfood one day might be found to be snake oil the next. But even by the standards of the wellness industry it’s been a bad few months. Take these busted food myths for example:

Vegetarianism

How many times have you heard that a plant-based diet is healthier and will help you to live longer? Yet a comprehensive study into all-cause mortality by Sydney University researchers has found no difference whatsoever between vegetarians and meat eaters in  267,180 men and women aged 45 years and over in New South Wales. “We found no evidence that following a vegetarian diet, semi-vegetarian diet or a pesco-vegetarian diet has an independent protective effect on all-cause mortality,” they said.

Coconut oil

The wonder fat promoted by wellness gurus as doing everything from improving your skin and helping weight loss to sharpening your brain has been dismissed by the American Heart Association as another terrible saturated fat that’s as bad for your heart as any number of animal fats.

Intermittent fasting

One of the most popular new ways of losing weight is by restricting the windows of time in which you eat, either to certain hours of the day or by having fasting days during the week. The only problem is that a year-long study of 100 obese adults by Chicago researchers published in JAMA Internal Medicine found no difference between people who fasted on alternate days and those who simply reduced their calories on a daily basis. In other words, intermittent fasting is just another version of the same thing: calorie restriction dieting.