What's up, Joey? A closer look at trends spreading on social media

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Like most people, I wake up every morning and scan my social media pages to see what's new with my friends. Often times, I'll get sucked into a blog or article about the latest trends, but recently I've had to stop and ask, Where are these coming from?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll try just about anything new. Music, fashion, tech; it really doesn’t matter as long as I get to give it a fair shake. But the most recent of these unusual discoveries has been all about two words: “butter” and “oil.”

Let me explain. This morning, I put unsalted, grass-fed butter in my cup of coffee. I didn’t know what exactly for, or what it would do, only that I read an article on Facebook about it and it’s supposed to be healthy. Seems to be the way everyone tries out the weirdest trends these days, doesn’t it? With that in mind, I decided that it would be a good idea to seek out a professional and find out what exactly it’s all about. Could it be true that “butter” plus “coffee” equals “a healthier life?”

“There’s conflicting evidence right now, but they do have animal studies,” says Dr. Bart Price of Sarasota. “In animal studies, they show there has been a reduction of fat deposits and an improvement on body mass index. They have shown some human studies with the improvement of fat and body mass. However, that has mostly been in obese men and healthy individuals haven’t really shown that yet.”

This is fresh on the heels of another activity circulation on social media: “oil pulling.” It’s an ancient trick that’s been gaining a lot of fans lately. Put a batch of coconut oil in your mouth, let all the toxins collect in the oil, spit it out, and supposedly be a lot healthier.

“So when you look at the information from oil pulling, commonly online you see ‘coconut oil,’ ‘extra virgin cold-press coconut oil,’ this is what you wanna use,” explains Christina Captain, DOM of Family Healing Center. “But there’s no research to support that. In fact, this ancient Ayurvedic technique of oil pulling uses sesame oil, which goes through a process when you put it in your mouth of saponification that makes a soapy kind of consistency in your mouth.”

She explains this is where the toxins are drawn from the mouth, however if you hold the oil for too long, your body will reabsorb them.

This all got me thinking; we spend our time on social media and read health articles looking for the next big craze day in and day out. But how are any of us supposed to know what to trust? What’s legit… and what’s not?

So what I’ve learned today: remedies like oil pulling or butter in your morning cup of joe can be beneficial, but remember not to be so quick to believe every fad you read when poking around online.

The interesting thing that both doctors reminded me was to look at the bottom of these trending articles to see if they've sponsored by a specific product before scooping it into my cup of coffee. As always, if you spot any new trends while you're out and about, snap a photo and send it to pix@mysuncoast.com.