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5 Of the Silliest Health Fads of All Time



People will do a lot in the name of good health. While certain lifestyle choices have endured over time, mainly the common sense ones like getting regular exercise, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and visiting your dentist twice per year, other so-called health fades have faded as fast as they became popular. Though these health fads have mostly gone the way of the dinosaur, some people still swear by them, no matter how silly they might seem now.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

The name itself should let you know that it’s pretty much nonsense, but if it doesn’t, all you need to know about the cabbage soup diet is that it’s basically a starvation diet. Cabbage soup diet participants are allowed to eat as much cabbage soup as they want to be made from a recipe that contains virtually no fat or calories. Other than that, the diet is severely restricted, and foods that are otherwise very healthy like boneless, skinless salmon, leafy green vegetables like spinach, and even fruits like bananas are forbidden on some days. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most people who go on the cabbage soup diet complain of headaches and regular fatigue.

The Tapeworm Diet

The tapeworm diet is not only stupid, it’s downright disgusting. The tapeworm diet is simple – take beef tapeworm – which isn’t sold anymore, thankfully – and then eat whatever your heart desires. Once you and the tapeworm are done eating and digesting your meal, you can take the medicine to kill the tapeworm you just ingested. The tapeworm diet has been banned now, and there aren’t many reports of people still trying it out, which is definitely a good thing. The tapeworm diet makes the cabbage soup diet seem like it was designed by Nobel Prize-winning scientists in comparison.

Ear Candling

If sticking a candle in your ear and lighting it seems like a good idea, ear candling might be right up your alley. Ear candling, a process designed to remove earwax from the ear canal, remedy pain and improve balance, literally involves putting a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it, which some say creates suction. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true – no suction is created, at least not enough to have any possible benefits. The only thing that can come as a result of ear candling is a severe burn or damaged eardrum. Keep the candlesticks on the table where they belong.

Ionized Bracelets

If you’ve attended a health fair, outdoor concert, or even a county fair in between 2005 and 2008, you’ve probably seen ionized bracelets. Designed to help promote balance and improve endurance while increasing general athletic ability, ionized bracelets were made popular by athletes that almost certainly received a six-figure check for their endorsement. Ionized bracelets are really nothing more than a less-than-stylish bracelet that you can wear while exercising. A less-than-stylish bracelet that you would have likely paid way too much money for. If you didn’t buy one, give yourself a pat on the back for being able to spot a rip-off when you see one.

Cooking with Margarine

If you were born after 1960 you may not remember a time when health professionals told the public it was better to cook with margarine than butter because it contained less fat than butter. While eating margarine in moderation likely won’t kill you, scientists have figured out that using butter makes more sense because it isn’t made with hydrogenated oil and low-quality vegetable oils that are actually much worse for your body.