The TikTok trend #RawCarrotSalad, which claims to balance and regulate women’s hormones, has brought up controversy among some BYU students and professors.
This trend gained the most views when TikTok user Paige Nicole, made a recipe tutorial that gained over half a million views. The recipe itself is simple and its main ingredients are carrots, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon, according to her video.
Chandler Hatch, a medical laboratory scientist at Utah Valley Hospital, said she was shocked when she heard about this trend. “It doesn’t make sense long-term,” Hatch said.
After researching this specific trend, Hatch commented on the lack of scientific study or research to prove that this “salad” or combination of food can have these hormone altering results.
Hatch said, “Don’t trust TikTok for all the facts. We live in a day and age in which knowledge is at the tip of our fingers. Do your own research and develop your own opinion on trends.” She recommended using credible educators, medical professionals and published studies and journals to learn the facts.
Hatch continued to emphasize the need for doing our own research. She pointed out that these ingredients can be beneficial on their own but have an “insignificant change in the body when put together. Without proper research it is very dangerous to prioritize trends over modern medicine or professionals.”
Esther Haws, a BYU senior in the dietetics program, and an avid TikToker herself, said she has come across several TikTok trends and challenges since the app’s creation. When discussing trends that involve a user to consume anything she ushered caution, inviting everyone to be aware about what they are putting in their body. Although none of the ingredients in the raw carrot salad are harmful to an individual, she said it is still something to be aware of when it comes to balance.
“It is another fad diet, fad diets go in and out of style really fast. Before someone participates in a fad diet they should do research on how that diet or combination of food will affect their body,” Haws said. Haws encourages people to meet with medical professionals to balance their hormones instead of following a trend.
Dr. Gene Ahlborn, a BYU associate professor of nutrition, dietetics & food science, commented on the impact a balanced diet can have on an individual’s overall health, saying it can influence hormone functioning. Whether or not this trend really does balance hormones, the raw carrot salad can result in increased overall well-being when added to an individual’s diet, he said.
“Balancing your diet can have a huge impact on an individual. Anytime you eat something like this, increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption, you’re improving your overall health, which may also lead to better hormone functioning,” Ahlborn said. “However, eating one ‘magical’ serving a day of carrot salad is a narrow-minded approach.”
Ahlborn recommends meeting with a professional if an individual is concerned about health or hormones, as they can help diagnose and address any medical conditions or nutritional deficiencies, as well as prescribe a plan catered to an individual’s needs.
“We also have to remember everyone is different and may respond differently to these types of natural approaches. There is not one specific approach that is going to help every single person,” Ahlborn said.