The Big Problem One Dietitian Has With This TikTok Food Trend

TikTok food trends have definitely hit mainstream. Food and beverage lovers alike flock to the social media outlet to see what's trending, what's new, and what some, um... unique ways to eat some of their favorite foods are. 

However, not all TikTok food trends should be taken at face value, especially ones that are tied to diets like Keto and Paleo. These trends are in-demand, as many people have taken up these dietary changes and are looking for ways to make them a bit more fun, interesting, and palatable. Case-in-point: The cucumber challenge. According to TikTok user @JanelleRohner, if you dip a cucumber in sugar (or a sugar substitute like Stevia), it tastes like a watermelon. While it may be true, this TikTok food trend has some dietitians on edge. 

Cara Harbstreet, a dietitian and owner of Street Smart Nutrition, calls out the user in an article on Huffington Post, noting that the trend shouldn't continue. She explains that fruit should be a staple in one's diet, and replacing fruit with other sources (ie: a vegetable dipped in sugar) is actually harmful to a more balanced diet. 

"This is driven by a cultural fear of carbs and foods that contain them, including fruit, despite known nutritional benefit to eating these foods," she says to the outlet. 

The keto diet isn't just a trend

However, as dietitian Cara Harbstreet explains in HuffPost, this is not an attack on the keto diet. She believes that people with certain medical conditions might benefit from following the eating plan, as long as it's a "nutritionally balanced, medically supervised ketogenic diet." 

According to Healthline, there are certain things people following this lifestyle need to be aware of. Limiting carb consumption and filling up on fats (like meats, eggs and oils) is the easiest way to get your body into ketosis. However, fruit is allowed and even encouraged on the keto diet, says Everyday Health. These include blackberries, raspberries, and, get this — watermelon.

While the cucumber-and-Stevia challenge may be one of the biggest offenders, there are certainly other "healthy" TikTok trends that have dietitians rolling their eyes. Some of these, notes HuffPost, includes a cucumber "everything bagel" and an ice cream cheat that combines Jell-O with whipped cream. So, before you commit to a TikTok food trend, definitely make sure it's healthy and safe for your nutritional intake, and not going to impact your overall health for the sake of a number on the scale.