ToxicFree Foundation / Articles

The Activated Charcoal food trend is pretty, but should you avoid it

The new fad sweeping the nation has individuals and restaurants adding activated charcoal to their foods. By no means has activated charcoal reached the “unicorn food” level, but it’s definitely growing in popularity. There are thousands of posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat dedicated to every day foods made with activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has been used in everything from ice cream and lattes, to hamburgers and hotdogs! But all that glitters is not gold… and adding activated charcoal to your favorite treat isn’t going to make it a healthier option.

Activated charcoal has been shown to whiten teeth, alleviate gas & bloating, improve the health of your skin, and has even been used to treat alcohol poisoning and for emergency toxin removal. Incorporating an ingredient into foods that’s often used to treat legitimate medical problems isn’t something doctors recommend. The issue with activated charcoal as an ingredient in your favorite foods is “when you eat charcoal, it can also bind with stuff that you don't want to get rid of—like vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.” And maybe the biggest concern is that it can “keep your body from fully absorbing any medications you've taken while eating charcoal-filled foods.” Dr. Alissa Rumsey summed things up pretty succinctly saying, “The idea that activated charcoal will cleanse your body from toxins doesn’t make sense, as it will only bind to things in your stomach and small intestine—not any ‘toxins’ that have built up in your body…”

So there you have it, straight from an expert’s mouth…”Do. Not. Eat. Activated. Charcoal. Foods.” No matter how cool they look, just don’t. It’s not good for your health. In fact it’s actually pretty bad for your health.

To learn more about the activated charcoal food craze, click here: