Decoding the Detox
Detox diets, also known as cleansing or fad diets, are used for losing weight and ridding the body of unwanted toxins. However, there is little scientific evidence supporting the benefits of detoxing and in fact, these diets may do more harm than good.
What are they? Detox diets often put emphasis on increasing organic fruit and vegetable consumption, while reducing caloric intake in order to flush out toxins obtained from food and the environment. Due to the low caloric content and diuretic affect of these cleanses, one may feel dizzy, fatigued, or even hungry as a result.
Looking for a natural alternative? There is nothing more natural than your own body. The lungs, liver, kidneys, and skin are all involved in filtering byproducts out of the body. These organs serve as the body’s natural way means of detoxification.
To cleanse or not to cleanse? Long-term, balanced eating habits include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low fat milk products, and consuming saturated fats and added sugars in moderation.
Consider these tips the next time you eat in the dining hall to develop your own healthy habits:
- Include a variety of fresh fruits with your breakfast
- Add raw veggies to your pasta, salad, wrap, or sandwich
- Mix fiber rich foods like beans, nuts, and seeds into your meal
Caution: Frequent cleansing will not only negatively affect your performance but it will also flush out necessary nutrients before they can be absorbed by your body. If you consider detoxing, be advised of the side effects and risks associated with cleansing. Consider the following suggestions before beginning a detox:
- Consult with your doctor or healthcare professional
- Make it a short-term-plan: no more than three days
- Avoid vigorous exercise while detoxing
- Stay hydrated with water
- Do not attempt if diabetic
Embrace Your Body’s Natural Way to Detox
Author: Courtney Lee Reviewed By: Dr. Shapses – Dept. of Nutritional Sciences References: M. Adams. MS, MPH, RD. Detox Diets Debunked. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Available at: http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/HolisticHealth/DietCenter.aspx?ChunkID=100544. Accessed on January 25, 2012. For more information on fad diets visit: http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/myths.htm.