Detox Diets: Do you need them?

Tobie Blanchard  |  1/9/2017 5:24:47 PM

Are you thinking about a detox diet to jump start your weight loss plan or to cleanse your body of unwanted toxins you’ve accumulated over time? You may have heard about how the latest detox diets have helped celebrities sculpt their figures.

Detoxification diets have been used to shed pounds, banish belly fat, and increase the immune system, among other things. They include juice cleanses, eating specific foods and drinking teas that help rid the body of stored toxins. Most juice detoxes or cleanses consist of drinking only water, fruit or vegetable juices, or herbal teas for a period of one day to several weeks. Most plans tend to be very low in calories. But do you actually need them? Are they safe?

The truth is that our bodies are designed to get rid of what doesn’t belong. Our liver, kidneys and digestive system gets rid of waste so there is no need to juice or fast. If you are considering using a detox diet for weight loss, you may end up feeling hungry and deprived with little or no energy. This may lead to overeating as soon as the fast is over resulting in gaining the weight back.

For some, detox diets or products can be dangerous, especially for those who have health conditions, such as diabetes. Juice detoxes or cleanses can throw blood glucose into dangerously low levels. If you are on medication, fasting can impact the effectiveness of the medicine, especially if the medication has to be taken with food. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid detox plans.

If you want to feel better, drop a few pounds, or have more energy, follow the recommendations from 2016 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Choose a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat or fat-free dairy foods. Reduce the amount of calories, sodium (salt), added sugars and unhealthful fats, such as saturated and trans fats. Go for the healthful fats found in nuts and seeds, oils, and oily fish. Also, be physically active for 150 minutes a week. You’ll be doing your body a favor!

Detox Diets: Do you need them?

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