The word “detox” is used in countless marketing claims for diets to promote healthy eating and weight loss. Does the word “detox” have a specific nutritional meaning in a medical or clinical setting?
Detoxification in a medical sense means the removal of toxins that accumulate in the body. The great detoxifiers in the body are the liver, kidney, lungs, skin, and GI tract. Our body needs to, and when healthy, does a great job at naturally detoxifying, because our normal operation as human beings means we are ingesting and creating these toxins on a daily basis and they need to be removed. A detox or cleanse program can enhance the body’s removal of these potentially harmful toxins. Eating natural, unprocessed foods that are full of fiber, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients is a great way to help the body cleanse.
Should people assume that they are doing something healthy for their bodies if they go on diet that claims to be a detox diet?
Never assume anything when it comes to going on a diet. Detoxes really are not diets in the classic sense. Unfortunately, they have gotten very trendy and many of them are unhealthy and quite dangerous. I am a fan of the “eating” detox where you get to eat some food on the program. That’s why I created the SHRED Power Cleanse in the form of an eating detox. Also, many detoxes lead to malnourishment because you aren’t getting enough calories, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. All detoxes or cleanses aren’t created equal, so you should investigate one very carefully before trying.
There are hundreds of detox diets on the market. What are some things people should look for when choosing a detox diet what might be some things to avoid?
Look for one that will give you enough calories throughout the day so that you can function normally. Make sure there are no extremes such as you can “only” drink this or “only” eat that. Look for one that has a reasonable time frame also. The SHRED Power Cleanse is a 2-week program, because I believe you don’t need to cleanse longer than that, and that’s just about enough time before people start getting a little stir-crazy and want to go back to eating real food. Avoid any program that’s too confusing, doesn’t provide enough calories, eliminates food/ingredients that are part of a healthy diet, and one that you know you won’t be able to follow because of the amount of restrictions or length of time.
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