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The Pros and Cons Of Detox Diet

Updated on November 15, 2017

Implementing a natural detox diet to eliminate toxins and contaminants from your body may seem like a good idea. Of course, what could be healthier than eating natural and organic foods and resisting ready-to-eat and processed ones?

Indeed, there's a certain method to these ideas. However, there are more hidden issues regarding detox diets. The growing popularity of lifestyle improvement also launched many common myths about toxins and about the proper way to get rid of them from the body. Fueling the mess is a huge promotional bombardment by marketers of diet books and suppliers of dietary supplements and other detoxifying solutions.

Many natural liver detox diets have no scientific research to back them. Furthermore, detox diets are extremely restrictive and can adversely affect your health if they're not implemented carefully. Here's what you should know.

What's the story behind body cleansing diet?

Cleansing diet stems from the idea that toxins are relentlessly assaulting our bodies. Toxins are chemicals with potentially damaging effects. Though some toxins are more evident, like pesticide sprays or cleaning agents, other people regard even the ordinary substances to be harmful toxins. Some are found in many sources, which include:

Alcohol
Caffeine
Medications
Pesticides or substances to help grow plants or prepare food
Smog or other pollutants in the air
Substances such as artificial sweeteners added to food
Sugar and sodium
Unpurified water

The common perception is our body carries toxins in the digestion, lymph, or gastrointestinal tract and on the outer layers of the body (skin and hair). The toxins, afterward, cause health issues such as low energy, severe headaches, nausea, and a number of chronic health problems.

What is a detox diet?

Detox diets are made to free the body itself of harmful toxins. To do this, you are advised for a time to stop eating selected types of foods. This is known as fasting. After that you slowly reintroduce foods. For example, you can choose a liquid diet for one or two days. Next, you might put four or five days of brown rice, fruits, and steamed vegetables. Lastly, you might include different foods, with the exception of pork, wheat, sweets, eggs, and prepackaged or processed foods.

Generally, natural foods and drinks and plenty of water are crucial on a natural detox diet. As well as alcoholic beverages, caffeinated drinks, tobacco, drugs, ready-to-eat or processed foods, and a number of dietary supplements are not advised.

In certain cases, a detox diet is combined with lifestyle modifications that are intended to promote the flushing of toxins from the body. Hot bath and exercise will likely be recommended to intensify sweating, one more way believed to decontaminate the body of certain chemicals.

There are a number of different detox diets. Virtually all adhere to a design of very-low-calorie fasting with the inclusion of small amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, water, and different supplements. Certain diets advise using herbal plants, capsules, powders, enemas, and other types of intestinal and colon cleansing. Systems are different and often include products which are only available on the author’s blog or website.

The main concept of detox diets and the selling of confusing items demands attention. Detox diets target the weakness of dieters with fear methods yet at the same time making money by selling products that are unnecessary and potentially harmful.

Do detox diet give the right results?

Most detox diet can help you lose weight since they are low in calories. These fad diets are simply easy fix and not advised for weight loss by certified dietitians.

If you substantially reduce your calorie consumption, you will lose weight. But this process can also lead to all sorts of health issues, including muscle loss. And when you start fasting, your body switches into conservation mode and burning calories gradually over time.

Do not forget that the first thing you will lose in a detox diet is fluid or your water weight, not calories, not fats. So when you return to normal diet, any lost weight generally reappears. Not only do most dieters reap the lost weight back from a fast, they have a tendency to gain some extra weight because of a sluggish metabolism.

Hopeful dieters end up in a worse situation compared to where they started. The remaining weight after finishing their detox diet program may very well be all fat. Now they need to go back to the gym to recover some lost muscles.

Detox risks

A few detox plans seem like a very scientific process of detoxing your body of toxic chemicals.

Ironically, many detox diets have no the essential principles that certified dietitians, doctors, and medical experts know are important for weight loss and a healthy body. The risks overshadow all advantages, making typical detox diets both ineffective and possibly dangerous. Detox diets are using extreme fears and dieters insufficient idea of how the body functions.

Most of us don’t feel good on a low-calorie, less-nutrient diets. Potential side effects are fatigue, low blood sugar, muscle pains, physical weakness, feeling dizzy and stomach problems. Long-term fasting can lead to more serious health risks. Colon detox is not recommended since they can alter your body’s electrolyte and fluid balance.

Regardless whether a detox diet is risk-free will depend on the program and the length of time you stick with it. Fasting lasting a day or two will not be unpleasant for most healthy adults. But high-risk people such as the elderly, anybody with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children are recommended to do fasting.

Some of popular body cleansing diets:

  • Master Cleanse or Lemonade Diet
  • Fat Flush Diet
  • Liver Cleanse Diet
  • Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox
  • Raw Food Diet

Most often, practitioners advise using detox products or herbs to "purge" the liver and help it function better. Some will advise doing a colon irrigation to flush out unwanted materials. These consist of using an enema or having a practitioner clear the colon with roughly 20 gallons of water through a tube inserted into the anus.

Proclaimed as a way to eliminate harmful toxins in the body and enhance weight loss, cleansing diets are as popular as ever. Celebrities do it days before walking the red carpet, celebrity doctors have their own formula and many diet books that are in line with detox beliefs.

But aside from the worldwide popularity of detox diets, nutrition specialists and other health experts suggest they are neither required nor clinically proven to deliver the results.

What are the advantages of a detox diet?

Proponents are convinced that periodically detoxing the body with natural liver cleansing diets can free the body of toxins that have accumulated. They also advocate that detox diets greatly contribute to weight reduction. Further claims vary from increased energy, sharp mind and preventing and healing of chronic diseases.

Your health condition may improve with a cleansing diet, there is, however, no evidence that this is resulting from flushing toxins from the body. Rather, effects may result from what is and are not by consuming food and drink of these diets, for example:

  • Drinking more water
  • Reduction in alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Less fat and animal proteins
  • Minimal consumption of refined and processed foods
  • Eating more plant-based foods

As it occurs, a well-balanced, nutritious diet may be more beneficial than a detox diet. Potentially turning the spotlight off to cleansing diets - consuming more vegetables and fruits and less ready-to-eat, processed and high-fat foods, for example - is the best approach to take.

What's the issue with detox diets?

One main issue of these detox diets is the extremely restrictive diet scheme that you can't continue to keep for so long (many are intended to use for a month or more). On top of that, any weight loss often targets fluid and muscle loss. Most people rapidly regain weight after they stop the diet. More frustrating, particularly if used continuously, detox diets could potentially cause long-term health problems.

How does the body naturally detoxify itself?

The best part is the fact that your body comes with a natural detoxifying process that operates very well. The liver and kidneys do an excellent chore of processing toxins and eliminating them through perspiration, urination, and stool. For example, the colon's natural microorganisms detoxify food wastes and its mucous membranes ward off bacteria and poisons from reentering the body. The liver synthesizes its own chemicals with other chemicals, producing water-soluble elements that your kidneys can discharge in urine. While some chemicals are also discharged through the lungs and skin.

Are there procedures to take on a detox diet?

If you are planning to try a natural liver cleansing diet, always consult your healthcare provider first. Be sure not to use a detox diet for a longer period. The same applies to the use of any laxatives or supplements which contain laxative ingredients, particularly if they're stimulant laxatives. It can lead to dehydration, mineral fluctuations, and difficulties with your gastrointestinal system if you use them for too long.


Below are a few other details you should know about natural liver cleansing:

  • After a while, fasting can slow down your metabolic rate, making it more difficult to keep your weight off.
  • If you fast, ensure that you take all the important nutrients you need, such as healthy proteins found in grains, milk, yogurt, and lean meat.
  • Fasting often is addicting as it invokes a “high” sensation." If overused, it may give rise to eating disorders together with other health issues.

A number of people are more at risk for cleansing diets. Always speak with your healthcare provider before you start a cleansing diet. You should never start a detox diet if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Low blood sugar
  • Suffering from eating disorder
  • Heart condition
  • A chronic illness, unless advised your doctor

In addition, cleansing diets are not recommended for children, teenagers, elderly people, or pregnant or breastfeeding women.

© 2013 Ferdinand Receno

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    • howtostayhealthy profile imageAUTHOR

      Ferdinand Receno 

      5 years ago from San Pablo City

      @Maja Dali Thanks for reading my hub about cleansing diet. My experience using a cleansing diet resulted to a gassy stomach for a couple of weeks. I tried it because I thought I'm exposed to some toxic substances, we spray trees with flowers inducers and fungicides twice a year. When I went to the doctor I told him I tried a cleansing diet for 3 days and planning to continue if I didn't had a gassy stomach. He explained I better try a well'balanced diet, drink fresh juices after meals and try a workout that will make me sweat hard. That way cleansing is natural and doesn't need to go extreme. I think some people can really benefit from some cleansing diet. You just need to make sure you pair the diet with a healthy lifestyle.

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