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Detox diets - fad or fact? Detox diets - fad or fact?

Detox diets - fad or fact?

Detoxification or better known as ‘Detox’ diets have gained much popularity as well as controversy for many years and continue to be of interest as people are becoming more and more health-conscious. The idea behind most detox diets is to remove toxins and poisons from the body but what you should ask yourself though, are detox diets really the solution for optimum health?

What are detox diets?

Typical detox diets generally start with fasting or going on liquid diets for 1 or 2 days, with the gradual introduction of raw fruits and vegetables, juices and plenty of water, and the elimination of caffeine, sugar, refined products, red meat, and junk food. Some detox plans encourage people to consume various detox tablets or herbal laxatives to help clean the system as well. 

What do these detox diets claim?

There are various detox diet plans and they all have similar goals and that is to cleanse both your mind and body without necessarily trying to lose weight. Detox diets claim to increase energy levels, make you feel lighter and promote an overall sense of feeling clean and healthy as it gets rid of toxins that may be harmful to your body. These diets can make you think that this is a good way of getting rid of old unhealthy eating behaviour and getting on track with a healthier eating plan.

Bear in mind that there is no scientific evidence that detox diets really provide any health benefit to individuals.

Side effects of detox diets…

There are many possible side effects of following a detox plan (or other fad diets) and this may include headaches, constipation, tiredness, possible weight loss and hunger. Caused due to a number of factors that include the lack of essential vitamins, protein, fibre, and calories, it is recommended that you do not follow a detox plan without consulting a dietitian or physician. A detox plan should not be followed for more than 3 days without being monitored by a health professional.

In addition, if you are suffering from any illness such as heart disease, diabetes, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, kidney problems or any other medical condition, it is advised that you should not follow any detox plan.

The truth about these diets…

Your body does not need a detox diet as it naturally cleanses your system whereby your kidneys, liver, lungs and even your skin can eliminate waste and purify your body. Eating healthy, nutritious and well-balanced meals that are rich in fibre, whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry and legumes and drinking sufficient amounts of water is not only more than beneficial to your health but keeps your body clean and healthy.

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