Detoxification has become quite the buzzword for those wanting to eliminate toxins from their body or to help them to lose weight. Some of these detox diets can be beneficial; however, others are dangerous. It is important to be aware of some of the potential hazards of detox diets. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about detox diets.
What are Detox Diets?
The premise of some detox diets is to eliminate to foods from your diet which have little nutritional value and contain potentially harmful substances, and to replace such foods with natural, whole foods. This type of detox is a safer method of detoxing compared to others; however, as discussed below, is not without pitfalls. Other types of detox diets rely on fasting or completely eliminating certain food groups from your diet for several days, and some allow only special teas or concoctions that are designed to clean out the kidneys and digestive system. These diets are usually followed for a set number of days prior to returning to your normal eating habits. These detox diets are not safe and present a number of dangers.
How It Works
Most detox diets claim that they help you to eliminate harmful toxins in the body that come from the foods you eat. Supporters claim that the body cannot remove these toxins through natural processes, and thus our bodies need the assistance of detox diets. However, it is important to understand that these diets eliminate highly processed, high fat foods from the diet that many believe contain these toxins. While many claim that the detoxification comes from the diet itself, nutritionists believe that the process of removing unhealthy foods is what causes you to feel better after completing a detox diet. When you stop eating these foods, you allow your body to eliminate the toxins naturally, and you can do this without a detox diet, simply by cutting these highly-processed foods from your regular diet.
The lemon diet for detoxing is a popular option for those who want to lose weight. This diet eliminates food completely, and only allows for a special drink that is made from lemon juice, syrup, and cayenne pepper. This drink is used in conjunction with a laxative tea to cleanse the body. However, this detox fad is nothing more than a fasting or starvation diet. Your body receives no beneficial nutrients and no protein, but in return, it gains a large amount of sugar. This means that any weight that you might lose is most likely to be in the form of fluid or muscle mass. In order to achieve sustainable, long-term weight loss, you need to retain your muscle and fluid mass.
Any time you deprive your body of the nutrients it requires, there are potential hazards which may arise. This is particularly true for those with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, who may be at an increased risk of danger from following this diet. In order to achieve long-term, sustainable weight loss in a safe manner, it is important to avoid this fad altogether.
Another popular detox is the raw food diet, which focuses on eating only whole, uncooked foods. While a diet containing raw fruits and vegetables is healthy, this particular diet requires you to eliminate grains, potatoes, and rice, which can cause an increase in hunger. Additionally, this detox plan also eliminates meats and fish, which reduces beneficial amino acids that your body needs.
To be clear, raw, whole foods are healthy, and should be a part of any eating plan. However, you also need to include proteins and fats to make sure your body is getting all of the nutrition it needs for healthy weight loss.
Other Diets to Avoid
There are many other fad detox diets, and most of them have the same issues as the ones presented here. If you come across a plan that guarantees fast weight loss, and makes other amazing claims, you should approach it with caution. If the diet also eliminates healthy foods (or all foods), it is most certainly a fad diet that will not yield sustainable results.
Your body is built to detoxify itself – this is the role of the liver and the kidneys. Hence, there is no real need to follow a detox diet. It is more important to cut out high-fat, high-energy processed foods to improve your overall health and wellbeing in a safe manner.