Have you heard about the latest diet trend called cleansing? I have been getting many questions and hearing a lot of “buzz” related to cleansing, which is also known as a detox diet. Are they safe? Which is the best? How do I get started? Let’s look at what it means to go on a cleansing diet.
Cleansing diets claim to remove toxins and poisons from your body by eliminating certain foods and following a strict diet including foods such as lemons, seaweed, garlic, and juice to help your body “cleanse.” Cleansing diets come with all kinds of catchy names, such as the Master Cleanse, Candida Cleanse, pH cleanse, Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanse, and even the Fat Flush. Celebrities like Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dr. Oz, and Beyonce are endorsing this diet craze for weight loss, gastrointestinal health, and optimal overall health. Are these too good to be true? You be the judge.
The truth is, your body has incredible tools to detoxify itself. These tools are your liver, intestine, and kidneys, and they don’t need help from any special detox diet or supplement to do their job.
For most healthy people, a short cleanse diet will not be harmful, however you are likely to miss out on important vitamins and minerals, which can lead to muscle break down and a slower metabolism. For those with other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and digestive trouble, a cleanse diet can lead to dangerous health consequences like dehydration, low blood pressure, unsafe blood sugar levels, and can even be fatal.
Some cleansing diets do promote healthy lifestyle changes, such as increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet, and limiting toxins such as alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. They might be the jump start and encouragement you need to start monitoring your weight or to start eating a healthy diet.
If you are drinking plenty of water, eating at least five servings of vegetables and fruit a day, getting half of your grain intake from whole grains, and including good protein sources and dairy in your diet, you most likely do not need to “cleanse.” Every cleanse diet is different, so please check with your doctor before trying a new cleanse idea. Remember, if the diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For more information please call Stephanie at the Purdue Extension Kosciusko County office at (574) 372-2340, or email at [email protected]