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Detox Diet: Eliminates toxins and slims
If you’ve been hanging around the internet for a while lately, read a fashion magazine, or seen a celebrity interview, chances are you’ve heard about detox diet – that term that refers to different types of dietary regimes that claim purify your body, causing it to release all the radicals and at the same time helping you lose a couple of kilos of weight quickly. This extends from 1 full day fasts and diets touted by celebrities like Megan Fox, even as dramatic techniques such as colonics and enemas of coffee.
The idea of ”washing” your body as a way to start healthy habits may seem appealing to you, especially if you have been eating poorly, drinking too much alcohol, or treating your body in an unsuitable way.
But there is no conclusive evidence to support the detox diet, and beyond, it does not make scientific sense , as we will explain to you next. In fact, some of the proposed plans could be dangerous, especially for certain types of people.
Then I explain the detox trend and why, as in many other aspects of health (and life), it is not the magic solution it claims to be.
First of all, what does “detox” mean?
It is the abbreviation of the term detoxification (in English). This term has been used for decades to refer to the process of withdrawal of alcohol or drugs to people addicted to these substances. In some cases, this withdrawal may result in agonizing symptoms such as delirium tremens suffered by alcoholics, or pain and vomiting associated with heroin withdrawal and other substances of that type.
Nowadays, however, the term detox has become a generic term related to multiple types of non-traditional diets, fasts, or procedures that some claim to “restart” your metabolism, eliminate some unwanted kilos, and eliminate the famous “Toxins” of your body.
Among the most known and extreme plans is the Master Cleanse , in which its practitioners consume only water with warm salt, laxative tea, and a liquid mixture of lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper for 10 days in a row. But, of course, there are an infinity of additional methods and books on this detox diet with similar methodologies.
A quick google search will take you to multiple diets and protocols of 1, 3 and 5 days based on “detoxifying” juices, with quite high prices. Some of these plans can cost up to € 350
What are those Toxins that all these plans claim to eliminate?
Toxins are usually defined as substances created by plants, animals and microorganisms, which are poisonous to humans. Some medications can also be toxic if they are used in large quantities.
However, among his followers, this definition has been so altered and generalized that it basically has no concrete meaning. For example, many detox diet plans refer to refined sugar, caffeine, red meat, alcohol, gluten and other environmental pollutants such as toxins, and mention conditions as varied as obesity, fatigue, various cancers, swelling, depression, insomnia, joint pain and chronic nasal congestion as evidence of “toxicity” in the body.
Much of the science of detox is focused on the colon: toxic substances supposedly adhere to the colon, increasing the risk of disease, unless they are eliminated through a special diet or, in many cases, enemas and colon irrigation. ( Both ideas are false and absurd, your fecal matter contains no toxins that can make you sick, and washing your colon is unnecessary and even dangerous).
Are not our organs designed to detoxify naturally?
If, in fact, seen from this point of view, the human body is an incredibly efficient detoxification machine. The skin (the largest organ in your body) offers a barrier against harmful substances. Your airways trap and expel harmful particles, while your intestines eliminate parasites and other harmful organisms, at the same time allowing nutrients to be absorbed into the blood. The liver acts as the main filter of your body , digesting food and freeing the body of toxic substances. Your intestines also filter toxins through urine.
These organs act in conjunction with the immune system to keep you healthy and healthy. Eating healthy, sleeping and exercising help this machine to operate optimally. But there is no evidence that a detox diet or fast can replace or replace the work for which your body is naturally designed.
Are there detox diets or washes that can be dangerous?
They could be, especially the most extreme or restrictive regimes. For example, some detox diets eliminate essential nutrients such as protein, which can lead to malnutrition. A prolonged wash based on juices, also called a juice fast, over time could lead to an imbalance of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.
Other detoxifying practices can be even more dangerous. The colon irrigation , for example, is not only unnecessary, but can lead to serious complications including diarrhea, infections life threatening blood (septicemia), and perforation of the intestinal wall.
In addition, certain people have a greater risk when implementing this type of diet, including pregnant women , people with chronic heart or kidney conditions, and those with weak immune systems. These people in particular should avoid any type of washing, cleaning, fasting, or any type of very restrictive diet.
Is there any type of evidence that supports the detox diet?
There is no type of test that confirms that these detoxifying methods really cleanse your body of harmful substances. (Your organs already do that work, as explained before). And if your goal is weight loss (a benefit promised by all the detox diets of today), the tests show that they can actually have a long-term adverse effect on you.
This is partly because, although the extreme caloric restriction involved in most of these diets can make you lose some weight temporarily, the weight you lose is mostly water, not body fat (which is the essential factor to ensure the long-term weight control).
In fact, studies have shown that both men and women who have lost weight by fasting or dramatically reducing their caloric intake, have regained weight, or in some cases, have finished with more weight than the initial.
Does drinking large amounts of water help detoxify the body?
Although many detox plans claim that consuming large amounts of water helps cleanse the body or discard toxins from it, this is not true.
In fact, drinking more water than necessary to stay hydrated and quench your thirst can impair the ability of the kidneys to change electrolytes , such as potassium, sodium and chloride. This in turn can lead to life and death conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias.
It may seem reasonable to think that the more water you ingest into your body, the more “bad” things you discard from your body. But that is not the case. While you are producing light yellow urine and do not feel excessively thirsty, you are consuming all the water you need. (Keep in mind that older people often lose the sensation of thirst, so it is important to remind them to drink water or other liquid throughout the day. People with kidney problems may not be able to rely on thirst as well. hydration indicator).
Special detox diets are, at best, unnecessary, and at worst, potentially dangerous. A large number of scientific literature supports the effectiveness of a healthy diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise to keep your body’s systems functioning optimally (and as a consequence offer you the same results that the detox diet claims, such as skin healthy, sustainable weight loss, increased resistance in the face of colds, among other diseases).
Save your money and better focus on a well-balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats (such as walnuts, avocados