Are detox diets good for you?

posted Jan 3, 2011, 6:40 AM by   [ updated Jan 7, 2011, 12:27 PM ]
Are detox diets good for you?

Detox diets are based on the idea that many of the foods we eat contain toxins or harmful substances that accumulate in the body, such as sugar, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and alcohol. Advocates of detox diets claim that without periodic cleansing, these “poisons” can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, weight gain, muscle pain and chronic diseases. Like other fad diets, detox diets often revolve around either a completely liquid diet or water and raw fruits and vegetables for about 7-10 days. But the science behind the detox theory is questionable. There is no evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. The body already has several systems in place, including the liver and kidneys, that effectively and efficiently remove toxins and excrete them in the urine and stool. While detox diets often produce quick weight loss, it is essentially a short-term fasting diet that is unsustainable. A better long-term approach is to focus on transitioning to a balanced diet with less fast food and more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.