Detoxing – Desirable or Dangerous?
Can you survive on juice?
"Detox" - it seems to be the latest buzzword on everyone's lips at the moment. With our lives getting busier and our diets more full of processed foods and alcohol, it seems that everyone from Hollywood movie stars to your best friend is getting in on the act.
But is detoxing the way to go, or is it really just another desperate fad that should be viewed through celery-coloured glasses?
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What is a detox diet?
Detoxing, fasting, juice diets, liver cleansing diets - detox-style diets go by many different names. There are also many different types of detox diets. Some require you to drink only fruit or vegetable juices, others must be supplemented with detox pills, and some just encourage you to eat plenty of wholegrains, fruits and vegetables.
While there's nothing wrong with an eating plan that encourages you to avoid processed foods and stick to fresh foods and wholegrains, there are some serious risks involved with the more radical detox diets.
Detox claims – Are they true?
Ever seen these types of claims before?
Most detox diets claim to fix your body from the inside and to have you feeling fabulous, full of energy and with glowing skin in just a short time period.
Detox advocates believe that our bodies develop a 'build-up' of toxins which make us feel unhealthy and lacking in energy, and that these need to be removed. It's easy to be tempted by a diet that promises to rid your body of poisons and toxins - after all who wants those in their body?
However, keep in mind that every day we bring 'toxins' into our bodies from the air we breathe and the food and water we consume. It's important to remember that our bodies are actually designed to deal with these toxins. Our livers, kidneys, respiratory and digestive systems are all purpose built to deal with anything unwanted in our bodies - and they do this quite successfully!
There is no scientific proof that detox diets or fasting can rid our bodies of toxins any more effectively than the way our body usually does. In fact, ironically, very strict detox diets can have the opposite effect! If you are not eating enough each day, your metabolic rate can slow down which actually reduces the rate at which your body can flush out toxins.
Next: What about weight loss?
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