Detoxing – Desirable or Dangerous?
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But I’ve seen detox diets on television…
You might have seen a number of television shows recently featuring strict detox or deprivation diets. On one such show, the 'health professional' described the detox diet that participants were on as "drawing out the poisons and toxins from their bodies" and that these toxins were "responsible for the pain and low morale they were feeling".
Allan Borushek, CalorieKing.com.au dietitian and best selling author, reminds us that just because you see something on television, doesn't make it true! "These claims are inaccurate and irresponsible," he says. "It's not the sort of regime that we at CalorieKing.com.au would recommend nor indeed would any other respectable health professional. For the high-intensity exercise the participants were cajoled into doing, it would have been far healthier to have a moderate diet of 1200-1500 calories with normal protein and proportionate carbohydrates. The participants' energy levels would have been maintained as well as their morale. There would have been little difference in their weight losses, and their exercise performance would have been much improved."
Borushek is not alone in his criticism of detox diets. Health professionals everywhere are warning about the dangers of detoxing. Dr Rosemary Stanton, well-known Australian nutritionist, agrees. "A prolonged detox that involves very little food and lots of water can disturb the body's balance of potassium or sodium, leading to serious changes in blood pressure and heart rhythms," she says.
A better path to healthy insides
As we all strive for a healthier lifestyle, extra energy and that special glow, it's easy to think that a detox can provide a quick fix. Of course, giving up smoking, excessive alcohol and junk food will certainly help you to feel healthier, but skip the expensive detox supplements and the fasting, and remember that the only true path to better health and lasting weight loss is a sensible well-balanced diet combined with regular exercise. This will help your body function properly and make you feel energised both physically and mentally - something a detox diet can never do!
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Last updated: March 9th, 2005
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