Detox diets have become a quite popular concept nowadays. The desire to lead a healthier lifestyle and various celebrities who swear by these diets for their svelte physique and radiant skin have definitely contributed to their rise in popularity. While proponents of these diets might enlist several different advantages of following these dieting concepts, many skeptics seem to think that the hype around them is greater than any supposed benefits. Analyzing the various aspects that detox diets imply might help shed more light on the subject and help you make a decision easier.
Detox diets are said to have various benefits such as: eliminating harmful toxins from our bodies, promoting a clearer skin, boosting energy levels, helping weight loss or increasing energy levels. Detox diets can range from relatively mild to radical depending on the guidelines. While most detox diets endorse higher fruits, legumes and vegetables intake, the consumption of water, fruit juices and various herbal teas while eliminating processed foods, caffeine, sugar, fats and sometimes wheat and dairy, others encourage fasting or consuming massive amounts of water and a type of food that supposedly has great cleansing powers. Many times there are also various types of supplements that are recommended for a stronger effect.
While extremely restrictive detox diets such as the lemon cleansing diets obviously raise many health concerns and should be avoided, are more balanced detox diet providing any real benefits? Well, for starters consuming natural, unprocessed food as opposed to junk food is always a good idea as it will increase the daily dose of nutrients you get. Likewise, cutting high calorie food with a high fat content can also help accelerate weight loss.
Also, the motivation factor behind these diets should not be overlook as it can have a relatively strong effect. If a detox diet is seen as the starting point of a healthier lifestyle and is intelligently built, the psychological benefits may also count. Encouraging a high intake of fruits and vegetables seems to be the main benefit of most detox diets.
However, if we take a closer look at the general views of the medical community on the subject, we might discover a completely different side. It seems that there is no solid evidence that supports the idea that the body might need help detoxifying itself. Since the body detoxifies itself through lungs, kidneys, liver and skin constantly, no solid evidence was found that a short time diet might help boost the body’s natural functions. Detox diets are not seen as healthy due to the fact that they often cut out some food groups in detriment of others.
As most crash diets have demonstrated already, cutting entire food groups (by eliminating dairy or fats) has no long term benefits and might cause deficiencies of various nutrients. For example, cutting out fats completely might hinder the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
In addition, since most detox diets are low in calories, side effects such as headaches, or low energy levels might occur, not to mention the fact that any weight loss may be regained once the calorie restriction is abandoned, especially if we return to our old habits. Due to the fact that there is little evidence that detox diets might be necessary, many people point out to the placebo effect for any improvements that might be experienced.
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