Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Myth: I need a cleansing diet to rid my body of harmful toxins.

Answer: Busted!

Cleansing diets, also known as detoxification diets or fat flushes, claim to remove harmful “poisons” that build up in the body. They often include herbal supplements, liquid diets, and eliminating foods from the diet such as dairy, sugar, and caffeine, often promising a quick-fix to weight loss and better health.

Your body already has a “detox” system in place. The lungs, liver, kidneys, and skin remove toxins from the body, and no studies show they need help with this.

Beware of diets that are short-term, very restrictive, or leave out entire food groups. They may contain empty promises. Although you might lose weight quickly on an extreme cleansing or detox diet, the weight loss is usually temporary and water and muscle. Fatigue, irritability, and other side effects are likely when you don’t get enough calories, protein, vitamins and minerals, and other essential nutrients.
Bottom line, you don’t need a cleansing diet, just clean up your diet. Eat a lot of whole foods — fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, plenty of water and an occasional treat. You should feel better in no time!

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