Detox diets are said to help the body detox, but some experts say detoxing isn’t effective, can mess with blood sugar and cause muscle loss.
The concept of detox, also known as Master Cleanse, was first mentioned by Stanley Burroughs in the 1940s, describing the use of fruit juices to naturally remove toxins and waste from the body. Burroughs’ daily menu consists of 12 glasses of water mixed with some lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup.
Detox diets are generally short-term changes aimed at removing toxins from the body. A typical menu includes many plants, vegetables, juices and water. Some people do intermittent fasting, using herbs, teas, supplements, cleansing agents, or enemas.
Proponents claim that fasting can give the organs a rest, stimulate the liver to eliminate toxins, promote the elimination of toxins through feces, urine and sweat, and provide the body with healthy nutrients. .
Detox dieters generally adhere to the following: fasting for one to three days, drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices, vitamins, water or tea, eliminating foods high in heavy metals, pollutants and cause allergies…
In fact, experts say detox is not necessary. The body has a super efficient system to filter out most of the harmful substances that a person consumes every day, including two organs, the liver and the kidneys.
The kidneys have the function of filtering blood, removing toxins through the urethra (to the bladder) and out. The liver processes drugs and chemicals that enter the body. These two organs can help detox naturally.
“Unless the organs are congested, we don’t need to perform detox methods,” says Dr. Ranit Mishori, of Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Besides, juicing removes some of the healthiest components of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruit juice lacks fiber, the most important ingredient in helping a person feel full until the next meal. What remains is only natural sugar.
The detox diet, which is high in sugar, low in protein, and low in fiber, has an almost immediate effect. Dieters are constantly hungry because there is no fiber in the body. Meanwhile, sugar consumption inadvertently raises blood sugar levels. However, the body does not have enough protein to stabilize blood sugar. At this time, blood sugar rises and falls suddenly.
The long-term effects are even more severe. A protein deficiency lasting several days can cause muscle loss, which is what muscle uses for energy.
Detox diets can create dangerous habits. Proponents claim that this regimen helps flush toxins from carbs, sugar and alcohol from the body. However, in reality, this regimen is quite close to bulimia. For people prone to eating disorders, replacing foods with juices can lead to bigger problems.
One New York eating disorder clinic reported that more than half of its patients had detoxed with juice.
“It’s possible that patients have tried this approach and become obsessive, or have a history of eating disorders,” says Debbie Westerling, the clinic’s director of nutrition services.