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Detox Diets: Are They Healthy?

Por Andrea Bianchi, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ -
Detox Diets: Are They Healthy?

Now that you wish to begin with a weight loss plan, you decide that first you’ll go on a detox diet. Detox diets are used to “eliminate toxins from our bodies.” But do they really work?
There are various detox diets, but basically the idea is the same: to eliminate most foods from diet, basically leaving only fruit juices and water. Some people do these diets for up to 10 days or more.
These detox diets claim to have benefits in your health, increasing your energy and improving digestion, as well as reducing inflammation and weight. Currently, there are no studies supporting these claims or the fact that detox diets are actually effective.

People who have followed detox diets have reported side effects such as cravings, tiredness, irritation, diarrea, sneezing, and lack of concentration. People who promote these diets claim that their effects are attributed to “detoxification.” However, if a  habit is healthy for your body, you shouldn’t experience any negative side effects. The body has organs specially “designed” to eliminate toxic compounds (kidneys, liver, skin, and lungs), so you don’t need to “help” it if it’s working properly.

Eliminating most  foods from your diet may result in a major risk of vitamin, mineral, and calorie deficiency. Besides, foods are the body’s “fuel,” so if you don’t get enough energy, your body and your brain will lose their ability to concentrate and keep glucose levels normal. These diets can put your health at risk, especially if: you are diabetic, have an eating disorders, are a teenager or child at a growth stage, are pregnant, or elderly.

The best way to stay healthy is through a healthy and active lifestyle (, like the one offered by MyDiet™:
1. Having a complete, balanced diet.
2. Increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption.
3. Including vegetable protein instead of animal origin protein.
4. Drinking 8 glasses of water per day.
5. Eliminating alcohol and tobacco.
6. Increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week.
7. Getting adequate rest.

Source: Schaeffer, J. (2008). Spring Cleansing: Assessing the Benefits and Risks of Detox Diets. Today’s Dietitian. Vol 10, No. 5.


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