Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Detox diets

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Myth 27: A detox diet is a good way to clean out the toxins in your body.
What Dietitians of Canada say:
“There is no scientific evidence to support the need for detoxification diets… Detox diets typically involve fasting followed by a strict diet. Frequent fasting or fasting for more than a few days may cause unhealthy side effects such as headaches, dehydration, low blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat… Your best bet to keep your body healthy is to eat a daily diet based on Canada’s Food Guide.”
What I say:
I am also not a fan of detox diets. Heavily restricting your food intake will not help “flush toxins” out of your system. If you have toxins in your body they’re built up in your adipose tissue, not in your digestive tract. I think it’s far better to eat a healthy diet on a regular basis. I’m especially opposed to extreme detox diets, for example, where you’re only having water with lemon, cayenne, and maple syrup for a week. I think that this “myth busting” should also acknowledge that fasting is more often done for religious reasons than for detox reasons. Most healthy people do not experience any negative effects from religious fasts. If you are eating an unhealthy diet you should adopt healthy eating habits rather than doing a detox diet and then returning to those unhealthy eating habits. If you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues and think you may have a food intolerance it’s easier to eliminate one food at a time to see if the effects improve.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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