Hey there, Mamas. It’s that time of year again. It’s the time of year when the word “diet” is thrown around in almost every conversation. You probably know this, but are you aware that there are a TON of different diets? You have Keto, Paleo, Mayo Clinic Diet, Weight Watchers Diet…to name just a few. However, how are you supposed to know which one is the right one for you? Have you heard of a Detox Diet? What is a detox diet, and what are the pros and cons? The answer to these questions will be discussed here.
After the holidays and the associated indulgence of decadent foods, many Americans decide to go on a “detox diet” during the New Year in order to atone for nutritional sins. In fact, dieting is one of the most popular New Years’ resolutions.
What is a Detox Diet?
The word “detox” is used loosely, meaning anything from toxin elimination from the body, to clean eating, to weight loss. Detox diets are marketed in the form of shakes, teas, fasting plans, juices, diet plans, and cleanses. Some detox diets rely on total elimination of certain foods, such as sugar, while other diets only allow specific ingredients, such as soup broth.
Pros of a Detox Diet
One advantage of a detox diet is that it promotes mindfulness of the quality (and quantity) of food that people put into their bodies. This stems from a common idea that healthy, whole foods are best in order to promote homeostasis of the body’s inner workings. Depending on the particular detox diet plan, people may be motivated to eat more healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. Detox diets also promote greater hydration.
Unhealthy foods such as refined sugars, alcohol, and excess caffeine are limited. Additionally, detox diets can help dieters gain greater awareness of why they eat, such as due to emotional stress or boredom. For people who struggle with sugar or caffeine addiction, a detox diet can help retrain the taste buds to naturally avoid these ingredients.
Cons of a Detox Diet
The word “detox” is largely misused and may be promoted by fraudulent companies as a way to make money off of products such as teas and shakes. From a mental health perspective, detox diets may encourage or mask disordered or unhealthy eating habits by normalizing calorie restriction. Additionally, detox diets can become unsafe if essential macronutrient (i.e. protein, carbohydrate, and fat) and micronutrient quotas are neglected for prolonged periods of time.
Many detox diets encourage excessive liquid consumption, which can become deadly. A common side effect of detoxing is hyponatremia, which occurs when sodium levels in the body dip to unsafe levels due to increased fluid consumption. Additionally, there is no scientific evidence that a detox diet improves health and wellbeing, like liver, kidney, skin, digestive system, lungs, and cellular enzymes already serve as natural detox agents for our bodies.
So, is a Detox Diet for you? Bottom line, it depends on you. I highly recommend you do your research. Talk to your doctor and make an educated choice on how to go forward with your health goals.
Check out the following for some healthy recipes:
Greek Pasta Salad: Healthy Salad Recipe for Picky Eaters
Keto Raspberry Muffins
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Busy Moms
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