Expert Advises Against Detox Diets

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This article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

doctorIf you’re looking for a way to get rid of the toxins in your body through detox or cleansing diets, keep in mind that your body already has an all-natural way to do this, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

“There are a lot of detox and cleansing diets that claim to cleanse your body of toxins and reset your metabolism, but toxins in your body already are filtered through your gastrointestinal system, kidneys and liver every minute of every day,” said Molly Gee, a registered dietitian with Baylor. “Our body already has a built-in system to take what it needs from food – the nutrients, the energy – and then eliminate the products that are not needed.”

Gee cautions against diets that promise quick weight loss by eliminating certain types of foods and only allowing for other types of foods, such as raw fruits or vegetables in a juice form. Many of these diets then add supplements, herbs, vitamins and minerals to make up for the missing nutrients from foods.

“When the diet calls for you to include supplements while eliminating other foods, that should be your first clue that you are missing something,” said Gee. “Your diet needs to provide the adequate nutrients for your body to operate, like any piece of efficient machinery.”

Gee also cautions against diets that withhold a significant amount of calories from your body.

“Can you run your car on an empty gas tank? Think about what you’re doing to your body when you’re not putting any fuel in the form of food into it,” said Gee. “You’re putting your body under great stress when you eliminate foods as fuel.”

Gee said to never start any type of extreme diet without consulting with your primary care physician, who is the gatekeeper of your overall health. This is especially true for those with a compromised immune system, older adults, children and teens.

According to Gee, the best diet is the diet that works for you, and she believes that all foods can fit into a diet – it’s a matter of portion control.

“Try to be moderate in all of the foods that you eat,” she said. “Use good common sense, but don’t take the fun out of food.”

If you’re trying to lose weight, Gee said that a reasonable goal to aim for is half a pound or a pound a week, and the best way to do this is to cut back on your portions.

Reasonable portion sizes are usually a half cup to one cup of most foods, and for an animal protein, about three ounces cooked. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber with 6 to 8 cups of water are keys to a successful diet. Don’t forget regular physical activity like walking.

“Most extreme diets don’t work because you can only follow them for a couple of weeks,” said Gee. “You need to develop your own plan that will work for you.”