Thinking of a detox?

December 8, 2015 BY: LISA

I recently gave these responses in an interview  for a media article and thought you might be interested too.

 

What is detoxing and is it necessary?

Detox diets claim to flush toxins from your body leading to more energy and weight loss, promising amazing results in a limited amount of time. However, when it comes down to the scientific evidence, detox diets fall short and could potentially cause more harm than good.

 

These diets have the same goal as colonic irrigation – to help the body get rid of toxins. The theory is that instead of washing the toxins out of the colon with irrigation, a specific diet removes the toxins and once the toxins are out, the body can function better and lose weight more efficiently, if weight loss is the goal of detoxification.

 

Detox diets are not necessary as our liver and kidney do a great job of breaking down the toxins that enter the body within hours of eating them and are assisted by the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and the immune system. DAA warns that there is no scientific evidence to suggest our bodies need ‘help’ to remove these toxins. (DAA= Dietitians Association of Australia)

 

If the detox is for weight loss we know that having more bowel movements does not typically increase weight loss because most of the calories in foods are absorbed before it reaches the colon. As with colonic irrigation, there is very little or no evidence that detox diets are necessary or effective.

 

What would your advice be to someone wanting to detox?

If you are considering a detox the best way to do this is by planning to eat well and exercise regularly. Eating well means including plenty of vegetables, fruit, low fat dairy, whole grain breads and cereals, lean meats, chicken and fish, nuts and seeds, increasing sources of fibre and reducing intake of saturated fat, salt and added sugar. Incorporating regular exercise, plenty of water and moderate alcohol, if you choose to drink. This is based on the strongest evidence from the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

vegetables

 

Excluding whole food groups from your diet, as is often recommended with detox diets, makes it difficult to meet nutritional needs which can be dangerous, especially for children, adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women and older adults. A healthy diet should be balanced and contain a variety of healthy foods to meet individual nutritional needs.

 

Are there any safe eating plans that help the detoxing process? For example, are there any specific foods that are great for people to consume more of if they want to detox, or specific drinks, such as teas and water?

The ‘detox’ process in the body is aided by looking after your body well. This means healthy eating and regular exercise to ensure that your body organs and immune system are functioning well- this is achieved by a healthy diet, which includes regular water intake (aim for a total of 2.6 litres/ day for men and 2.1 litres/ day for women; this includes fluids from foods such as soups, dairy, fruit and vegetables which usually means you need an extra 3-4 glasses of water per day)

 

Often detox is associated with ‘clearing of the bowels’ so teas or herbs are included to assist this process. Clearing your bowels is not detoxing the rest of your body it’s simply clearing your bowels, which would have happened anyway, so it’s not that useful unless you suffer from constipation. If you do suffer from constipation regularly you would benefit from including more vegetables, dietary fibre, water and fruit in your diet or it’s possible you could have a food intolerance.

 

Seeing an Accredited Practising Dietitian would be a great investment in your body for 2016 and assist you to ‘detox’ the right way.

Enjoy!

Lisa APD

 

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