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Are Detox Diets Safe and Healthy?

By HERWriter
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are detoxifying diets healthy and safe to use? Auremar/PhotoSpin

"Detox" and "cleanse"are a couple of the buzz words in the diet and fitness industry. But, what exactly is a detox diet and is it safe?

According to LiveStrong.com, “The process to detoxify your body involves many different elements such as herbal detoxification regimens, change of diet and vitamin supplements. It is one of the best ways to rid your body of toxins, which can slow it down and make it unhealthy.”

I myself have tried many detox diets and like them as a short-term tool, not as an everyday lifestyle.

According to Registered Dietitian Katherine Zeratsky of MayoClinic.com, little evidence supports the benefits of a detox diet. She said that the liver and colon are the true workers when it comes to purifying are systems.

“Specific detox diets vary — but typically a period of fasting is followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water. In addition, some detox diets advocate using herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing (enemas) to empty the intestines.”

Zeratsky went on to say that “benefits from a detox diet may actually come from avoiding highly processed foods that have solid fats and added sugar.”

Juicing is another way to detox. I love to juice and do it every day. In fact I juice organic fruits and veggies for my one-year-old son.

I juice a lot of green low sugar and organic vegetables and limit fruits and veggies high in sugar such as carrots and apples. So, if you are juicing, you may want to follow some guidelines.

FitSugar on Shape.com recommends that you be careful if your detox program involves only juicing. “When your body doesn't get the all the nutrients (or the amount of calories) it's used to, it stresses out because it thinks it's starving. Often the body reacts to this by slowing down its metabolism, which can make losing weight harder in the future. And while juicing is an easy way to deliver phytonutrients to the body, the fruit-based juices tend to be high in sugar, which can negatively affect insulin levels in the body.”

I look at detoxification as a way to prepare the body for a healthier regimen. By eliminating toxins you are creating a foundation for a long term, healthy lifestyle. As a result of detoxification, you might in fact steer away from sugar-laden, processed foods and develop a taste for healthier options.

Plans differ and it is important to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients needed. It is also vital to consult your doctor prior to beginning a detox or cleanse.


What Are the Benefits of Detoxing Your Body? – Dan Zisko – Livestrong.com.” Live Strong. Web 23 April 2013.

Do detox diets offer any health benefits? - Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D MayoClinic.com. The Mayo Clinic Web 23 April 2013.

“How a Juice Cleanse Can Actually Cause Weight Gain - 4 ways liquid cleanses can pack on the pounds – By FitSugar – Shape.com.” Shape Magazine. Web 23 April 2013.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed April 24, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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EmpowHER Guest

I use my infrared heating mat to get a full body detox naturally, and wothout any special diets or herbs. I feel like a new person every time I do it...I highly recommend it!

April 24, 2013 - 11:43am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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