detox diet

Thinking of trying a detox diet to start the new year? Think again.

Written by Kira Litras, RD, LD, a clinical dietitian at UK HealthCare. 

Losing weight and eating healthier are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions.

Unfortunately, these seemingly good goals can cause many people to fall prey to dieting scams touting quick fixes that involve restarting the metabolism. These are known as detox diets.

There is not one definition of a detox diet, but the most popular ones include a few days to a week of consuming only fruit juice, specialty drinks or over-the-counter supplements that claim to cleanse the body of harmful toxins ingested in the food we eat.

Why detox diets are unnecessary

Detox diets are often created and marketed by professionals without nutrition credentials. Frequently, the contents of detox supplements have either not been extensively researched or have not been approved by the FDA.

Aside from that, detox diets are unnecessary thanks to our livers. The liver is designed to withstand the toxins we ingest and excrete them in order to promote a healthy metabolism. Harmful toxins are continuously being removed from our bodies with the help of the liver.

What you can do instead

Instead of trying out a detox diet, here are some thing you can do to promote a healthy metabolism fully capable of detoxifying your body:

  • Keep a water bottle close by and drink plenty of water throughout the day to continuously cleanse the body.
  • Eat more than five different fruits and vegetables per day in order to increase antioxidant intake and combat the toxins within the body.
  • Increase fiber intake by eating whole grains, beans, lentils, avocados, and other fruits and vegetables. These will all help with bowel regularity and help the liver in eliminating toxic waste from the body.
  • Limit processed and convenience foods, which add toxins to the body.
  • Consider trying fermented foods like kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi or probiotics, all of which can support gastrointestinal health by promoting good bacteria within the gut.

If you want more help developing a healthy nutrition and eating plan, contact a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians are credentialed nutrition professionals who can address your nutrition-related questions and concerns.

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