Cleansing Diets 101: More Harmful than Good?

Cleansing Diets 101

Image Source: Practical Cures

Dieting. Have you ever noticed that when people say the word ‘diet,’ they often have this look on their face? The look of disgust or discomfort or overall unhappiness? When it comes to dieting, no one enjoys it. I don’t know about you but I dislike the idea of not being able to eat the things I enjoy such as sweets and carbs, and drinking my daily dose of caffeine. If you decide to go on a diet, then you have to decide what type of diet. The most popular dieting technique are ‘fad diets.’ Examples of fad diets include: high protein diets, the infamous grapefruit diet, liquid diet, and the juice diet. Fad diets are designed to help you lose weight quickly, the weight being mostly water.

What about cleansing diets? What purpose do they serve? Do they do more harm than good? We’ve all heard about Dr. Oz’s 48 hour cleansing diet, the colon cleanse, the ‘master’ cleanse, and the green smoothie cleanse. Other names for cleansing diets include fasting and detox. The purpose of cleansing diets is to do just that: cleanse or rid your body of unwanted toxins. According to Dr. Linda Page, “[detoxifying your body] is a way to recharge, rejuvenate, and renew.” By detoxing, you are removing impurities and resetting your body’s system. Detoxing can also help you lose weight.

However, Dr. Michael Smith says that if losing weight is your goal on a cleansing diet, the effects are temporary and most likely you will gain back the weight. If you suffer from health issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure or high cholesterol, cleansing diets can be more harmful than helpful. If the goal is to ‘detox’ your system, Smith recommends not wasting your time or money. Our bodies naturally remove toxins and impurities no matter what we eat. To truly ‘detox’ or cleanse your body, Smith suggests a diet that limits processed foods, foods that are high in fat, and loaded with sugar and replaces them with fresh fruits and vegetables.

With cleansing diets also come unpleasant side effects, such as with the colon cleanse: cramps, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Dehydration is also a giant risk factor. Read here for more side effects.

Many people report feeling more refreshed and energized after doing a ‘cleanse.’ Why? The majority of cleansing diets require us to eliminate foods and drinks that are high in fat and high in sugar. By eliminating those items and choosing healthier options, you are naturally cleansing your body. I have never done a cleansing diet, but I can say from personal experience that as you begin eating fresh fruits and vegetables while eliminating the foods that are high in fat and sugar, you do start to feel a difference. Your body begins to crave good food.

Before starting any kind of diet though, you should always consult with your physician first to find out what your best options are and what is going to work best for you.

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