Ditch the Detox Diets

by Joanna

The New York Times recently came out with an article titled Fancy Juice Doesn’t Cleanse the Body of Toxins”.  In the article, the author interviews several medical doctors to get their take on detox diets. 

Dr. James H. Grendell, the chief of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Winthrop-University Hospital said “People are interested in this so-called detoxification, but when I ask them what they are trying to get rid of, they aren’t really sure.”  He goes on to say that the body has organs that gather and eliminate waste on its own.

Next the author interviewed Dr. Antoinette Saddler, a gastroenterologist at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences.  Upon reading some of the claims from one particular juicing diet, her frustrated responses to different claims were “Why does the stomach need resting?” “Who said that was beneficial?” “What does that even mean?”

Bottom line: be cautious.  If you embark on one of these journeys, don’t expect a miracle.  There’s nothing wrong with getting extra fruits and vegetables but don’t do it because of a medical (marketing) claim.  If you’re trying to lose weight, try tracking calories and increase exercise if you can.  There have been a lot of studies that show that those who track calories, or food journal, lose twice as much as those who do not.

New to food journaling or tracking calories?  I always recommend MyFitnessPal as a great, free way to stay on track.  Also, check out this past blog on how to get started!


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