TO CLEANSE OR NOT TO CLEANSE?
Meridan Zerner/Cooper Clinic Dietitian
Like other fad diets, detox/cleanse regimens promise quick weight losses that are ultimately unsustainable.
Detox proponents say the body is harmed by toxins such as smog, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, sugar, and alcohol. Without a periodic cleansing, thes poisons accumulate in the body and cause headaches, fatigue, and a variety of chronic diseases. NO SCIENCE TO THIS CONCEPT.
According to the National Council on Health Fraud and to doctors at Mayo Clinic and at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the body already has multiple systems in place -- including the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract.
The Master Cleanse -- also known as the Lemonade Diet -- dates back to the 1970s. Beyoncé Knowles lost 20 pounds in 10 days on the diet to slim down for a role in the upcoming film Dreamgirls. She gained it all back.
A healthy person can endure anything for a little while, but children and teenagers, pregnant or breastfeeding women, seniors, and people with heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic conditions may suffer disastrous consequences.
The use of laxatives in detox diets is problematic. Colonic irrigation, another fixture of some detox diets, carries the risk of bowel perforation or infection, both of which can cause death.
One general truth regarding cleanses is most people don’t drink enough water or consume enough fruits and vegetables.
Water recommendations –
– According to the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board recommendation (total water includes liquids from foods):
– Women: 2.7 Liters (approx 11 cups)
– Men: 3.7 Liters (approx 15 cups
Other ways to “detox” – eat plenty of color and fiber, drink green tea, take a little extra vitamin C.
Most medical experts agree that a “cleanse” can be pointless at best, dangerous at worst!