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Cleanses Not Supported by Science

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Google the word “cleanses” and you’ll come up with about 2 million results.  Needless to say, I’ve been hearing a LOT about cleanses, including pills, teas, drinks, fasts, and 5 day “clean eating” plans.  So, I decided to do a little research on the topic.  Here’s what I found about detox diets and cleanses.

Colon cleanses claim to remove toxins from the GI tract, which, supposedly, can help all sorts of ailments from asthma to arthritis.   There is little to no scientific evidence to support this however.  The body is designed to remove toxins and waste all by itself, and doesn’t need to be flushed.  In fact, you run the risk of dehydration, infection, bowl perforation, electrolyte imbalance, and more by doing such cleanses!  Bottom line, no need to cleanse unless you’re on your way in for a colonoscopy!

Detox diets claim they get rid of toxins, from foods we eat and the environment, through a special diet done for a certain amount of time. They are also used to “jump start” weight loss.  There are tons of different detox diets out there, but most consist of eating of lots of fruits, veggies, seeds, beans and nuts, and cutting out caffeine, dairy, wheat, meat, and alcohol.  While some people do lose weight and reduce bloating, common sense tells us anytime we reduce calories and cut out any and all processed foods we’d have the same results!  You don’t need to pay for a fancy program to do that!  

With the detox diets and colon cleanses, as soon as you go back to “real life” eating, any weight you lost will come back.  Unless you can stick to “clean eating” for life (and if you can, way to go!), don’t think it’ll be a long term fix.  There is also no scientific evidence that detox diets “clean out” any toxins, or even that our bodies need help cleaning out.  That’s kind of why we come equipped with a liver and kidneys.  

My reading up on the topics of cleanses leaves me with the same opinion I had before:  It’s really just another weight loss gimmick that’s popular at the moment.  No need to buy special pills, enemas, laxatives, diet programs, special juicers, etc.  It’s all good old fashioned stick to fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains if you want to eat cleaner.  Leave the “cleanses” to the celebrities!   

 

For more reading:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/detox-diets-procedures-generally-dont-promote-health

http://www.mayoclinic.org

http://www.bidmc.org

 

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Author:

Hello, I'm Kate, and I'm a 10 year gastric bypass post-op. I started this blog, as well as my nutritional website betterbariatric.net, to help other bariatric surgery post-op's on their journey as well as pre-op's with their decision if bariatric surgery is right for them or not.

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