If you’re considering a detox plan to give your body a reboot, reading these four common misconceptions may make you rethink the hype.
Mistake #1: Following a Juice-Only Detox Plan
Your body requires more than just nutrients from juice during the detoxification process. According to Danielle Omar, M.S., RDN, integrative dietitian at Food Confidence, “juice alone can deprive the body of protein, healthy fats and adequate calories to function optimally. Protein is necessary to help carry toxins through the body for elimination, and fats are needed to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.” Another reason that it’s important to take in fats and proteins during the detox process is that they take longer to digest and will help stabilize your blood sugar, keeping you satisfied between meals.
Mistake #2: Believing the Hype
According to Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., author of The Only Cleanse and host of Samantha Heller’s Health & Nutrition Show on SiriusXM Doctor Radio, says, “Teas, enemas, magnetic foot pads, fasting or juicing protocols, potions or tonics that claim they can ‘detox’ or ‘cleanse’ your body are a bunch of hooey. What they do is cleanse your wallet!”
Mistake #3: Focusing Too Much on What Not to Eat
Most detox plans eliminate many foods from your diet. Omar stresses that you should stop placing too much focus on what you’re not eating and not enough on what you are. “Detoxing isn’t just about eliminating the bad stuff. What you add to your diet is equally, if not more, important,” she says. She recommends taking in several servings of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and kale), berries, raw nuts and seeds, and fresh herbs and spices each day.
Mistake #4: Believing That Your Body Needs “Help” Detoxing
According to Heller, “There is no such thing as detoxing. Your body is cleansing and detoxing itself 24/7. Our cleansing organs like the liver, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal tract are smacking down pathogens, detoxifying toxins and expelling pollutants every second of every day.” So how can you help your body? Heller stresses the importance of following a healthy, more plant-based diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.