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Detox your diet, not your body

 Detox diets are trendy and followed by many, with the belief that they will detox the body, boosting weight loss and overall health. There are a variety of products available to achieve a body detox with extensive advice on the topic to compliment them. I am not in the habit of assigning labels to foods so this is not an article about which foods are ‘toxic’ and which foods are not. Nor is an article about ‘super’ foods or diet cleansing. It was my love for high school biology and my fascination with the way the human body functions that paved my path to dietetics. My interest in this field has not faded by any measure since and my fascination is now better described as awe.

The human body is as complex as it is simple with a design unmatched in my opinion. The sum of all the chemical processes, known as the metabolism is driven by the fuel we supply in the food we eat. The chemicals required for optimal functioning are found in the foods we grow. If you can recall the periodic table, you will remember that it includes potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), Iron (Fe) and so on. We need certain chemicals in our foods so the total avoidance of ‘chemicals’ is a misguided effort.

The simple truth is that drinking copious amounts of green tea or drinking only juice squeezed from organic fruits and vegetables will not in fact detox your body. The good news however is that the liver and kidneys are designed to detox the body of toxins and waste. The better news is that you can support your liver and kidneys in this task by supplying their nutritional needs for optimum function.

A ‘detox’ of your diet will be more effective in enhancing your health than consuming a product labeled as a ‘detox formula’. ‘Boosting’ your liver or kidney health is no good if you are not meeting your daily nutritional requirements for optimal health, muscle synthesis and tissue repair, hydration and energy.

By ‘detox’ I mean ensuring the above mentioned needs are met by your dietary intake before you add non-nutritious treats or alcohol. Boosting your diet will reduce fatigue, increase muscle synthesis, improve immunity and promote successful weight loss. Most of the food we eat must supply us with nutrient benefit in addition to a supply of energy. Nutrient benefit comes in the form of fibre, lean protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. It is important to limit high energy foods devoid of these nutrients and avoid replacing meals or snacks with such foods. Treat foods (any food devoid of nutrients and high in refined carbohydrate and saturated or trans fats) should be reserved for the occasional dessert or special function.

Detox your diet in 5 simple ways:

  1. Avoid fried foods {choose ‘grilled’ instead}
  2. Cut out all sugar containing beverages {read labels}
  3. Trim all visible fat from meat and chicken
  4. Reduce sugar added to cereals, tea or coffee
  5. Do not snack on crisps {have fruit instead}


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