As an addicted foodie, the holiday season is the time of the year when I pig out the most, and this year is no different.
Before going for round 2 (a.k.a. New Year’s Eve), I figure I should try to get back on my good old eating habits. Consider it as my way to “detox.”
Ah, detox. I’m already anticipating the exploding number of hits Detox Plans will get after the holidays (if not already). While detox enthusiasts promise to help you quickly shed off the extra weight you’ve packed on and to clean your system from all the nasty junk food you had over the holidays, you would be wise not to follow these shrewd sweet-talkers blindly.
Because the fact of the matter is detox plans are BOGUS.
Here are three reasons why.
- “The dose makes the poison.”
Arsenic in rice, BPA in reusable bottles, mercury in fish, POPs in paint.
Indeed, some of these chemicals have been detected in human blood, fat tissue, and breast milk, as well as food.
But before you start to jump on the detox bandwagon, hear me out.
In general, the amount of these chemicals found in the body is so little that they are unlikely to cause any adverse health effects.
In other words, there is no need for you to undergo a (medical) detox treatment unless you have been literally poisoned.
- Cleansing Foods
Much like superfoods, cleansing foods have no scientific validity (for the time being). Again, the term “cleansing foods” was invented by skillful marketers to boost the popularity of the products they sell.
Not be to a complete fascist, I will point out that there are studies on nutritional components that appear to have a knack for detoxifying the body. However, these studies are derived from animal models, making it difficult to extrapolate the effects in humans.
- Weight Loss
The goal of a weight loss program is to lose fat: not muscles or fluids.
Yet, that is what most of the detox programs result in. Extreme caloric restriction eats away your muscles (and fat) and laxatives pills flushes out the fluids (and so-called “toxins”) from your body. Following such drastic diets will obviously result in a drop on the scale. However, it shouldn’t be hard to see how unhealthy, unsustainable, and CRAZY this tactic of losing weight is.
According to a review published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, “there is no compelling evidence to support the use of detox diets for weight management or toxin elimination.”