In this case, “detox” doesn’t mean checking into a rehab facility to wean yourself off alcohol. What “detox” refers to, in the dieting world at least, is a dietary detoxification plan. This is a temporary dieting plan (as are most diets) that involves following a regimen (usually pretty extreme) in order to cleanse your body of “toxic” substances such as pesticides, chemicals, additives, pollutants…or food that just isn’t very good for you. Sometimes people “detox” in order to clear their minds, sharpen their focus, or lose weight quickly.
While it sounds like a fad diet, “Master Cleanse” has been around for more than 50 years, initially developed to treat ulcers. Will you lose weight on “Master Cleanse”? Sure. Beyoncé lost weight and you likely would, too. The problem, as with most detox plans and other fad diets, is that you’ll regain the weight when you stop detoxing. And you can’t stay on “Master Cleanse” forever without running the risk of doing real harm to yourself. Other detox plans are perhaps less extreme by including fruits and vegetables, along with a lot of juice. It’s no surprise that detox diets have a celebrity following, either. Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah, and Bill Clinton have all jumped on the detox bandwagon at one point or another.
Deciding to do a longer detox or adopting a prolonged low-sugar or no-sugar diet (after speaking with your healthcare provider first) could help you improve your health beyond simply targeting sugar. You may realize that you finally need to correct other lifestyle choices that cause fatigue, like poor sleep hygiene, or even take a look at your hormone levels in a screening with your doctor.
Detoxing for a day or even a few days is probably not too harmful…if you’re in good health. However, detox diets aren’t recommended for anyone with chronic conditions, like diabetes, or heart, liver, or kidney disease, or for certain populations, like pregnant women, children or teenagers, and older adults. Short-term side effects of detox diets include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, and swings in blood glucose levels. Longer-term, and more serious, effects include loss of lean muscle mass, irregular heartbeat, heart or kidney damage, bowel perforation (if enemas are involved), infections, and severe dehydration. So, resist the temptation to detox and remember that any benefits you might derive from it will be very short lived. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race!
Ensure you are eating your micronutrients: Counteract too much sugar by supercharging your next meal for your liver's benefit; namely with dark, leafy green vegetables that are high in a suite of micronutrients. "Try to eat foods to help assist the liver in natural detoxification, which is much healthier than doing something compensatory like sweat out the donuts you just ate… that isn't helpful, and may be harmful, in the long run," Sassos adds.
Tara Bellucci is a lifestyle writer and marketing consultant focused on helping entrepreneurs boost their small businesses. Her work has appeared on Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, and Boston.com. A co-founder of the Boston Food Swap, she hosts monthly events where people swap homemade and homegrown food. She writes openly about her health journey at MindMouthMantra.com.
In type 2 diabetic patient, his pancreas doesn’t produce or use enough insulin, required for a body. This condition is called insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone, which regulates the movement of glucose in blood and cells, needs to make energy. For some people, type 2 diabetes may be managed through diet and exercise. Others may also need medication, and sometimes insulin injections, to manage blood sugar.
Eating too much sugar may be the most apparent dietary faux pas you can make — after all, your body immediately feels the after effects of a sugar rush, and the inevitable dreaded crash that follows. Over time, however, your body may become accustomed to the copious amounts of sugar you consume, maybe without you even realizing it; added sugar has a funny way of sneaking into everyday items that you don't even associate with being sweet. And since items high in added sugar are often lacking nutrients, eating sugary foods can often lead to uncontrolled weight gain over time. Before you know it, you may be unconsciously reaching for sugary sweet treats at the end of every meal (even if you are full!) as a love of sweets turns into an unhealthy sugar habit and extra pounds.