Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Dangers of Detox Diets

It seems that every few years, people latch onto fasting as a diet plan. Since fasting has some negative connotations, Diet hucksters have renamed fasts Detoxification Diets. When it is for religious purposes it is considered a form of corporal mortification. Fasting can bring on a number of unwanted side effects.
The Dangers of Fasting:
  • Mild side effects include diarrhea, dehydration, and the flushing out of digestive enzymes that are needed for proper digestion.

  • Without the proper amount of carbohydrates your brain functioning is hindered. That's probably fine if you can sit around all week, but if you are driving a car it can be downright dangerous.
  • If someone goes on several fasts in their lifetime, they increase their risk of insulin resistance, which leads to Type 2 diabetes.
  • Fasts can also lead to a sodium or potassium imbalance, which can lead to loss of muscular control, or complete nervous shut down, which could result in death.
The basic premise of Detox diets is that the digestive system does not completely remove waste from your system. Toxins accumulate in your digestive tract that harm your physical well being. This is absolutely false as well as absurd. A healthy individual's digestive tract is very efficient at eliminating waste and toxins from the body. The best way to make sure that your body is eliminating efficiently is by getting enough soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet regularly with water. See here.
Detox diets are an extreme measure which don't figure into moderation. They lead to very dangerous situations, which should be avoided. As with all extreme diets they should be avoided.


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Heavy Metal Yogi by Nick Matthaes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.