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Jan 17, 2013

Healthy Living looks at detox diets

From the start of the New Year – and maybe even before, many are struggling to kick start a healthier routine. One of the more common trends that is buzzing is the detoxification diets or better known as the detox diets. People who attempt or the few who succeed at detox do it for different reasons. Some to recover after a food binge after the holidays, others to start a weight loss program and others to remove what they believe are harmful toxins in the body. So are detox diets necessary? We checked in with Nutritionist, Robyn Daly to get her advice.


Robyn Daly, Nutritionist Ministry of Health

“A detox diet would be food or intake that promises to cleanse the stomach or to get rid of toxins or waste products from the body.”


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

The idea of toxic substances in the body may sound a bit repulsive and even a bit unrealistic but toxins in the body are real. These chemicals are introduced from food or water we ingest specifically from the chemicals used to grow or prepare food. Toxins can also enter the body from the air we breathe. So how do we get rid of toxins? And is a detox diet or cleanse the only way?


Marleni Cuellar

Robyn Daly

“Is it true that there are toxins in the body that can be removed by what you consume?”


Robyn Daly

“Yes, it’s true. We need to realize that the body habits own mechanisms how to get rid of toxins. When you are thinking about a Christmas splurge and you’re taking in all these empty calories or food that are not so healthy for the body people normally would tend to jump into the idea that taking a detox diet or cleanse is recommended which is not a bad thing if you’re not really damaging the body as in mixing different chemicals or missing different foods.”


As Daly stated, the body has its own mechanism for removing toxins from the body. The liver, kidneys and other organs filters and remove it naturally. Some people though, may have diverted from their healthier way of eating and may want to assist in the detoxifying process. According to Daly, detox diets are not entirely bad.


Robyn Daly

“The body can get rid of toxins naturally but you have an abundance if you feel like you’ve been eating all the wrong things for a long period of time consistently and you want to actually d a cleanse there are certain things you may actually want to keep in mind for that.  For example if you are having a lot of junk food, lot of soft drinks, lot of fatty foods and you’re having more than you normally consume. There is nothing wrong with using this week on having a small cleanse but you won’t just do that. You’ll still try to eat healthy and try to have a balanced diet meals long with that so you are not restricting your body from nutrients.”


She recommends avoiding restrictive or starvation detox diets Natural foods are the way to go.


Robyn Daly

“Natural foods tend to be highly recommended you know fruits vegetables those things are bad but you don’t want to put the body at risk in terms of starvation or going through a restricted calorie and having maybe just soup because those are very calorie restrictive diets. They might cleanse the body but they are actually doing more harm than good. Things life for example “sienna”; things like that actually strip the stomach lining and you have to be careful of that. Those cleanses that promote diarrhea or excess bowel movement those things can actually harm the body. If you’re taking in different detox diets with things like lemons or fruits those are actually a little more acceptable because they really aren’t harming the body they’re actually good things but you don’t want to restrict your body to just that because then you start missing other nutrients that the body needs.”


And what about using a detox diet to lose weight? Daly says, because of the low calories and sometimes starvation you may lose weight but can be harming the body.


Robyn Daly

“You would feel lighter you might actually lose some weight but it’s not something that you want to be doing for a long period of time. It’s just like when you’re doing a morning routine, like you’re washing your face or you’re removing dirt or oil from the body but you try not to do it excessively or with gentle substances. The same thing you do for your body you want to be using natural things to cleanse the body. Then you might not be doing the body any good.”


Detox plans should be no longer than three to five days and should not make you uncomfortable


Robyn Daly

“People would do clean out or diets, detox. I’m saying that because you don’t want to be doing anything that is harming the body and if you start feeling any discomfort if you’re actually very uncomfortable; you’re getting symptoms, headaches, diarrhea heavy cramping those aren’t the best kind of detox to do.”


Since the body has its own detox system, Daly recommends getting more fluids and fiber into your regular diet. Some natural detoxifying foods include green leafy vegetables, lemons, herbal teas like green teas and fruits. She insists that instead of opting for detox its better to focus on a healthy diet plan.


Robyn Daly

“Like I said and continue to say, the body doesn’t really need a detox and most doctors will argue and say you don’t need to do it.  But there’s nothing wrong, I strongly believe that there is nothing wrong with taking natural products and actually trying to drink more water, those are always good practices. There are actually the kind that will not do any harm.”

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