Resolve to Avoid "Detox Diets" in the New Year

Kira Litras

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 8, 2018) — Now that the new year is here, many Americans begin to consider what changes they can make in order to improve themselves in the new year. According to a survey conducted in 2017, a little over 21 percent of Americans made resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier in 2017. While some may reach success, many fall prey to dieting scams toting quick fixes that involve restarting the metabolism and utilizing detox diets.

There is not one definition of a detox diet, but most popular ones include a few days to a week of either fruit juice, specialty drinks, or over the counter supplements which claim to cleanse the body of harmful toxins ingested in the food we eat. These diets are most often created and marketed by professionals without nutrition credentials and often the contents of the detox supplements have either not been extensively researched or approved as safe by the FDA. Not to mention the human body was created with a special organ, the liver, designed to withstand the toxins we ingest and excrete them in order to promote a healthy metabolism. Harmful toxins are continuously being removed from our bodies with the help of the liver so specialty detox diets are unnecessary.

Instead of trying out the newest detox diet craze of the week, here are some tactics you can use to promote a healthy metabolism fully capable of detoxifying your body:

  • Keep a water bottle close by and drink plenty of water throughout the day to continuously cleanse the body. 
  • Eat more than five different fruits and vegetables per day in order to increase antioxidant intake and combat the toxins within the body. 
  • Increase fiber intake by eating whole grains, beans, lentils, avocado and most fruits and vegetables. These will all help with bowel regularity and help the liver in eliminating toxic waste from the body.
  • Limit processed and convenience foods which add toxins to the body.
  • Consider trying fermented foods like kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi or probiotics that can support GI health by promoting good bacteria within the gut. 

Rather than following the latest fad diet that promises to detoxify your body, choose to follow an overall healthy diet pattern and trust your body to complete the detoxification process as it has been designed to do. While Nutrition and healthy eating can be confusing and seem complicated, registered dietitians (RD) are credentialed nutrition professionals who can answer any and all nutrition-related questions and concerns you may have. Make sure to receive your nutrition recommendations from a registered dietitian. Best of luck in making dietary changes in the new year to create a healthier and happier you!  

Kira Litras, RD, LD, is a clinical dietitian working at UK HealthCare. 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue