Detox Diet: Detoxification Or Intoxication?
The past celebrations and a word proliferates in the feminine press: detox.
Translation: the body clogged by excess diet and liquor from the holiday season must now be purified to recover from square.
Detox Diet is detoxification or intoxification?
What excesses are we talking about?
Excess calories, excess of saturated fat, excess of animal proteins, excess sugar and alcohol are pointed fingers and held responsible for various ailments, tiredness or even diseases.
What about toxins?
By definition, a toxin is a “toxic substance produced by a living organism (bacteria, poisonous fungus, insect or venomous snake), to which it confers its pathogenicity”.
Food toxins in the strict sense of the term are therefore responsible for food poisoning (E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, etc.) and it is therefore an abuse of language to qualify the waste resulting from food degradation as waste Nitrogen, urea but also food additives, pollutants, alcohol etc.).
The body, armed to eliminate its waste every day
We have several very effective organs to naturally detoxify our body: the liver, the kidneys, the digestive system and the gall bladder in particular.
‘’The idea of being able to reinforce this action by ingesting certain foods, as well as repairing in a few days or even weeks the excesses of a year are unfortunately unrealistic’’ Deplores Professor Jean-Michel Lecref, head of the nutrition department.
The principle of detox diet
There are several, from the strictest (close to the water diet) to the most “reasonable”.
Its duration goes from 1 to 7 days, it is generally based on an exclusion of animal proteins, animal fats, dairy products, gluten, coffee and of course alcohol.
A list of “draining / detox / antioxidant” foods is preferred: asparagus, dandelion, artichoke, beetroot, citrus, kale and cabbage kale, green tea…
It is therefore generally difficult to reach reasonable energy levels with this type of diet since it is in practice largely below 1000 Calories per day, with all the risks involved.
No tangible study demonstrates any efficacy of the detox diet
And several specialists have spoken out on the issue, including David Bender, Professor of Nutrition Biochemistry at University College London, who said that “promises [of detox diets] are attested by no evidence, because the whole philosophy of the detox is based on the dubious assumption that the accumulated toxins are responsible for a fall in metabolism, weight gain, various ill-defined illnesses…
Indeed, toxins accumulate in our body … It is nonetheless unlikely that their dispersion is facilitated by cosmetic treatments or overpriced tea “.
In the same vein, Professor Jean-Michel Lecref thinks that “Detox treatments incite us to a restrictive, often fanciful diet focusing on the privileged or exclusive consumption of certain foods, such as lemon or cabbage, in order to purify our body. However, they do not have proven preventive or curative effects, but rather lead us towards behaviors that may be of concern for health.” In particular, he suggests that this type of diet can be a gateway to Orthorexia (obsession of “healthy” food with pathological order).
Others go so far as to think that the detox can be dangerous, like Dr. Wright, a hepatologist at the Southampton hospital who writes that “To detoxify for a small month in January is medically futile. Besides, it can create a false sense of security and feed the idea that you can mistreat your liver so much that you want, then to arrange everything thanks to a fast repair “.
A bit like the jogger of Sunday that authorizes itself unscrupulously a double burger menu with extra fries after its race, or one who lights a cigarette in good conscience at the end of his training.
Moreover, in the long term, the most rigorous detox cures risk causing weaknesses and liver problems.
In short, what do we do after excess?
The body tolerates relatively poor caloric variations over a long period of time (long, rich and unstructured feeding periods followed by long periods of drastic feeding).
At first, we try to stay regular: it is normal to have richer meals occasionally, but as long as we eat with hunger and pleasure while stopping when the satiety arrives, and if so, we eat light and balanced the next day, so we leave time for the body to detoxify itself.
And without falling into the excesses of the detox, you can however favor foods rich in antioxidants (vitamin C, E, selenium, carotenoids …) interesting to neutralize free radicals, produced by the excess of oxidizing foods (strong alcohols, sweet foods, white wine …).
In short, we put everything on the regularity and moderation, and we trust our body: it will return it well!