For a few years it is common to hear about detox diets, which promise multiple health benefits, from eating or not eating some things.
But in reality these types of interventions have little scientific basis. And they can hurt you, because they are almost never done under the supervision of health professionals to begin with.
Diets and Chemophobia
The treatments detox They promote themselves on the basis of two things that many people care about: losing weight and ridding your body of « chemicals. »
Without a doubt, having an adequate weight is a very good goal, which contributes to our being healthy, but perhaps there are better ways to achieve it.
On the other hand, those who promote this type of diet, which often includes buying certain products, also take advantage of a modern and common fear: chemophobia
What is he excessive fear that everything related to chemistry produces in us, but that is based more on emotions. than in the information.
Well, although there are dangerous chemical substances, there are others that heal, that feed us: because all the things that surround us, and ourselves, we are made of chemical compounds.
Hello, I am your body and I detoxify you for free
Our body has several systems to avoid or eliminate substances that could poison us.
The skin is one of the first barriersThe respiratory system also does its thing by retaining large and small particles with the little hairs of the nose. And we have of course immune system which can trap biological and chemical intruders.
The digestive system it does its thing with the intestines, because in excretion the body gets rid of many things that are not good for it. And we must give special recognition to kidneys and liver for their participation in these processes.
The kidneys filter many of these substances, which eventually leave our body in the urine. The liver produces metallothioneins: proteins that help neutralize such toxic substances, such as some heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium and lead.
So do « detox » diets help?
Of course our lifestyle can help all of these detox systems work betterBut perhaps detox diets are not the best option.
Although with most of them you will lose weight, but only temporarily, because they include very few carbohydrates, but that means that you will have less energy: you will feel tired, your head will ache, and you may feel nauseous.
In addition to that, as many detox systems include little protein, If you carry them out for a long time, you can lose weight, but in the form of muscle mass.
This added to the fact that in general these diets are done without medical supervision, not only does it make them ineffective, but they can be dangerous to your health.
So the best thing, if you want to « detoxify », is that you eat healthy foods, that you do not include too much salt or sugar in your diet and that you avoid substances that you know can have a toxic effect, such as alcohol. The rest, leave it to your body.