What’s the difference between liquid diets and detox elimination diets? Some claim elimination and juice diets rid your body of impurities, leaving you trimmer, energized and more focused. Robin Vitetta-Miller, contributing editor of Health Magazine, shares information on the pros and cons of these two popular fads.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIQUID DIETS AND DETOX ELIMINATION DIETS?
They are not that different. A liquid diet consist of liquids only like vegetable and fruit juices, and vegetable broth. No other solid foods are allowed. Detox diets can be just liquids and eliminate solid foods, or it can incorporate healthy foods like grains, vegetables and fruits into the diet. Most detox diets will start you out on a fasting program, like juice fasting.
HOW ABOUT A DETOX DIET?
A detox diet is usually an elimination diet that eliminates meat, dairy, soy, caffeine, refined sugar, and alcohol. The diet consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Some detox diets contain a period of liquid fasting, where only liquids are allowed. Both liquid and detox diets can last from a few days to over a month.
WHY DO IT?
The rationale is that processed foods cause rotting matter and other wastes to build up in the intestines. These toxins supposedly overload our liver and keep your clogged digestive system from functioning properly. The theory is, a detox diet clears out the intestines and prevents common ailments like irritable bowel syndrome. Detox diet zealots claim that elimination and juice diets rid your body of impurities, leaving you trimmer, energized and more focused.
IS IT TRUE?
Most experts agree: NO. First of all, your colon doesn’t need cleansing, it’s an efficient machine that rids the body of impurities on its own. The body expels harmful things naturally. Plus, without enough calories (which would be the case on either diet), your body turns to muscle for fuel, which in turn lowers your metabolism. In addition, many medications (such as ant anxiety drugs, birth control pills and antibiotics) need to be taken with food or milk for effective absorption and reduced stomach irritation. Without food, some medications simply can’t be absorbed and thus can’t do their job.
ARE THERE ANY PROS?
Many detox diets include instruction for meditation, yoga and relaxation, which is great for all people. Plus, a modified elimination
diet, or one that reduces intake of certain foods such as red meat, refined sugar, processed foods, and alcohol isn’t necessarily unhealthy. For many people, it can aid weight loss and help promote a healthier lifestyle. It’s the extremes we need to be careful of.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIQUID DIET AND LIQUID MEAL REPLACEMENTS OR LIQUID SUPPLEMENTS?
Liquid meal replacements are often loaded with nutrients (vitamins and minerals), so they make an adequate meal replacement for one or two meals per day. A liquid diet consists solely on liquids, and many nutrients are missing.
IS THERE A HEALTHY APPROACH TO A LIQUID DIET?
Yes there is, but only if you incorporate solid foods, like eating at least two meals a day and a liquid drink with vitamins and protein. You are able to substitute a meal with a liquid product that’s high in minerals, like a Slim Fast or yogurt smoothie. You should also look for products that contain calcium, soy, betacarotine and antioxidants.