Juicing/Detoxing: Do This Instead

We previously wrote about the pitfalls of juicing/detoxing.  Although it may not cause any harm (unless you are pregnant, have diabetes, etc.), it won’t exactly “detox” your system or help you lose weight (and keep it off) either. Thankfully, your liver takes care of all the detoxing you need to do. If you are still looking for a way to eat healthier or maybe lose some weight, here’s what do to instead.

Eat more whole foods

A better way to think about eating healthier is to focus on more whole foods, versus other things, like “detoxing” or “eating clean” (all of which imply something extreme). Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible. In other words, whole foods are as close to their natural state as possible. 

Processed Food

Whole Food

Apple sauce

Whole apple

Sweet potato fries

Whole sweet potato

Strawberry fruit by the foot

Whole strawberries

Frozen chicken patty

Whole roasted chicken

Chocolate covered almonds

Raw almonds

Coffee creamer

Half and half

Tortilla shell

Brown rice

Flavored oatmeal

Plain oatmeal with fresh fruit

 

Whole foods are naturally lower in sugar, fat, and sodium and higher in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A diet consisting primarily of whole foods will help you to feel more energized and less lethargic. The Mediterranean style of eating is a great “diet” to follow. It is primarily whole foods based and is supported by research in reducing risk of heart disease, diabetes, and overweight/obesity. 

Eat less (way less) processed foods

As mentioned above, processed foods are higher in sugar, fat, and sodium than whole foods. Additionally, they are also usually full of additives, preservatives, and unnatural ingredients. Some processed foods are sneakier than you think when it comes to “hidden” ingredients. For example, it is nearly impossible to find a spaghetti sauce without sugar added to it. Instead, try shopping at a health food store such as Trader Joe’s, but always read the nutrition label, as these types of stores also carry high sugar foods as well.  Or, you can make your own homemade sauce using canned or fresh tomatoes and fresh ingredients. Eating a diet high in processed foods is, therefore, more likely to contribute to weight gain and associated diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Drink more water and less sugary beverages

Most of us know by now the importance of drinking enough water. The problem is that more and more Americans are substituting water with sugary beverages such as sodas, sport drinks, fruit juices, and coffee drinks. Did you know that a typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar? That’s almost 240 calories just from sugar. According to the new nutrition guidelines, Americans should aim for less than 12 teaspoons of added sugar per day. It’s easy to see how only 1 soda or juice puts you over the limit for the whole day. The problem with eating too much sugar is that it is linked with overweight/obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few.

Get moving

Besides eating healthier, exercise is another crucial component of living a healthier lifestyle. Although exercising won’t directly detox your body, it will help the kidneys and colon get rid of waste, which is really the end goal for most people who are interested in “detoxing”. Exercise also helps fight off some of the diseases mentioned above (heart disease, diabetes, overweight/obesity). Additionally, it will help you to feel more energized and sleep better at night. Having more muscle also means having more lean body mass and less fat mass.

In summary, instead of jumping on the next “detox” fad, adopt a healthier diet and incorporate some exercise and your body will naturally take care of itself. Your liver detoxes everything for you, and there’s no magical tea that replace the liver’s function. Stick to more whole food and less processed foods and you will likely experience the benefits you were hoping for while on a “detox” diet.  

Comments are closed