What to Expect from a Cleanse Diet

A detox diet or cleanse diet is a meal plan that is intended to remove harmful and toxic substances from the body in order to promote better health. There are dozens of different detoxification diets available. Most are based on the theory that elements of the modern world cause artificial, toxic, or otherwise harmful substances to enter the body. The natural cleansing processes of the body are unable to remove these materials naturally and require the help of an intense diet. Some people use cleansing diets to lose weight quickly.

CleanseThe Master Cleanse Diet is one of the most commercially successful plans available. Master Cleanse is a liquid diet that requires drinking 60 ounces of spring water every day. The water is accompanied only by pure lemon juice, broth, and cayenne pepper. This diet is followed for anywhere from five days to two weeks. The body is detoxified during this period because no new contaminants are introduced. Weight loss is achieved partly though loss of water weight and partly because of severe caloric reduction.

Other forms of detox diets focus on specific organs. The colon cleanse diet and the liver cleanse diet are two examples. These diets are not based on liquids. Instead, they require the dieter to consume only one specific type of food for a week or more. The liver cleanse diet allows the consumption of only raw or steamed vegetables. The colonic cleanse diet dictates that only fruit is eaten until after noon. The meals for the rest of the day are made from specific combinations of foods that do not mix proteins and starches. Both are intended to remove toxins from the body and encourage the health of the internal organs.

A natural cleanse diet is a generic form of detoxification that relies on restricting the types of foods that are eaten. Processed foods, grains, red meat, and dairy products are all forbidden. The diet focuses mainly on organic produce, nuts, and eggs. Most natural cleanse diets last for 21 days and are meant to be part of an active and healthy lifestyle.

Cleanse and detox diets are largely based on the assumption that the body is incapable of handling contaminants or other substances. This is medically inaccurate. The kidneys, liver, and other internal organs are all designed to purify the blood and remove harmful substances when an individual is following a proper diet and exercise. There is no evidence that cleanse diets have any beneficial effect. There is, however, evidence that they can be harmful. They are essentially starvation diets that do not provide enough balanced nutrition for normal biological functioning. A person in poor health could experience serious harm from a liquid cleanse diet. Balanced cleanse diets that last for a short time might not be harmful. They are also not beneficial.