What is a detox diet?
Detox diets or a cleansing diet involves consuming a very low-calorie diet with food
restriction to cleanse the bowel and remove toxins from the body.1 These detox diet trends
may involve fasting, consuming only juice or only fruit and vegetables, going on a raw food
diet, cutting out all wheat and dairy products, using detox teas, coffee, supplements,
powders or pills.
Does it really work?
Despite the popular health claims around this topic, there is very little scientific evidence to
support the use of these diets to optimise health and wellbeing.1,2 In fact these detox diets
and products can be dangerous and are not recommended to prevent diseases or improve
overall health. Our bodies are well designed to detoxify and remove waste and toxins
efficiently. Organs such as the liver, kidneys, digestive system and skin can continually break
down substances and excrete toxins and waste products from our body.3,4
Is it safe to follow a detox diet?
If detox diets are followed for a long period of time it can result in unpleasant side effects
such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, bloating, low energy and other
serious side effects such as dehydration, low blood sugar, fluctuations in blood pressure,
may interact with medications and even result in nutrient deficiencies.2,3 If you’re someone
with diabetes, kidney, heart or liver disease or an eating disorder, please speak to your
doctor or an Accredited Dietitian or Nutritionist regarding this, as it may put your health at a
Detox diets and products, promote false claims that are not supported by science. Therefore
it is important to ignore the trend and follow the fact, by consuming a well-balanced diet
that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats or meat alternatives and
dairy or dairy alternatives along with the regular physical activity.2,3 This will help you maintain
your weight long term, prevent chronic diseases and help you stay energised to do your
daily activities efficiently.