The Master Cleanse? More like The Master Fraud.
I’ve never really been much of a health nut. Sure, I try to throw some fruits & veggies in my diet and I drink light beer, but other than that my nutrition quotient is pretty low. I still consider pizza and pasta the two most basic (and essential) food groups.
Despite the fact that I know as much about nutrition as say, someone on Celebrity Fit Club, I actually wasn’t surprised to see this article in the NY Times about those miracle “flushes” and “cleanses.” Basically, lots of doctors says they’re bullsh*t.
According to the article, many western docs think that detox diets are not only not good for you, they could also potentially be harmful. One doctor in the article was quoted as stating “What ends up being consumed during a ‘detox’ are essentially stimulants, laxatives and diuretics.” Ew.
Okay, let me back up a second for those of you who may be as nutritionally clueless as I am. Most “cleanses” are like extreme diets that you undergo for a couple days or weeks. Basically, you avoid certain foods and replace them with nutritional and herbal supplements. In turn, your body that was once full of evil toxins is supposed to rejoice (after you feel like absolute sh*t for a few days) as you remove what the article calls “sludge” from your “constipated” body.
Take, for example, the arguably most famous detox program, The Master Cleanse. What you do is replace all solid food with a little mixture of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and water for a minimum of 10 days (but some people do this for up to 45 days. What the f*ck?!). Other detox diets reduce meat and/or solid food intake. Even crazier still: some diets advocate the use of enemas, colonics and herbal laxatives to rid the intestinal track of toxins.
But what the article is getting it as is that even though some detox diets are good in theory and provide you with some vitamins and minerals, all you’re really doing is starving yourself. Or sticking something up your ass. Not fun.
And what’s even scarier is that, according to one doctor in the article, there is absolutely no solid evidence that detoxification programs actually work.
My take is this: I believe in everything in moderation. If you want to “cleanse” yourself of the “evil toxins” in the food we eat, go for it. But I think staying away from high fructose corn syrup, foods high in trans fat and sugar, and maybe cutting back a bit on the booze should do.
As for me, the only detox diet I plan to try this year is one that consists of pizza, beer and chicken wings. And maybe some celery sticks for good measure…and because they go so well with that ranch sauce I’ll be dipping my buffalo wings in. Yum.