Access Allied Health

Detox Diets

Access Allied Health - Thursday, January 31, 2013

There is a vast array of ‘Detox’ diets available – in books and magazines, on the internet, and in your local pharmacy.  However, while they often promise amazing results, there is a lack of evidence to support these results.  So is the ‘detox’ experience worth the high price tag many are willing to pay?

What is a detox diet?

The purpose of a detox diet is to remove toxins from the body.  Although there are many types of detox diets, generally they involve a strict regime of eating raw vegetables, fruit, fruit juices and water.  It may also involve a period of fasting and using herbs and other supplements.  Detox diets also encourage severe restriction of whole food groups such as meat or dairy food, therefore they will not meet nutritional requirements and if used for a prolonged period of time may result in nutritional deficiencies. 

Natural Detoxification

Our bodies have organs and systems in place, designed to filter out toxins.  Our kidneys, lungs, skin, lymphatics and liver all play a role in the removal of toxins.  Excessive consumption of highly processed foods such as sugary snacks and fatty fast food as well as drugs such as caffeine and alcohol make these systems work harder and perhaps leave us feeling a little run down.  If this is the case, simply decreasing our intake of these foods and replacing them with core foods such as bread, fruit, dairy, meat and vegetables as well as increasing our intake of water will have us feeling much better in no time.

Who shouldn’t try a detox diet?

A detox diet can be potentially dangerous.  Pregnant or nursing women or children should not try these styles of diet.  Also, people with health conditions such as liver or kidney disease or diabetes may be putting themselves at risk of serious medical conditions due to the restrictive nature of these diets.

The Bottom Line

This type of diet is not a long term solution and can be quite dangerous for some people.  For lasting results consult an accredited practicing dietitian who can help you achieve healthy eating, everyday – the best health solution there is!

Healthy Diet Reduces Risk of Birth Defects

Access Allied Health - Monday, October 24, 2011

While the benefits of a well-balanced, healthy diet are obvious to most, researchers continue to give academic clout to this common knowledge. Most recently, the results from a dietetics study conducted in the U.S.1 showed that women who eat a healthy diet leading up to pregnancy are less likely to have babies with birth defects. In particular, fewer babies were born with neural tube defects (which include brain and spinal problems, cleft lip and cleft palate) when the mothers-to-be ate according to the US Dietary Guidelines or followed a Mediterranean-style diet.

As many birth defects, including those researched in this study, occur very early in pregnancy (usually before women know they’re pregnant), the message to women considering starting a family couldn’t be clearer. Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet – your baby’s health depends on it!

For dietary advice prior to or during pregnancy, call Access Allied Health on 1300 307 008 or fill in our contact form to arrange an appointment with one of our Sunshine Coast dietitians.


1 Carmichael, S. et al (2011) Reduced Risks of Neural Tube Defects and Orofacial Clefts With Higher Diet Quality, [Online], Available: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/archpediatrics.2011.185 [3 Oct 2011]