Is a detox diet the way to go? - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Is a detox diet the way to go?

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Detox diets promise to rid your body of toxins, excess calories and even help you shed pounds.

But do we really need to put our bodies through a detox?

For 30 days, Wordna Warren Pritchett and Trish Peva turned their diets upside down, eliminating all processed foods along with most animal products and fats.

They say it was a part of a detox diet.

"I wanted to make sure that in addition to eating healthier, I was getting that bad stuff out of my system," says Pritchett.

The women found the diet plan at a whole foods market.

The store's healthy eating specialist, Elizabeth Johnson, encourages participants to start by eliminating refined sugars and flours, dairy, oils and limit meat intake to about three ounces a week.

"Clearing out the system, giving the body a chance to reset, recalibrate, kind of come back to center," says Johnson.

Pritchett and Peva say they're both feeling lighter and more energized, but nutrition experts warn that other types of detox diets, especially those strictly liquid, could leave you feeling quite the opposite.

Registered Dietician, Joy Dubost says highly restrictive detox diets could lead to low blood sugar.

"You man even have heart palpitations because you're affecting the electrolyte balance in your body," says Dubost. "Some folks feel just not too happy and irritable because they're not eating."

Dubost says the liver and kidneys help the body detox naturally and there's no physiological need to do it on your own, but Johnson says that doesn't account for people who already have poor nutrition and don't get enough sleep.

"I think that would be true if we were in an ideal environment where we're eating what we need to be eating," says Johnson. "We do need to give our bodies a rest and break to help facilitate that detoxifying process by giving ourselves some great healthy foods."

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