Considering A Detox?

With so many dieting and detoxing options available, choosing the right one for you can be challenging. South Florida Registered Dietitian, Lucille Beseler shares her thoughts regarding detoxing and what’s needed to lead a healthy lifestyle. Lucille Beseler, founded the Family Nutrition Center of South Florida with the purpose of  improving the nutritional health of families and children. Lucille Beseler is a certified diabetes educator, registered dietitian and registered nutritionist. Between 2016-2017 Lucille was the President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Family Nutrition Center provides nutrition plans for children and adults with diabetes, eating disorders, high blood pressure, weight management, food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.

Van Buren: What is a detox?

Beseler: I think that’s a really interesting question. What is a detox? There’s no scientific definition of what a detox or detox diet is. Unfortunately, I think that’s one of those real house fads that someone created. This concept that we have really bad things in our body and we have to get rid of it.

Or perhaps, it was a way for people to start thinking about changing their dietary pattern. People think it’s a way to purge their bodies of toxins and harmful substances. The thing is our liver works as the built in detoxification organ along with our kidneys, lungs and our lymphatic system. That’s what really cleanses our body and provides the detox that we need.

Van Buren: Are there benefits to detoxing?

Beseler: People want a jumpstart to weight loss. I find that anyone that’s telling me about detoxing, their number one goal is weight loss. So, I think that it makes them feel like they’re getting rid of excess fluid and it helps them eliminate.  A lot of times individuals go on detox diets that incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s always great to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Afterwards they feel energized because they’ve eliminated due to a high fiber diet and they’re drinking plenty of water.

Van Buren: Instead of going all out with these fads, what are some things that people can do instead of a detox? What are some things that can be added to the diet or removed?

Beseler: We have to look at nutrition. Nutrition is a science, not a fad. It’s really important to look at what’s required in order to have a good foundation of nutrition. For a good foundation we need a certain amount of macronutrients everyday. Our macronutrients include: carbohydrates, protein and fat. Good sources of carbohydrates are high in fiber, for instance whole grains are really great sources.

Donuts aren’t really great sources of carbohydrates. So when we take that brush and we paint all carbohydrates as bad that’s not really a science based thing to do. We need complex carbohydrates, our muscles use them for energy. Our brains also need complex carbohydrates.

Include a healthy amount of protein in your diet. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

When we look at protein, it needs to be lean. Having spare ribs or beef ribs aren’t considered lean. But having a lean cut of beef, like flank steak or a lean cut of pork, like pork tenderloin is a great source. Chicken breast or fish are also great sources of protein. Those are great lean protein options. To include some fat in our diet is fine. We want fat from really good sources, monounsaturated sources. So, fat from olive oil, in limited amounts, avocado, nuts those all provide good fat from monounsaturated sources. So, I think building a foundation of a good diet is the most important thing.

Van Buren: What advice would you give to someone that insists on detoxing? 

Beseler: I think the most important thing is to seek the counsel of a registered dietitian or nutritionist. We aren’t imposing our own views on people. We rely on the science of nutrition including: the biochemistry, chemistry and biology with the science of food. I have many clients that come in to see me. So, we sit down and we review their medical history, we review their laboratory data, their height, weight, body fat evaluation, medication list and eating pattern. We look at how much sodium their eating, how much fat their eating, then we come up with a plan.

They could go somewhere like a health food store. But are they really doing a complete evaluation, providing behavioral counseling and medical nutrition therapy? So, if I have someone who insists they have to detox we’re going to find a healthy way to do it. We’re going to find a way to prevent their calories from going under 500 calories a day. Which a lot of these detox programs do, which is a very harmful low calorie diet.

For more information on detoxing and nutrition health contact the Family Nutrition Center by calling (954) 360-7883 are visiting the office located in Coconut Grove at 5350 W Hillsboro Blvd #105, Coconut Creek, FL 33073.









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