Detox Diets

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

A Detox Diet (also called a cleansing diet) will remove toxins and poisons from your body.

The idea of a good detox diet is to eat pure and natural foods that will aid the function of the lymph, kidneys, and liver.

All foods that hinder the regime should be avoided.

Detox diets are controversial and risky. Some experts believe there is inadequate evidence to support the claims made. Many detox diets have quite severe restrictions, and should be embarked upon with great care.

Popular Detox Diets Available


Master Cleanse / Lemonade DietThe most popular short-term detox due to substantial media coverage.
10 Day Detox DietDr. Mark Hyman’s plan to lower insulin levels for rapid weight loss.
Clean in 14 DaysA gentle approach to cleansing based on unprocessed plant-based foods.
Fallacy of a CalorieOffers a 3 day juice cleanse and a 30 Day Detox that’s designed to restore gut flora and health.
Beauty Detox Solution Outlines a method of eating that cleanses the body to promote optimal beauty and improved general health. For those interested in a gentle approach that can be maintained as a long-term lifestyle.
Sugar DetoxA plan to help you overcome sugar addictions and commence a path toward a healthier lifestyle. This book includes a 31-day program to control your blood sugar, boost energy, release excess weight and improve your skin.
Easy Body Cleansing DietsProvides a variety of body cleansing diets designed to benefit a range of different health conditions and goals.
The Clean DietThe Clean Program is a 21-day detox diet that was designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger, for those who have a busy lifestyle.
Clean Green and LeanA 4-week plan to help dieters to eliminate toxins that may be preventing them from losing weight. This program will help you to overcome chronic health problems such as allergies and fatigue and boost your energy, while at the same time helping to create a greener planet.
Clean GutA program that cleanses the intestines to cure a wide range of diseases and health problems.
Detox For WomenThe plan geared to women promotes detox, but in a way that’s less intrusive on the dieter’s lifestyle.
Detox PrescriptionOffers several detox options to fit any lifestyle.
Detox StrategyProvides detailed information about toxins and outlines a comprehensive lifestyle plan, using principles supported by scientific research, to cleanse and detoxify the body using Brenda Watson’s Renew Program.
Diuretic DietUsing natural diuretics to alleviate fluid retention.
Eating For Energy: Living Foods DietA diet program based on living plant-based foods in a flexible format that allows dieters to gradually change their way of eating. It has unique information that applies specifically to athletes and physically active dieter as well as a Detox component.
Eat Stop EatThis diet uses short 24 hour fasts a couple times a week which promotes detox.
Fast Track Detox Diet An 11 day Detox Diet to jump-start weight loss or break a weight loss plateau.
Fat Flush DietPopular 3 phase diet plan from Ann Gittleman
Fat Flush for LifeFollow up to the popular Fat Flush Diet, with new features and new plans.
Fresh Fruit Cleanse1,3,5,or 7 day fruit cleanse depending on your needs.
Fruit Flush Fruit Flush 3 Day Detox by Jay Robb
How to Lose Weight ForeverA diet that teaches how to have a lean body builder’s physique and includes a detox component.
Inside Out Diet: Liver CleansingA 4-week program that concentrates on promoting optimal liver function by adjusting the diet to support liver cleansing and detoxification.
Liver Cleansing DietA best seller since 1997, Dr. Cabot attributes many health conditions to poor liver function.
Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working OutLose weight permanently by cleansing your body and providing it with slimming nutrient-dense foods.
Martha’s Vineyard Detox DietClaims a weight loss of 21 pounds in 21 days.
Mucusless DietThe Mucusless Diet Healing System was written by Arnold Ehret, who healed himself from Bright’s disease with a diet based on fruits combined with fasting.
Perfect Weight AmericaIn this book Jordan Rubin includes a ten day detox as part of the weight loss program.
Prediabetes DetoxReverses prediabetes through a healthy and cleansing diet.
Quantum WellnessA program created by the New York Times bestselling author, Kathy Freston and includes the 21-day detox diet that was followed by Oprah.
Super CleanseSuper Cleanse offers dieters who wish to undertake a cleansing diet a wide variety of options, ranging from gentle vegetarian programs to more extreme juice fasts.
Swiss SecretA detox, weight loss and chronic health condition plan for ultimate health.
UltraSimple DietA 7-day health program, Dr. Hyman recommends this in addition to his Ultrametabolism book and health program.
Weight Loss CureBased on Kevin Trudeau’s book which adheres to detox as a way to weight loss.
You Are What You EatGillian McKeith’s plan for healthy eating with a detox component.
If you have a specific health issue – see our collection of diets for specific health conditions such as digestive disorders or heart health.

Raw Food Cleanses

28 Day Raw DetoxBased on a raw vegan diet in combination with a variety of whole food nutritional supplements.
Raw Food CleanseAn introduction to the benefits of a raw food diet and includes a selection of cleanses ranging from 3 to 28 days.
Raw Food Detox Diet Gradually incorporates raw foods into diet and promotes detox.
The RemedyBased on raw foods and green juices. It includes a five-day cleanse and a five-week program that allows for a gradual adjustment from a standard way of eating to a raw vegan diet.
Quantum EatingA raw foods diet that detoxifies the body and promotes youth.
Hallelujah DietBible-based diet from George Malkmus.
See also our complete collection of Raw food diets.

Juice Fasts and Cleanses

See our overview of liquid diets here.

Lemonade DietThe most popular short-term juice detox.
Green Smoothies DietProvides several detox recipes as well as the incorporation of green smoothies into regular diet.
Green Smoothies Saved My LifeExplores green smoothie fasting and detox.
Jump Start Juicer7 day weight loss and detox program that offers dieters a healthy way to get started on a long-term weight loss plan. It involves consuming nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juices for seven days.

The Basic Detox Diet

With a detox diet the following items are RECOMMENDED:

  • Organic food and drink (no pesticides or fungicides).
  • Whole unprocessed foods (grains, nuts, seeds, etc).
  • High mix of vegetables and fruit.
  • 2 liters of water per day.
Certain herbs such as Psyllium seed, Licorice root, Yucca root, Milk thistle seed, Gentian root, are often recommended to aid the detoxifying process.

With a detox diet the following items should be AVOIDED:

  • Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and drugs.
  • Processed and refined foods.
  • Added sugars.
  • Certain supplements (due to the amount of additives).

Non-Diet Elements

Most detox diet regimes are holistic in outlook. It is important to address other areas of stress in your life, and examine lifestyle as a whole. Adequate sleep is extremely important.

You need to be aware of these risks

Many detox diets may be nutritionally insufficient. This can be compounded due to frequent bowel movements. Poor nutrition can lead to muscle loss, fatigue, and irritability.

Most experts believe that the body is quite capable of cleaning itself (provided you follow a generally healthy diet, with exercise and adequate sleep). However many natural health practitioners believe that our polluted environment has left us toxic, and our bodies need a little help.

Make sure you receive the right guidance and support before attempting detox diets, and never attempt the detox longer than the specified duration.
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Date Last Reviewed: October 21, 2014
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