In January, when people are dieting and exercising their way back into their skinny jeans, dietary cleanses that promise quick, effective weight loss can be tempting. In today’s edition of her GOOP newsletter, actress and health aficionado Gwyneth Paltrow promoted her new The GOOP Cleanse by Clean kit, which retails at $425.
The cleanse program instructs you to drink a special protein shake for breakfast, eat a balanced meal for lunch, a protein shake for dinner and take GOOP “clean” supplements throughout the day. Though popular cleanses like The Blueprint Cleanse, The Master Cleanse and The Zen Cleanse purport a number of health benefits, doctors have told Hollywood Life that there is no “scientific proven” value to cleanses.
While the cleanse kit is designed to give your digestive system a break, eliminate toxins, rebuild beneficial bacteria and give you more energy, NYC internist Dr. Robert Bos said that there is no medical evidence that your digestive system needs a break.
“Your digestive system is built to digest every day and there’s no evidence that food causes inflammation in your digestive tract that your body would need a break from anyway, ” Bos told Hollywood Life.
Another NYC internist, Dr. Ronald Minultoli, said that cleanses are not necessary or natural. Because the body is designed to eliminate toxins naturally through the kidneys, liver and digestive system, cleanses are not necessary.
Our resident nutritionist, Mary Hartley, RD, backs up these anti-cleanse statements. In an article she wr0te for DietsInReview.com last year, she said “Colonic cleansing is unnecessary because the body has systems to eliminate toxins. A diet with plenty of fiber and water – along with healthy habits – keeps the colon clean.”
If you feel like you need to “cleanse” your system from overindulging during the holiday season, eating a simple, balanced diet should do the trick. “Eat a high fiber diet and drink lots of water to cleanse the colon naturally,” wrote Hartley. “The highest fiber foods are bran cereals, whole grains, dried beans and lentils, leafy-textured greens, berries, dried fruit and, generally, all fruits and vegetables that have their skins and seeds intact.”
If you still feel the need to cleanse, look to healthy juice cleanses to incorporate fresh juice into your diet to help increase your energy.