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Food cleanses focus on ridding the body of additives

Everyone wants to shed those last few unwanted pounds, but lately, trendy new “food cleanse” diets are emerging and promising quick and easy weight loss. And while these tight regimens are jam packed with healthy food, are there methods healthy and safe overall?

Livestrong.com joined the widespread trend by posting almost 20 new cleanse diets, but included an informational warning as well.  The purpose of a cleanse is to eat mostly natural foods and rid the body of chemical additives for, on average, seven days.

While many people claim to see results, the research is not backed by modern day science and professionals urge potential cleanse users to talk to a doctor or nutritionist before beginning.

Dieticians, like Sina Teskey, of Region’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., have issued their concerns online as well.  Teskey explained that a lot of cleanses subject dieters to nutritional deficiencies and other health problems because of lack of calories and protein.

Junior Mikhala Stutzman tried a seven-day cleanse she found on Pinterest that listed a specific food group for each day of the week.

“It was so hard to stick to it.  I wanted a buffalo chicken wrap and everything, even Hubbell (Dining Hall), started to smell good,” Stutzman said. “I definitely saw results though. I feel so much better and healthier and lost weight too.”

The key to Stutzman’s success was not her cutting out calories or shrinking portions, like most cleanses require, but simply substituting chemical-ridden and unnatural food with all naturals, like fruits, vegetables, soups and beef.

But is this trend really onto something new? Care2makeadifference.com, a website devoted to providing healthier home alternatives, and Bon Appétit, an acclaimed food magazine, would say “no.”  There really isn’t anything new about losing weight by eating healthier. Everyone has experienced their mother pushing them to eat an apple instead of a cookie, change out that can of soda for a bottle of water.

Care2makeadiffernece.com, instead of adding pages of cleansing diets, instead posted articles about foods high in antioxidants that help cleanse the body by themselves, such as avocados, cranberries, garlic and lemons.  By introducing healthier foods into the diet, while mixing in with possibly less healthy alternatives, the results won’t come as fast, but will stay for the long run.

Cleanse diets, whether a fad or not, although not healthily sustainable for more than their suggested weeklong experience, are introducing younger demographics to the benefits of eating healthy.  The key is being informed.

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