Nancy Dell: Detox diet; Protein at breakfast


1. I want to do a detox diet. What is the best way?
Danielle, Internet

A detox diet is meant to clean your body of foreign molecules that may be inside us because of what we put into our mouth or breathe in through our nose. Our body is working 24 hours a day to get rid of toxins mainly through our urine and stools.

There are many ads for detox diets but many are too restrictive to be safe. The best plan is one you can follow for life – not just a few days – to minimize your exposure to toxins and support your body’s natural process of detoxification all the time.

Here are 4 steps:

  • First eat whole organic foods as much as possible. The fewer pesticides, additives and other chemicals you put in your body the less you need to detoxify.
  • Second, eat plants from avocado & berries to walnuts & zucchini.  Every bite contains many compounds and fiber that help your body sweep out toxins. Remember herbs, spices and tea are also colorful plant foods that do the same.
  • Third step – eat your probiotic foods like yogurt and kefir. These healthy bacteria help reduce the toxins produced by the harmful bacteria that gets into our gut.
  • And finally drink plenty of clean water or tea.  You need fluids to flush out toxins through urine and sweat.

You also need adequate protein to maintain your muscle mass. I know someone who lost 6 pounds of muscle on a detox diet. So whether you eat meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs or beans for protein, try to make it free of added chemicals. And prepare your meats without charring them. If you barbeque or broil and get black charring, the chemicals formed are similar to cigarette smoke.

2. How much protein do I need at breakfast to curb hunger? 
Jessica, Internet

In a study presented at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society, researchers gave participants a 300 calorie breakfast with similar amounts of fat, fiber, and calories. However, one breakfast was low protein and one was high protein.

Researchers found when participants ate 30-39 grams of protein a day, they were more full and could prevent overeating all day. A cup of Greek yogurt and an egg would meet the need.

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