There's a lot of misinformation about what to eliminate from your diet—some backed by science and some not. Here are the key principles we used to create our newest detox meal plan.
Carolyn Williams, RD, PhD
December 06, 2016
1 of 5Photo: Jennifer Causey
Eliminate added sugar.
Americans consume an estimated 19 1/2 teaspoons of added sugar daily—that's around 315 calories, empty nutrients, that may contribute to weight gain and that research suggests increases cardiovascular disease risk. Added sugar may give you a quick burst of energy, but also cause a drastic spike and dip in blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling weak and unsatisfied.
2 of 5Photo: Whitney Ott
Choose whole over processed.
Get more nutrients and give your body a break from added dyes and preservatives by choosing whole or minimally processed foods. For this detox, the term "whole foods" refers to foods in the state in which they grew (an onion or pear) or foods that have had minimal processing, such as trimming or packaging for safety or convenience (packaged pork tenderloin or a bag of trimmed green beans).
Make vegetables the center of your plate or dish; then supplement with lean protein, starch, or whole grains and heart-healthy fats. You'll end up with a meal that's more filling, thanks to the fiber in the vegetables, and a more balanced plate when it comes to carbs, protein, and fat.
4 of 5Photo: Iain Bagwell
Diversify your carbohydrates.
Carbs aren't bad; in fact, they're key to the body's survival. What has given them a bad name is the fact that most Americans overeat them and don't get them from the recommended food sources. Focus on carbohydrates sources primarily from vegetables, fruits, legumes, and beans with a light addition of whole grains.
5 of 5Photo: Jennifer Causey
Give your liver a break and cut some calories by skipping the booze for three days. If you're used to a glass of wine with dinner, this may be hard, but consider how much more you'll appreciate that glass of wine after three days of cleansing.