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Are cleansing diets healthy? 

Cleansing diets are the new rave—especially in Hollywood—as they promise to reduce fat and help you lose weight quickly. The plans include everything from fasts to liquid-only diets. The hope is that these extreme diets will remove chemicals and dietary toxins from the body. A healthy colon via proper nutrition is essential because a healthy gut leads to a healthy immune system. However, “cleansing diets” for weight loss should be reconsidered.

One concern with colon cleansing is that it can increase your risk of dehydration. Another concern is that the weight loss is temporary. You may feel less bloated and yes, you may lose some weight, but much of it is water weight. This weight will come back! If you are looking for a healthy gut and to maintain a healthy weight, your best bet is a daily diet rich in fiber from whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.

For more nutritional information, contact sports and lifestyle nutritionist Julie Fortenberry, LDN, RD, at 504.457.3100 at The Fitness Principle with Mackie Shilstone at East Jefferson General Hospital, or go to www.ejgh.org/thefitnessprinciple.

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