Commercials use buzzwords to get consumers to buy products or subscribe to services. One commonly abused buzzword is ‘detox’ and I would like for it to stop.
Toxins are usually chemicals or pesticides that are poisonous to the body. When the word detox is used, it mostly refers to end the use harmful products or substances. So, do you stop eating? No, which is why using the term detox is incorrect in relation to food. Also, most of the detox regimens starve the body of necessary nutrients and that is also unhealthy.
Junk food is popularly labeled as toxic because contains high amounts of fat and cholesterol that can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and consuming it is usually the most touted reason to detox. Junk food is appealing for several reasons: easily accessible, usually cheap, and it is convenient. Junk food can be eliminated from one’s diet but it is not via detox.
We reached a critical point where detox diets, drinks, soaks, body wraps are increasingly popular with all age groups and it is dangerous in many ways. Instead of ‘diet detox’ just simply say, ‘healthier food choices’.
Location and economic status also affect food choices. Most families today are struggling to feed their families. On such direly tight budgets, many are forced to make tough decisions when food shopping. For some, this could mean buying pre-packaged processed foods laden with high sodium and preservatives because they can be bought cheaply and are convenient when one is constantly on the go.
Food deserts and “cold spots” in many towns and cities around the country present great challenges to healthy eating and living. Food deserts are areas with limited access to affordable fresh healthy food. “Cold spots” are areas with restricted access to food in ways such as limited store hours and few available stores that with available healthy food options. To associate the word ‘toxic’ with food can negatively affect others who are already struggling to access healthy wholesome food.
One major factor that must be considered as possibly the root of some food issues is how one learned to eat. If you grew up eating certain foods deemed less healthy or nutrient-dense, it will take time, effort and discipline to learn how to eat differently. Careful thought must be given to how words are associated with food especially by parents. Small children and teens learn food behaviors at home that later shapes their eating habits as adults.
As much time and patience it takes to get used to drinking those green smoothies to “detox” take your time to learn to eat properly and exercise. Be kind to yourself and take your time. Remember that there are no quick fixes for a healthier lifestyle.
Food is not the enemy, it is the word ‘detox’. In the words of my dear friend, Jacqueline Church of JC Culinary Consulting, “Food is not toxic.”