An audience member named Alysha says she is a big believer in "detox diets"—such as fasting or cutting out all processed foods. "Up front, you don't feel very great, but in the end, I always feel like I have a lot more energy. I'm very focused, maybe a little bit lighter. Maybe, not always," she says.
But do these diets really work? On The Truth About Food, researches created their own version of a detox diet, which incorporated common principles of the most popular detox diets. Then, it was time to put it to the test. At a country retreat, 10 women who say they party often—and pay the price—were divided into two groups. The first group was put on a detox program. To help researchers scientifically compare the results, the other group ate a normal diet.
Before the trial began, the urine and saliva of all of the women were tested to determine their levels of toxins. Another sample would be analyzed at the end of the week to see if the diet helped to flush the impurities from their systems.
Each day, the detox group followed a rigorous diet, starting the day with fresh vegetable juice with ingredients such as spinach, garlic and onions. Over the course of the week, this group drank beet root shakes and ate seaweed salad.
Meanwhile, the control group ate a hearty balanced diet of pasta, red meat, wine, coffee, chocolate and potato chips. At the end of the test, the women dropped off the last 24 hours' worth of urine and saliva for analysis.