The Fruit Flush Diet
The Flush Fruit Diet: What the Experts Say
The very low-calorie Fruit Flush Diet is deficient in essential fatty acids, vitamin D, B12, riboflavin, and calcium, says Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, clinical associate nutrition professor at Boston University.
Registered dietitians are in favor of diets that include plenty of fruits and vegetables and adequate lean protein. But they recommend diet plans that are also nutritionally complete and include a wide variety of foods.
"Fruits, vegetables, and lean protein are waist-friendly because they are loaded with nutrients, low in calories, and can fill you up before they fill you out, but man cannot live on these foods alone," Blake says.
She is concerned that diets like the Fruit Flush are like punishment for weight gain, and set up a negative connotation about fruit.
"Being overweight and trying to lose it safely is hard enough without setting up an unhealthy relationship with foods like fruits and vegetables, that are so fabulous and natural, by aligning [them] with a punitive 'flush,'" she says. "Forget jump-starting a weight loss diet with this one- dimensional diet, and start eating healthy so you will have better success long term and start making healthy eating a habit."
Blake adds that fruits and vegetables in all forms – not just raw – are nutritious.
As for the idea that foods other than fruits and vegetables are a digestive burden for the body, Zied says that as long as you don’t have a digestive disorder, your body is designed to digest a wide variety of foods.
Experts say there is no need to "detox" or flush out waste, because the liver, kidneys, and colon are designed to handle that task.
Further, there is no medical evidence that fruits have ingredients capable of dissolving so-called toxins, Zied says.
"Instead of worrying about toxins, eat healthy foods that will help your body naturally protect against disease and provide nourishment for energy," she says.
The Fruit Flush Diet: Food for Thought
Following any kind of diet for a few days should not create serious problems for most healthy people. (It's a similar situation to having the flu and not being able to eat a balanced diet for a few days.)
Because it includes adequate protein and a little healthy fat, this plan is probably safer than other "detox" plans. But why bother with a short-term solution to a long-term problem, especially when you also risk nutritional deficiencies this way?
If you want to try the 3 Day Fruit Flush, add a daily multivitamin, make sure you get at least 50 grams of protein per day, and check with your health care provider first to be sure it's safe for you.
(Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.)