Celebrities Are Fueling The Detox Trend, Now It’s Red Hot With The Cooler Cleanse

398px-Salma_Hayek_CannesTaylor Swift told Access Hollywood earlier this week that she’s not getting on board with the detox trend that many of Hollywood’s starlets are trying.

“I don’t really do anything [like that],” Taylor said at the Costume Institute Gala Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday night in New York City when asked if she’d ever taken part in a detox cleanse.

Good girl.  Wish other celebrities shared her point of view.

But that’s not the case.  Juice fasts and detox diets are all the range — and their popularity is being fueled by Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Donna Karan and other bold-face names.

The latest to join the ranks is Salma Hayek. So disappointed to see this respected actress get behind a new company called Cooler Cleanse.  It turns out that Salma is a veteran of the juice cleanse and has used the regimens to prepare for big events — from walking the red carpet to walking down the aisle (which she did recently).

Salma paired up with long-time friend and juice master Eric Helms (no relation to me!), the founder of Juice Generation, to bring her detox diet right to your door step.  The products are currently only available in New York, but they’ll be shipping nationally in June.

For $58 per day, you can have the fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices delivered every morning for a 3, 5 or even 30-day detox.  The varieties include a green juice with cucumber and spinach, a grapefruit mint, a red juice with beets and apples, carrot juice, young coconut water, and nut milks sweetened with dates. The company also offers a four-course raw food cleanse made by a vegan chef for $62 a day.

The Cooler Cleanse site features all sorts of praise for the program, including an article that quotes Vogue staffers who say they use the drinks to get in shape for the summer “with visions of string bikinis, exposed thighs and cropped tees…”

I much prefer this article in Vogue magazine that does a great job of debunking some of the myths about detox diets. Here’s a summary of how they’ve broken down the claims and busted them wide open…

Claims vs. Reality

1. You’ll rid your body of a lifetime of toxic chemicals.
It turns out your body is amazingly adept at dealing with foreign substances.  “If you eat something the body interprets as toxic, the liver gets rid of it,” said Michael Gershon, MD, a Columbia University professor who has spent his career researching all things related to the digestive system.  “If it’s water-soluble, the kidney pumps it out.  Furthermore, toxins the body can’t quickly eject on its own (like heavy metals and PCBs) reside not in the colon but in fatty tissues like the brain — meaning all the juice and laxatives in every health food store on the planet won’t flush them out.

2. You’ll drop two dress sizes.
Detox cleansers boast spectacular weight loss in just a few days or weeks. Yet quickly shedding pounds may actually be a sign your body is burning muscle, not fat.  Without enough protein, the body turns to muscle for fuel after about three days, which can make weight loss appear more dramatic because of muscle’s bulk.  Making matters worse for cleansers who are really dieters, losing muscle mass will slow your metabolism; a return to solid food is a return to your original weight…and then some.

3. You’ll look ten years younger.
The upside of pumping gallons of water and vitamin-rich juice into your system — and eliminating stressors like sugar, caffeine and alcohol — is that it will plump skin, resulting in the celebrated cleansing glow, says Joseph Greco, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA.  The downside is that the boost may be short-lived.  And over time, a low-calorie cleanse (coupled with laxative use) can rob your body of hydration and nutrition, resulting in volume loss in the skin and the very thing cleansers are trying to avoid:  wrinkles.

4. You’ll experience euphoria.
Some detoxers describe feelings of intense joy on the more spartan diets, such as the Master Cleanse.  But according to Emeran Mayer, MD, director of the UCLA Center for Neurovisceral Sciences & Women’s Health, all animals have endorphin systems to ease trauma.  That euphoria may actually be a sign the body thinks it’s starving and is trying to prevent suffering.  “Animals that have stopped eating are ready to die,” he said.

5. Your brain fog will lift without coffee.
Vitamin-rich juices may increase blood flow to the brain, helping to explain why people report feeling more alert.  But you don’t need to starve to feel quick-witted:  Recent studies have found that just eating more whole fruits and veggies and eliminating junk foods may trigger brain cell growth in a few months.

6. You’ll cure chronic diseases.
Perhaps the most outlandish claim — that you can reverse diseases — is the one that has the most science behind it.  Studies suggest that heart-disease patients who eat more vegetables and fruit may begin to lower high cholesterol and blood glucose levels in a little more than a month.  The catch:  You can’t go back to your old ways after three weeks of clean living or the benefits will be lost.

Here’s what I’ve written recently about detox diets.

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