Miracle diets do not leave a puppet with a head. Once again, we return to the fray with a new nutritional nonsense. On this occasion, by the hand of the television presenter Mercedes Milá. A few weeks ago, the testimony of the aforementioned journalist became popular, stating that she goes to a specialized center to carry out a series of “cleansing” based on extreme fasting. A practice that sounds at least dangerous.
“You go there and have some juices on the days you decide you are going to stay. You exercise and rest, then your body cleanses itself, regenerates tissues and the circulatory system”, declared the well-known presenter.
But, can a juice help regenerate our tissues? Is there any kind of effective cleansing for the body? Is the human body a washing machine? The doubts that assail us as a result of Mercedes Milá’s testimony are too many.
Mercedes Milá’s detox diet to cleanse what?
There are several things to comment on in this case of Mercedes Milá. First, the human body does not need to “clean itself” or “detoxify” since it is not contaminated in a normal dietary routine. Not even if it is full of unhealthy or ultra-processed foods. And if we get poisoned —due to the accidental ingestion of some toxic product unrelated to food, for example— what we should do is go to the hospital, not drink juices or smoothies. It is something that lacks any scientific basis and goes against nutritional logic. On the other hand, we already have organs that are responsible for filtering waste substances from our body. They are called liver and kidneys.
In this way, all the miraculous remedies that promise to detoxify or cleanse the body lack scientific evidence. In addition, they can sometimes become dangerous, since they involve the intake of compounds that are potentially dangerous to health. This is the case of oxalic acid, naturally present in green leafy vegetables such as raw spinach. Paradoxically, a spinach-based detox juice to descale the supposed filth of your body it can cause you problems. And they are not exactly mucus of turkey. Specifically, we are talking about kidney stones or “stones” in your kidneys.
Isn’t this about Mercedes Milá ironic? This is how it has been alerting the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) for years, cataloging the intake of oxalic acid in detox juices as an emerging health risk. The reason is that the concentrations of oxalic acid or oxalates reach extremely worrying figures during the follow-up of these famous detox routines. spinning fine, 180 milligrams (mg) of oxalic acid per day is considered the tolerable limit for health, and in a detox juice of 250 milliliters (ml) this amount is easily exceeded.
Secondly, oxalic acid can decrease the absorption of minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium or iron. And, to finish off the job, if we ingest these juices while fasting —that is, without having eaten anything previously— we will be increasing the absorption of oxalates. If you are worried about consuming spinach from now on, you should know that there is no problem in a normal diet. With cooking, the amount of oxalates is drastically reduced. The problem comes when there is an abusive consumption of raw vegetables, as is the case with detox juices.
Are you sure it’s fasting?
The human being has always carried out cycles of fasting or intermittent fasting, either for cultural or religious reasons. In recent years we have also carried them out looking for a health improvement. However, going through a fasting cycle of seven full days —as is the case with Mercedes Milá— can only translate into danger and should set off all the alarms.
Despite this, it seems that really we would not be in a fasting situation. The reason is that the intake of detox juices contains calories, vitamins, minerals and some dietary fiber, so it would not be a complete fast. Nor do we know if a time limit is made throughout the day, marking the hours suitable for eating and those that are not. This would be intermittent fasting. In this way, we can only conclude that the dietary routine declared by Mercedes Milá has a suppression of solid foods. In itself this does not have to be a problem. Many people cannot consume solid foods, and only consume liquids or purees. Although in this case it is due to health problems or advancing age.
In this case we are facing something very different, since the restriction of solid foods is produced by a false belief towards health. Eating only juices, even for just one week, can lead to serious nutritional and energy deficits for our body. Although the vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber in vegetables are necessary for the body we can not feed ourselves only based on it. We also need to eat proteins and healthy fats from other food groups such as legumes, nuts, fish, olive oil, dairy or eggs, to name a few.
You lose weight, but why don’t you eat anything?
Finally, the possible advantages associated with intermittent fasting, such as improved sports performance and weight loss, can appear when the dietary pattern is properly controlled by a specialized health professional. We should not trust gurus or extreme diets like that of Mercedes Milá that only reduce our health, since they do not offer any type of guarantee. Much less carry out these routines on our own, since we run the risk of suffering from serious disorders derived from malnutrition or deficiency of certain essential nutrients.
Mercedes, I ask you to leave. Not the Big Brother house, but this type of dietary madness that only harms health and promotes pseudoscientific thoughts at close range. Many people have trouble losing weight and can be greatly influenced by testimonials like yours. Giving false hope to these people based on remedies that not only lack proven efficacy, but can seriously harm health, is deplorable to say the least. Please. Cease your evil and pernicious desire towards human health and nutritional logic.