Against detoxing
December 5, 2014 9:27 AM   Subscribe

 
I get why people want it to work. They love the idea that they can eat like an asshole and feel bad and then they can just hit a reset button and everything is okay. And these companies prey on that.
posted by inturnaround at 9:40 AM on December 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things.

I am literally clutching pearls.
posted by chavenet at 9:45 AM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is brilliantly timed, as I just grabbed one of those fancy cold-pressed juices we sometimes have at the craft service table. I felt all virtuous about drinking celery juice for breakfast until I read the label and discovered that it's 240 fucking calories. Which is more calories than the sausage and pancake on a stick I had yesterday.

Fuck detox.
posted by Sara C. at 9:46 AM on December 5, 2014 [39 favorites]


I'm doing the same but figuratively.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 9:46 AM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I get that there's marketing at work, and that bad people are using this idea for a quick buck. But what I don't get is why the idea that when someone says "I'm going to drink a bunch of cucumber and kale and spinach smoothies this week," that's not recognized as a net positive. Of course you're not flushing out any magically bad "toxins," but that person is getting a lot more vegetables for a few days. Again, a net positive, right?
posted by jbickers at 9:47 AM on December 5, 2014 [26 favorites]


That's a shame. One of my favourite stories about detoxing came from the Guardian.
posted by smcniven at 9:51 AM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Because of what I just wrote upthread.

These juices are not actually any better for you than anything else.

Reading down the list of nutrients, the 450 ml of juice I just drank is literally all sugar and sodium (?!!!!!!) and 460% of my RDA for Vitamin A. Which is probably one of those vitamins most people get plenty of through their food anyway.

For 240 calories.

Yesterday, that sausage and pancake thing I had at least had some protein in it.

I get that eating kale is sort of magically more virtuous than eating any other food, but in real life, by the numbers, these juices just aren't that good for you.
posted by Sara C. at 9:53 AM on December 5, 2014 [30 favorites]


Well jbickers, I think detoxing often involves unhealthier habits like fasting as well. And even if the end result is a net positive, fraud sucks. Most of those people didn't want to pay for adding veggies to their diet, they wanted to pay for this other result. Also, some people use stuff like this in place of actual healthcare, which isn't cool.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:54 AM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


Are we still on 5:2 or is there a new fad diet? And is it kale or beetroot now?
posted by colie at 9:56 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Plus, in the article most of the detox methods mentioned aren't vegetables; they're pills and devices that do nothing.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:57 AM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yet, inexplicably, the shelves of health food stores are still packed with products bearing the word “detox”
You can juice and dextox and say it's because you want to be healthy, because No One Wants To Be The Girl On A Diet.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:59 AM on December 5, 2014 [16 favorites]


That sausage and pancake on a stick, had five hundred calories, 200 of them cholesterol rich fats, no fiber, no antioxidants. I call it pimple food on a stick. Detox is BS when people could eat detoxifying foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains. People.can even eat some lean meat. If on top of that people avoid deep fried food, soda, sweets instead of meals, and over indulgence in toxins, ethanol rich drinks, life is not so toxic.

There are plenty of toxins in our environment and more to come. So drinking lots of pure water is also detoxifying, and taking exercise. When it comes right down to it, almost anything is better than celery juice.
posted by Oyéah at 10:00 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Detox" is the next marketing gimmick, like "Organic."
posted by Renoroc at 10:01 AM on December 5, 2014


Detox is BS when people could eat detoxifying

Erm
posted by ominous_paws at 10:01 AM on December 5, 2014 [63 favorites]


This is brilliantly timed, as I just grabbed one of those fancy cold-pressed juices we sometimes have at the craft service table. I felt all virtuous about drinking celery juice for breakfast until I read the label and discovered that it's 240 fucking calories. Which is more calories than the sausage and pancake on a stick I had yesterday.

Plus, in the article most of the detox methods mentioned aren't vegetables; they're pills and devices that do nothing.


Right, I get all of that, and I get that the bottled "detox juices" are part of the scam. But I'm finding their choice of photography in this story off-putting, because the two pictures they use actually illustrate some very healthy choices - a homemade broccoli smoothie, for instance, is 31 calories and has 3 grams of protein.

I get that the detox industry is fraud. But I hate stories like this that (visually, at least) equate "eat/drink a lot of vegetables" with "it's fraud, move on."
posted by jbickers at 10:02 AM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


> "... that person is getting a lot more vegetables for a few days. Again, a net positive, right?"

From the article:

"You can buy detoxifying tablets, tinctures, tea bags, face masks, bath salts, hair brushes, shampoos, body gels and even hair straighteners ... Then there’s colonic irrigation ... no doctor has ever seen one of these mythical plaques, and many warn against having the procedure done, saying that it can perforate your bowel. Other tactics are more insidious. Some colon-cleansing tablets contain a polymerising agent that turns your faeces into something like a plastic, so that when a massive rubbery poo snake slithers into your toilet you can stare back at it and feel vindicated in your purchase. Detoxing foot pads turn brown overnight with what manufacturers claim is toxic sludge drawn from your body. This sludge is nothing of the sort – a substance in the pads turns brown when it mixes with water from your sweat."

This is not about a healthy diet with some misguided reasoning behind it. It is about a scam that unscrupulous charlatans are using to separate people from their money for quack cures which are at best useless and at worst outright dangerous.
posted by kyrademon at 10:03 AM on December 5, 2014 [30 favorites]


Some colon-cleansing tablets contain a polymerising agent that turns your faeces into something like a plastic, so that when a massive rubbery poo snake slithers into your toilet you can stare back at it

battle not with the massive rubbery poo snake, lest
posted by Greg Nog at 10:03 AM on December 5, 2014 [55 favorites]


Oyeah, you had me with you until...

ethanol rich drinks

Wait, hold on... are you saying don't drink booze? Heretic!

Get the pitchforks out...
posted by dios at 10:04 AM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oat bran will allow you to live forever.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:04 AM on December 5, 2014


It just hit me - the whole notion of detoxing and juice cleanses is kind of like the dietary equivalent of cramming for your midterm. Yes, it's good to eat more vegetables, and a cucumber-and-kale juice weeklong detox thing after not having had much vegetables is still going to be better for you in the short term - but unless you do a longer-range switch to "eating a little more kale in general" it's only gonna be a short-term gain, and if all you do after that is switch back to "burgers and pie" as your daily diet than whatever benefits you gained you'll just lose again, just like how you crammed for your chemistry mid-term and passed it but then had already forgotten everything by summer break.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 AM on December 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


Broccoli does not have 3 grams of protein.
posted by Oyéah at 10:06 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


jbickers, the problem isn't with people who choose to eat more vegetables at home. The problem is that this is a marketing ploy. The folks using the ploy aren't broccoli farmers.
posted by Sara C. at 10:07 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Broccoli does not have 3 grams of protein.

Well you have to wrap it in ham, obviously.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:09 AM on December 5, 2014 [97 favorites]


> "... people could eat detoxifying foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains ... If on top of that people avoid deep fried food, soda, sweets instead of meals, and over indulgence in toxins, ethanol rich drinks, life is not so toxic."

Noting in advance that there is a difference between "detoxifying" and "healthier" ...

To what toxins are you referring?

How do the foods you suggest detoxify them?
posted by kyrademon at 10:10 AM on December 5, 2014 [23 favorites]


The recommende dosage on ethanol rich drinks is one or two a day, and some studies show, people live longer who to have a couple. Later researchers found that having a couple was a symptom of people who were more invested in living and happier, therefore generally more long lived. Even the most forest sheltered societies in the Amazon, brew beer.
posted by Oyéah at 10:10 AM on December 5, 2014


I am literally clutching pearls.

If you just butter your fingers your hands will be rid of those of nasty calcuim carbonite deposits.
posted by srboisvert at 10:10 AM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


While we are talking net positives, how much kale do I need to eat to offset the 10 oz of Crown Royal I will be drinking tonight?
posted by dios at 10:11 AM on December 5, 2014 [28 favorites]


Oat bran will allow you to live forever.

It only feels like forever when you are pooping 8 times a day.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:12 AM on December 5, 2014 [37 favorites]


Think bigger, dios. If you invent a palatable kale-crown royal smoothie you will make a fortune.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:13 AM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


kale-crown royal smoothie

Among mixologists, this is known as a "Watership Down"
posted by Greg Nog at 10:14 AM on December 5, 2014 [113 favorites]


One of my co-workers went to a vitamin/supplement store on her break and brought back this box that claimed to cleanse/detox your liver (no idea what was inside). She asked me and my boss (we're both vegan) "You guys don't think these cleanses are bullshit, do you?" We raised our eyebrows and gave her the "well...." look.

(And yes, I do think they're crap. I find them weird and troubling.)
posted by Kitteh at 10:14 AM on December 5, 2014


Antioxidants detoxify, and foods rich in fiber when combined with sufficient water take your toxins down the drain. That is how it is supposed to work. Taking exercise causes perspiration, another detoxifying process.
posted by Oyéah at 10:15 AM on December 5, 2014


Broccoli does not have 3 grams of protein.

Well you have to wrap it in ham, obviously.


I tried this once. It seemed like a weird way to eat ham, and I had all this ham smelling broccoli left over afterwards.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:16 AM on December 5, 2014 [24 favorites]


You are just hamming it up!
posted by Oyéah at 10:17 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of detox culture is a response to learning that we're basically just giant walking bacteria farms. It feels wrong that there's a bunch of little organisms inside of you, like it would feel wrong if your doctor said you have tapeworms. The concept freaks a lot of people out, so they are primed for the message that "A lot of terrible stuff is happening IN YOUR BODY but you can do something about it!"
posted by almostmanda at 10:17 AM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


How to be super fun at family gatherings. Your father-in-law says he needs to detox and you say to him, "Your liver is detoxing for you right now!"

*crickets*
posted by hot_monster at 10:17 AM on December 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Perspiration is a cooling process. Nothing more.
posted by juniper at 10:17 AM on December 5, 2014


Kale is really high in vitamin K a blood clotting agent. So don't try puttin' yer granny on a kale regimin.
posted by Oyéah at 10:19 AM on December 5, 2014


I find that one tomato-based (or clam-tomato) drink, rich in vegetables, is sufficient to offset up to two or three whiskeys, as long as it is applied within a 16-hour window. Elevated whiskey consumption, of course, would dictate increased requirements for tomato-based supplements.
posted by bonehead at 10:19 AM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


I will say that I like making beet/ginger/carrot juice at home because I know I should reap the vitamins beets gives you but god, I cannot make myself like it in its solid state, so beet juice it is!
posted by Kitteh at 10:20 AM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


jbickers: "that person is getting a lot more vegetables for a few days"

All that person is getting is a glass of easily digestible calories and watery nutrients.

There is no magical difference between nutrients from veggies and nutrients from another source, such as meat or seafood or even multi-vitamin pills.

its just that veggies, apart from nutrients, have a lot of cellulose which provides us roughage and reduces the calorie count that we ingest before we feel full. i.e. reduces overeating thus controlling our caloric intake.

If you convert it into juice, your feeling of being full comes mainly from the water content but then, its likely that the calories in the juice are more easily digestible and hence, your digestive tract extracts more calories from the same veggies than it would from the veggies eaten as such. And I am not even thinking about the sugar etc added to juices.

I don't know why people think juices are magically better for your health than general food ... they are just more convenient and quicker intake method.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 10:20 AM on December 5, 2014 [21 favorites]


So, I know it's not what I'm supposed to be taking from this discussion, but can anyone tell me more about this sausage-and-pancake on a stick thing? You know, for science.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:21 AM on December 5, 2014 [47 favorites]


Toxins some byproducts of metabolism, the useless stuff in foods your cells reject, along with environmental toxins, pesticides, herbicides, random human made chemicals, oh yes and broken down medications, the byproducts of our pharmaceutical use. Toxins aplenty.
posted by Oyéah at 10:24 AM on December 5, 2014


There is no magical difference between nutrients from veggies and nutrients from another source, such multi-vitamin pills.

Is this true and good science? Because if so, I've been totally lied to in my lifetime. I have heard countless times the argument that taking vitamins and supplements is somehow less effective than getting them directly from a fruit or vegetable. It never has made sense to me, but the claim is made with such authority that I've internalized it as being true.
posted by dios at 10:25 AM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Broccoli does not have 3 grams of protein.

You're right, it's 2.57g for that serving size. I think we can agree rounding up to 3g is not exactly dishonest.
posted by obfuscation at 10:26 AM on December 5, 2014 [22 favorites]


The S and P on a stick sounds totally good in a cold Chicago, sgeaming food cart moment, would you have mustard in the little dipping cup or erzatz maple goo?
posted by Oyéah at 10:27 AM on December 5, 2014


Yeah, TheLittlePrince, I sure wouldn't mind some citations for those points.
posted by jbickers at 10:28 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Contrary to common opinion, antioxidant supplements aren't all that great


We found no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention. Beta-carotene and vitamin E seem to increase mortality, and so may higher doses of vitamin A. Antioxidant supplements need to be considered as medicinal products and should undergo sufficient evaluation before marketing.


Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patients with various diseases 2012
posted by DrRotcod at 10:28 AM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


There is no magical difference between nutrients from veggies and nutrients from another source, such multi-vitamin pills.

Is this true and good science?


Nope.
posted by almostmanda at 10:28 AM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Toxins some byproducts of metabolism, the useless stuff in foods your cells reject, along with environmental toxins, pesticides, herbicides, random human made chemicals, oh yes and broken down medications, the byproducts of our pharmaceutical use. Toxins aplenty.

These are processed by your liver and eliminated in urine and feces. If they bioaccumulate, they might stay in your body, but there's nothing magical that juice (or a set of virtuous vegetables) is going to do to get rid of things that bioaccumulate. Your liver still has to do the work.
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2014 [20 favorites]




Joey Buttafoucault: Your wish is my command.
posted by Sara C. at 10:30 AM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]




I will say that I like making beet/ginger/carrot juice at home

beet and watermelon is also surprisingly tasty.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:30 AM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


poffin boffin, I hate watermelon too so man, that is gonna be a challenge, but I'll give it a go next year. Basically my rule of thumb for homemade juice is "Can I add a shit ton of ginger? Y/N?" (I really love ginger.)
posted by Kitteh at 10:32 AM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Dammit, now I want a burger and some pie.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:34 AM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Is this true and good science? Because if so, I've been totally lied to in my lifetime. I have heard countless times the argument that taking vitamins and supplements is somehow less effective than getting them directly from a fruit or vegetable. It never has made sense to me, but the claim is made with such authority that I've internalized it as being true.

Eh, it's a complicated question, mainly because "nutrients" encompasses a vast array of species with diverse chemical and biological behavior. As a pretty simple example, eating a bunch of iron filings is not going to be better for staving off anemia than eating a steak or some spinach, because the latter already have the iron bound up in a structure that makes it have activity in the body.

The short answer is "it depends"; the long answer is that in some specific cases we have a pretty good idea of how a given thing interacts with our bodies and have the capability to make a reasonably good shelf-stable version, and in some cases we don't.
posted by kagredon at 10:35 AM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


When reading Pollan's In Defense of Food (which I thought was an excellent book, a voice for sanity in a sea of "nutritionism"), I came across the term orthorexia nervosa, an obsession with eating the "correct" food. Ever since then, these discussions of detoxification, vitamins, etc. remind me of it...
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:37 AM on December 5, 2014 [25 favorites]


"What's a toxin?"

Bad stuff.

"What's in them?"

Bad things.

"What kind of bad things?"

Toxins, I already said that.

".... I'm leaving now."
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:42 AM on December 5, 2014 [12 favorites]


Broccoli, as with all brassicas – sprouts, mustard plants, cabbages – contains cyanide.

I knew it. George Bush Sr. was right all along!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:44 AM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


...I think detoxing often involves unhealthier habits like fasting as well.

Fasting might be the least controversial part of these detox plans - previously on Metafilter: The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting.
posted by meowzilla at 10:46 AM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


People can't eat a ton 'O junk and expect a suppliment to make it better.

The liver takes out toxins, unless your statin drug tells it to just worry about the fats.

Hospitals had to discontinue serving grapefruit juice because it behaved like a statin and allowed a toxic buildup of medications.

There is a balancing act in the liver it goes for toxins first, and regardless of a person's beliefs, the liver believes ethanol is poison.

I know a lot about food, still I eat too much, but I don't take drugs or drink enough to make any difference, less than one serving a month.
posted by Oyéah at 10:46 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


> "... foods rich in fiber when combined with sufficient water take your toxins down the drain."

I am finding many, many beneficial effects of dietary fiber, including lowering blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels through the oxidation of cholesterol, increasing insulin sensitivity, and balancing intestinal pH. However, so far I haven't found any studies about them ridding the body of toxins in the manner you describe. Do you know of any such that I may have missed?
posted by kyrademon at 10:50 AM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


almostmanda: "There is no magical difference between nutrients from veggies and nutrients from another source, such multi-vitamin pills.

Is this true and good science?


Nope.
"

The article answers a different question .... about effectiveness of vitamins in treating diseases like cancer, diabetes etc...

My point was a nutrient is a nutrient ..whatever be the source. if you need vitamin e, you can get it from multiple sources.

Its not that vitamin e from veggies is somehow superior to vitamin e from a pill.

The problem is balanced quantity of nutrients ... and for that it requires a balanced approach, not a juice-em-all
posted by TheLittlePrince at 10:50 AM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


They lost me at the first sentence "... it’s tough not to be sucked in by the detox industry." Actually, No, I find it quite easy.
posted by achrise at 10:52 AM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I eat extremely healthy almost all the time I buy all the woo health food store products that everyone constantly likes to hate on and drink kale juice and sprouted pumpkin seeds and that type of stuff. I also feel amazing, have boundless energy and am in better shape than most people. To me, it's kind of like prayer. There's no real science to support it, but that doesn't mean it works for some people to improve their lives.
posted by gagglezoomer at 10:52 AM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Your wish is my command.

My brain thanks you; my waistline not so much.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:53 AM on December 5, 2014


TheLittlePrince, a big issue is bioavailability. The same molecule might occur in different contexts; and the vitamin that is available in a piece of broccoli might be digestible and available only because of some other compound (unknown or innocuous) in that broccoli. Just replicating the chemical and swallowing it does not guarantee that it is the same in any but the strictest sense.

People can't eat a ton 'O junk and expect a suppliment to make it better.

That's actually Pollan's point in In Defense of Food. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Detoxification is just another branch of the "all fat is bad!" "all cholesterol is bad!" "all salt is bad!" bush.
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:54 AM on December 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


dios: "There is no magical difference between nutrients from veggies and nutrients from another source, such multi-vitamin pills.

Is this true and good science? Because if so, I've been totally lied to in my lifetime. I have heard countless times the argument that taking vitamins and supplements is somehow less effective than getting them directly from a fruit or vegetable. It never has made sense to me, but the claim is made with such authority that I've internalized it as being true.
"

If you are taking your nutrients from a supplement or taking specific vitamins ... you cannot be sure that you are getting ALL the nutrients you need. these supplements are very targeted in terms of the nutrient/vitamin they provide.

Focusing on veggies and fruits for nutrient source means that you have a holistic approach ... so that you can be reasonably sure you are getting everything ... even the nutrients you might not have thought about or known that you need.

But if you need a particular nutrient quickly (say vitamin D), then, ceteris paribus, there is no difference between vitamin D from an injection or from salmon.

But then its very hard for people to ensure that they are eating different varieties of food ... they just think that eating burgers daily and then topping it up with a multi-vitamin would work.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:00 AM on December 5, 2014


To get the protein from broccoli you get from one ounce of meat, that is roughly a one inch cube, you would have to eat just under a quart of raw, chopped broccoli. If it is lean range fed mutton or goat, and the broccoli is grown in a pesticide rich envieonment, a few ounces of meat is tasty and offers a broad range of nutrients. Park a cup of broccoli alongside the kebob and life is fulfilling. Then have the modest pita, or pie.

The organ of the body which uses the most carbohydrate, is the brain. You must appease the brain and by providing long chain, slow metabolizing carbohydrate, people can eat more reasonably.
posted by Oyéah at 11:00 AM on December 5, 2014


Oyéah: “Antioxidants detoxify, and foods rich in fiber when combined with sufficient water take your toxins down the drain. That is how it is supposed to work. Taking exercise causes perspiration, another detoxifying process.”

These things don't seem to be true at all. Yes, perspiration sometimes causes our body to leach certain chemicals. Then again, sometimes it doesn't. What says these chemicals are "toxins"? Nothing, as far as I can tell. Sometimes they're "toxins," sometimes they're not. And you haven't defined "toxin," so it's hard to talk about what this means at all anyway.

As far as antioxidants "detoxifying," this seems to be untrue, also. Antioxidants, definitionally, prevent oxidation. Oxidants are not toxic. They are essential to life. There are some dangerous oxidants, and it is possible for our bodies to lack the proper amount of antioxidants; but this is apparently a rare condition, and moreover it's not clear that just consuming a particular kind of antioxidants will restore the oxide balance in the body.

And, as kyrademon pointed out exhaustively above, there is very little good evidence saying that antioxidants really do us any good at all.
posted by koeselitz at 11:02 AM on December 5, 2014 [17 favorites]


460% of my RDA for Vitamin A

This is unlikely to be a serious issue for most people, but you'd want to be careful about that if you were having one every day, especially if you're already eating lots of, say, spinach and sweet potatoes.*

As a rule of thumb, if a vitamin is water-soluble (ex. vitamin C), it gets flushed out of your system within a day or so, whereas the oil-soluble ones (ex. A and E) build up in your fatty tissue over time. You can overdose on A or E, but you can have all the C you want with no worries.

* Or bear livers, I guess.
posted by echo target at 11:08 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


One day science will vindicate my All Champanage and chocolate and grilled hearts eating plan.
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


If the liver takes toxins out it sends them into the intestinal tract. A diet rich in water and fiber takes those toxins out more efficiently. I only learned in recent years cholesterol is reabsorbed in the large intestine, ao a high fiber diet keeps those fats moving out, rather than back into the bloodstream.

I used to work in a hopital some people had two or even three full pages of medications. Some people take over the counter medications at the slightest provocation, as if this had no negative cause or effect. Often these disparate cures conflict.

Again eating poorly and living a sedentary life, stressful work, stressful habits, overindulgence in non food items, instead of healthful foods, all this is not mitigated by suppliments, smoothies, multilevel marketed blenders or vegetable drink bendersI
posted by Oyéah at 11:17 AM on December 5, 2014


My favorite thing to do is ask people to define "toxins" for me, which usually gets them to sputter out "chemicals", then I ask them if they mean dangerous chemicals like bleach or, well, what? And I keep going with that until they wind up hollering at me.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:18 AM on December 5, 2014 [33 favorites]


I used to work in a hopital some people had two or even three full pages of medications.

Yes, frequently people who are in hospitals are sick.
posted by kagredon at 11:19 AM on December 5, 2014 [22 favorites]


Every time I find out someone I know believes in pseudoscientific junk like this, I want to give them a copy of Carl Sagan's "Demon Haunted World", aka the best book ever written for laypeople about science.
posted by Librarypt at 11:19 AM on December 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


regardless of our many differences on this issue, i think we can all agree that pooping once in a while is a good idea
posted by murphy slaw at 11:22 AM on December 5, 2014 [20 favorites]


> "Taking exercise causes perspiration, another detoxifying process."

So far I haven't found any credible studies showing that perspiration is a detoxifying process. The very few that seemed promising on the subject were by people who on scant investigation turned out to be quacks. (I could post them, I guess, but there seems little point to it.) Beyond that, nothing.
posted by kyrademon at 11:22 AM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


My favorite was the vegetarian roommate I had a while back who would rail at me about the toxins in meat when I'd bring home non-vegetarian groceries (like, a pack of raw steak). She watched some documentary once that said that McDonald's hamburgers had DNA from 12000 different cows in them and that they were just loaded with toxins, which is why when she went to McDonald's she only ordered french fry sandwiches.
posted by phunniemee at 11:23 AM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


After a holiday weekend of Thanksgiving leftovers (turkey! stuffing! so much pie!) I made a giant kale salad and washed it down with a rye-lime rickey. It was fantastic. Then I had more pie for dessert.
posted by rtha at 11:23 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


> One day science will vindicate my All Champanage and chocolate and grilled hearts eating plan.

I will personally vindicate this plan, that sounds like the most delicious diet ever.
posted by desuetude at 11:25 AM on December 5, 2014


I don't know why people think juices are magically better for your health than general food ... they are just more convenient and quicker intake method.

Um, I feel like you think that second half of your sentence is less important than it is, because that is kind of the super-important thing about why people like juices and smoothies. I cannot saute a panful of broccoli and carrots on the train in the morning. I can drink a broccoli-carrot juice there.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:26 AM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


regardless of our many differences on this issue, i think we can all agree that pooping once in a while is a good idea

yep
posted by kagredon at 11:26 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Again eating poorly and living a sedentary life, stressful work, stressful habits, overindulgence in non food items, instead of healthful foods

Uh, what "non-foods" are people eating?

Look, no one's saying "Don't eat kale! Don't drink apple and ginger smoothies!" The claim here is that there is an incorrect notion that toxins exist, that they must be removed from the body, and that drinking smoothies or getting your poop forcefully extracted from you is the proper way to eliminate those toxins (again, which are rarely if ever defined).

I actually notice the strongest talk about "toxins" among middle-class and upper-middle class people who and are already at a healthy weight. I really like the article's metaphor about adding go-faster stripes to a car. The stripes will do nothing, but the people who generally care enough to add go-faster stripes are also the people who regularly change their car's oil.
posted by nicodine at 11:27 AM on December 5, 2014 [21 favorites]


Skepticism is a sure sign of a calcified pineal gland, but it's not too late, people!
posted by gimli at 11:28 AM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Beliefs about food are more like religion than science for a lot of people.
Having opinions about what should and shouldn't be eaten has replaced having opinions about who should or shouldn't be slept with.
posted by librosegretti at 11:29 AM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


Strange food beliefs range from ridiculous to hilarious to almost offensive and then back again, it is true. My personal favourite moment was when after a 36h-long drug and alcohol fueled party extravaganza a friend of a friend took time out of her important freebasing schedule to angrily berate me for eating an unwashed peach straight from the farmer's market stand.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:33 AM on December 5, 2014 [50 favorites]


So far I haven't found any credible studies showing that perspiration is a detoxifying process.

Sweat ethanol concentrations are highly correlated with co-existing blood values in humans.

Exercise causes you sweat out ethanol, a rather well-characterized toxin, before it's metabolized into acetaldehyde which is even more toxic to the human body.
posted by TungstenChef at 11:36 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]



Perspiration is a cooling process. Nothing more.

Excretion may be an extremely minor function of perspiration, but that does not mean it is correct to say that perspiration is "nothing more" than a cooling process. Arsenic, cadmium, and lead have been detected in perspiration:

Of 122 records identified, 24 were included in evidence synthesis. Populations, and sweat collection methods and concentrations varied widely. In individuals with higher exposure or body burden, sweat generally exceeded plasma or urine concentrations, and dermal could match or surpass urinary daily excretion. Arsenic dermal excretion was severalfold higher in arsenic-exposed individuals than in unexposed controls. Cadmium was more concentrated in sweat than in blood plasma. Sweat lead was associated with high-molecular-weight molecules, and in an interventional study, levels were higher with endurance compared with intensive exercise. Mercury levels normalized with repeated saunas in a case report.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:36 AM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


The science is in on the skin. It is classed as a large eliminative organ ridding the body of water wastes, and whatever that waste contains. This is basic physiology.
posted by Oyéah at 11:37 AM on December 5, 2014


Uh, what "non-foods" are people eating?

Crayons, potpourri, loose change, etc.
posted by indubitable at 11:38 AM on December 5, 2014 [40 favorites]


Juice is sugar water. Most bottled juice in a grocery store is no more healthy for you (or your kids) than a coke. Fresh pressed juice is maybe a little better, it certainly is more enjoyable. But juicing turns filling fibrous food into quick-calorie junk food.

All this food superstition is because food science is really not very good. The official consensus on what healthy food is in the US has changed every 10 years. We're all getting fatter, and a lot of people feel like they aren't in full control of what they eat. Abundance is sometimes a problem. Gluten-free, detox, probiotic, low-fat, omega 3 fatty acids, even organic are mostly shibboleths.

Some day we're going to have a true scientific breakthrough where we really understand human metabolism. The basic notion of calories was one such breakthrough 160 years ago, but it's nowhere near the complete story.
posted by Nelson at 11:40 AM on December 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


TungstenChef:
"Exercise causes you sweat out ethanol, a rather well-characterized toxin, before it's metabolized into acetaldehyde which is even more toxic to the human body."
By cleverly combining a little well-timed exercise with drinking your own sweat you can significantly cut your alcohol budget!!!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:43 AM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


All the preservatives in highly processed foods, residual pesticides, herbicides, medications, patent over the counter medications, artificial sweeteners, flavorings,colors, funny fats, trans fats created to use cheap fats harvested from plant products not typically consumed as food, but used for profit.

When you buy a loaf of bread or baked good, frequently the label has thirty entries, some are vitamins added a lot are ingredients to make flavor out of iingredients with none.
posted by Oyéah at 11:45 AM on December 5, 2014


Even if this, and every other fad, did actually work wouldn't it still be a temporary reprieve?

Embrace the future sheeple, invest in Upload brand blackbox uploads now. We promise that the T-Gate is actually on. Really.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:47 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


All the preservatives in highly processed foods, residual pesticides, herbicides, medications, patent over the counter medications, artificial sweeteners, flavorings,colors, funny fats, trans fats created to use cheap fats harvested from plant products not typically consumed as for profit.

Some of those are plainly bad things and some only sound bad and they really shouldn't be lumped in together in a single category like "toxins". For instance there are many preservatives, medications, artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colors that have been shown to have little to no negative effects on the body, which is a far cry from pesticides, herbicides or trans fats.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:52 AM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Exercise causes you sweat out ethanol, a rather well-characterized toxin, before it's metabolized into acetaldehyde which is even more toxic to the human body.

Finally, proof we need bars in gyms.
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 AM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Having opinions about what should and shouldn't be eaten has replaced having opinions about who should or shouldn't be slept with.

No, just supplemented/altered those beliefs. I just watched a documentary where a vegan said he was somehow managing to date a vegetarian, but that he could NEVER be with someone who cooked meat in his house.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:54 AM on December 5, 2014


oneirodynia --

Unfortunately the article you link to is by someone who believes in chelation therapy for illnesses other than extreme heavy metal poisoning, and cites people who believe that electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome has a physiological cause, etc. That's what I meant when I said the articles I could find on the subject were not by credible people.

TungstenChef --

The study you link to is interesting, but as far as I can tell does not actually offer evidence that perspiration significantly reduces bodily ethanol levels; please let me know if I am misinterpreting.

Oyéah --

Is there any evidence that increasing perspiration (such as through exercise) significantly reduces bodily toxin levels over time?

Is there any evidence that increased defecation via fiber consumption significantly reduces cholesterol levels over time?

Is there any evidence that antioxidant consumption is a detoxification process with beneficial effects?

Is it really too much to ask that you link to some evidence that what you say is so is so?
posted by kyrademon at 11:55 AM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


(btw I'm not even criticizing his logic there, people have the right not to be around food they find ethically reprehensible.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:55 AM on December 5, 2014


> "Finally, proof we need bars in gyms."

Germany is already there. Seriously.
posted by kyrademon at 11:57 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


now I really want a burger and fries.
posted by epersonae at 11:58 AM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


GUYS IM ABOUT TO EAT PIZZA
posted by Sara C. at 12:00 PM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


I always think it's a bit comical when I hear someone talking about a juice fast/cleanse. For one, fasting doesn't involve ingesting tons of sugar water, nor does it seem like that would be particularly "detoxifying". If you want to "cleanse", then actually fast completely so your GI tract can at least burn through whatever's in your gut and have a period or rest before cramming more in.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 12:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


The team that cracks the synthehol problem, an alcohol-like molecule that tastes good, gets you drunk, but can't be metabolized for calories, is going to make a killing.
posted by bonehead at 12:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Man, I was about to eat some baby carrots but now I don't know
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:03 PM on December 5, 2014


Life is fatal, the way you live the first 60 has a lot to do with how you live the last thirty. For instance, wear your seatbelt always, and you are more likely to make it for the last thirty. Smile take healthful meals and exercise with those you love, if you are alone don't forget to enjoy that, and care about yourself. Do something that makes you break into a sweat every day, laugh, drink clean water, eat vegetables, fruit, grain and meats, from tu e best source you can afford, be good to yourself in this way. Grow a garden, nothing shows the worth of everything like this act. Don't support social systems that make this impossible.

Pounding cleansing juice is cheating yourself of the time and actual process of living. I know lot-shirts of people with honking juicers in the back of the bottom cupboard. Juicing won't rescue a bad marriage, or a life lived joylessly. I think it is a measure of a bad relationship with self, an over compensation for abandonment of living comfortably and in balance. "I know I have been bad to you, body, here have a nice glass of broccoli skack.'
posted by Oyéah at 12:04 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Man, I was about to eat some baby carrots but now I don't know

Better juice em and add vodka to be safe.
posted by bonehead at 12:05 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


The Whelk: "Exercise causes you sweat out ethanol, a rather well-characterized toxin, before it's metabolized into acetaldehyde which is even more toxic to the human body.

Finally, proof we need bars in gyms.
"

Makes more sense if you have gyms in bars ... take some drinks, have fun, then exercise - get the alcohol out of the system .. and back to drinking.

but then bouncer's jobs might become more difficult, I guess.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 12:13 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: “Man, I was about to eat some baby carrots but now I don't know”

Baby carrots are a terrible, horrible, disgusting scam. If I like a food, why would I prefer that thing if you cut it down into tiny versions of itself, left it on the shelf until it was less flavorful, and charged me more for it? And yet somehow people go for it, despite knowing full well that a larger and more flavorful version is available, apparently because tiny things are cute.

I call this contradictory and irrational human impulse "the slider principle."
posted by koeselitz at 12:14 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


The stripes will do nothing, but the people who generally care enough to add go-faster stripes are also the people who regularly change their car's oil.

I heard that the stripes help direct toxins out of the oil to keep it fresher.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:15 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Better juice em and add vodka to be safe.

Gin has a lot of herbs and things and has more nutrients, and if you get a nice cucumber-y one it will play beautifully with the carrots.
posted by rtha at 12:15 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


I heard that the stripes help direct toxins out of the oil to keep it fresher.

I mean I already use a homeopathic oil blend so my car is toxin-free.
posted by nicodine at 12:18 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


why would I prefer that thing if you cut it down into tiny versions of itself, left it on the shelf until it was less flavorful, and charged me more for it? And yet somehow people go for it, despite knowing full well that a larger and more flavorful version is available, apparently because tiny things are cute.

But that isn't what baby carrots are. They are made from "ugly" carrots that would never be put up for sale anyway, because consumers don't like ugly foods in shiny supermarkets. The manufacturers just figured out that when you scraped off the weird outsides and chopped them up, people who resented the need to peel a vegetable would be marginally more willing to eat carrots.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:18 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


> Makes more sense if you have gyms in bars ... take some drinks, have fun, then exercise - get the alcohol out of the system .. and back to drinking.

We call these "nightclubs" where I'm from.
posted by desuetude at 12:19 PM on December 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


I mean I already use a homeopathic oil blend so my car is toxin-free.

That single drop of oil diluted 100,000x by water is going to be more trouble than it's worth.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:20 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Baby carrots are a terrible, horrible, disgusting scam. If I like a food, why would I prefer that thing if you cut it down into tiny versions of itself, left it on the shelf until it was less flavorful, and charged me more for it? And yet somehow people go for it, despite knowing full well that a larger and more flavorful version is available, apparently because tiny things are cute.

Hi, I have OAS and I looooooove baby carrots because raw carrots often cause an allergic reaction, even after rinsing. I wish there was some way to do the baby carrots thing with cherries, kiwis, and nectarines, because I can't eat that stuff raw either. I also like cute things! But I have a legit reason, too.
posted by almostmanda at 12:25 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Fad Diet Forecast! Next spring we'll only eat small models of mid-century modern homes and furnishings made of dehydrated fruits, followed by some truly avant-garde variations on pica around May.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:27 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


now I really want a burger and fries.

But who has time to prepare and eat a hamburger on a commuter train? That's why hamburger smoothies are so much more efficient!
posted by happyroach at 12:27 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Baby carrots are a terrible, horrible, disgusting scam. If I like a food, why would I prefer that thing if you cut it down into tiny versions of itself, left it on the shelf until it was less flavorful, and charged me more for it? And yet somehow people go for it, despite knowing full well that a larger and more flavorful version is available, apparently because tiny things are cute.

Baby carrots can be eaten right out of the bag and require no washing, cutting, peeling, or dirtying of dishes. That's generally why people go for them, not because they are cute. (and are they, really?)
posted by wondermouse at 12:30 PM on December 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


Hey Kyrademon, do some reading on your own. You imply you have a higher knowledge, bust out your credentials.

A diet high in fiber is shown to reduce blood fats. If you really want to reduce your blood fats, be aure you are fully hydrated for your next lab draw. They say clear fluids after midnight, not no fluids. If you have your yearly labs in the summer, make sure you have had a lot of clear fluids, water particularly for an afternoon blood draw.
Your perceived health is at stake.

A lot of food fads come and go, but up to 150 years ago we lived in one locale, or if we were a migatory people we consumed the same foods fhound along the way, we are made for our ethnic diets. The last 150 years has seen thousands oc man made chemicals enter our diets. A notable toxin and reultant disease is the herbicide MPP+ and resulting Parkinson's disease. This disease was unknown before the twentieth cwntury. The first two scientist s to discover and work with this herbicide were found catatonic in their labs. Later the instant Parkinson's was discovered by another scientist who went to the psychiatric facilities where they were. He administered dopamine, waking them up. No amount of detox would save them because the first dose of toxin, destroyed their substantia nigra cells forever.
posted by Oyéah at 12:30 PM on December 5, 2014


Unfortunately, I live in the center of all gluten-free, juice fasting, clean eating, detox, quinoa and kale smoothie madness. So much so, that my ED recovery group had cards made that said "Kale does not equal recovery", because group members were forcing themselves to eat kale despite the fact that they simply hated it. I genuinely fear for the food hang-ups of the next generation.

I would really appreciate a re-think about how we talk about food, especially "non-foods" or "clean/dirty" foods. This is the most classist bullshit ever. Sure, a Twinkie doesn't have much protein or vitamins, but that doesn't make it a non-food, nor is it "dirty". Also, there is something to be said for taking pleasure in our food, despite what the gurus have to say.

Bonus points to Nelson, nicodine and jason_steakums for extra-healthy skepticism of food fallacies, above.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:31 PM on December 5, 2014 [16 favorites]


Those carrots, are they baby carrots or baby-cut carrots.

It seems carrots' flavor/texture/whatever is little affected by size--a half-pound monster carrot tastes just like a tiny one, and has a smaller surface-area-to-volume ratio and so is more efficient to peel.

The referenced article notes that baby-cut carrots are milled down from deformed or partially rotted full-size carrots. Yum!
posted by hexatron at 12:32 PM on December 5, 2014


what is this, a mid-century modern home and furnishing made of dehydrated fruits made for ants?!
posted by poffin boffin at 12:32 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Often, bags of "baby" carrots are on sale for a cheaper price per ounce than their full-sized brethren. They're made mostly from misshapen carrots that wouldn't sell in bunches but are otherwise perfectly edible. If someone on a budget is deciding between snacks, a bag of baby carrots is usually a lot more bang for the buck than a bag of chips.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 12:33 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


The referenced article notes that baby-cut carrots are milled down from deformed or partially rotted full-size carrots. Yum!

I'm picturing gruff craftsmen in leather aprons working long shifts hunched over carrot lathes
posted by jason_steakums at 12:34 PM on December 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


no, surely bearded hipsters with moustache tattoos
posted by poffin boffin at 12:36 PM on December 5, 2014


Hey Kyrademon, do some reading on your own.

Uh, she has? And linked the sources that she was reading?

A diet high in fiber is shown to reduce blood fats.

Where? By whom? kyradaemon has been exhaustive in linking to the sources that she is using to make her assertions, all she is doing is asking you do the same.
posted by kagredon at 12:37 PM on December 5, 2014 [19 favorites]


I was at an up-market spa place recently and got a massage and some other stuff done and every time I read or heard the words "detox" or "toxin", part of my brain was screaming "WHAT FUCKING CHEMICAL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE, MOTHERFUCKER? SERIOUSLY! TELL ME."

But I just smiled and nodded because these folks were just employees and are not paid enough for me to lose my shit at them.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:39 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Kitteh: Basically my rule of thumb for homemade juice is "Can I add a shit ton of ginger? Y/N?" (I really love ginger.)

Have you tried just juicing a bunch of ginger and forgetting about the other juice? Now that has a kick.

Or equal parts ginger juice, pineapple juice, and rum makes a tasty/spicy cocktail.
posted by JiBB at 12:45 PM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Uh, what "non-foods" are people eating?

Doritos.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:47 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would really appreciate a re-think about how we talk about food, especially "non-foods" or "clean/dirty" foods. This is the most classist bullshit ever. Sure, a Twinkie doesn't have much protein or vitamins, but that doesn't make it a non-food, nor is it "dirty". Also, there is something to be said for taking pleasure in our food, despite what the gurus have to say.

I think there's an element of the just-world fallacy that comes into play here. If someone else is sick (or fat, which is treated as just as being even worse, even though the relationship between weight and health is a complicated, sometimes paradoxical one), they must be doing something wrong. If you're sick, it must be because you're being poisoned by some external party. It's really scary to face the fact that sometimes people get sick and there's nothing they could have done to stop it, and it's very uncomfortable to face the ways in which our society treats sick (or fat, or poor) people like shit.
posted by kagredon at 12:47 PM on December 5, 2014 [30 favorites]


TheLittlePrince, you mentioned this way upthread, and I hope you might clarify:

If you convert it into juice, your feeling of being full comes mainly from the water content but then, its likely that the calories in the juice are more easily digestible and hence, your digestive tract extracts more calories from the same veggies than it would from the veggies eaten as such.

(Emphasis mine) If I'm reading you right, if I take some broccoli and put it in a blender with some water and make a puree, it magically has more calories?
posted by jbickers at 12:48 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Uh, what "non-foods" are people eating?

Doritos.


Only by virtue of having transcended food.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:49 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I heard toxins are a gluten, so we should avoid them.
posted by Justinian at 12:51 PM on December 5, 2014 [28 favorites]


Parkinson's disease. This disease was unknown before the twentieth cwntury.

Except that it was first described by Parkinson in 1817.
posted by mittens at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2014 [63 favorites]


Try Dietery Fiber: Essential for a healthy heart- Mayo Clinic
posted by Oyéah at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2014


I mean really we could never again have a single one of these articles actually exist with content and just replace everything with THERE ARE NO MAGICAL ONE-STEP TRICKS TO BEING HEALTHY YOU FOOLS but I guess that would not make for entertaining column inches.

i would find it hella satisfying though
posted by poffin boffin at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


and really isn't that the most important thing
posted by poffin boffin at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


(Emphasis mine) If I'm reading you right, if I take some broccoli and put it in a blender with some water and make a puree, it magically has more calories?

Essentially, the blender is doing (a portion) of the work that your body would be doing. Most blenders don't actually do a perfect job of pulverizing whatever you put in, and so you're likely going to be straining out a lot of semi-solid crap. That semi-solid crap has a bunch of fiber in it, which normally would attenuate how your body processes the sugars and complex carbohydrates in the broccoli.
posted by kagredon at 12:54 PM on December 5, 2014


Interesting, I guess the NOVA I watched had it all wrong.
posted by Oyéah at 12:54 PM on December 5, 2014


Uh, what "non-foods" are people eating?

Doritos.


Did you even read what I wrote?
posted by Sophie1 at 12:55 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kagredon, thanks for that. We never strain our smoothies, so your explanation makes sense. I would think for the whole smoothie thing to have its maximum value, you'd have to decide not to do any straining (which is how I thought people did it - news to me that people strain them).
posted by jbickers at 12:57 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


jbickers: "(Emphasis mine) If I'm reading you right, if I take some broccoli and put it in a blender with some water and make a puree, it magically has more calories?"

basically, by pulping it up .. you are making it a lot easier for the body to extract calories from it. The calories are the same but, with unpulped food, your body would have extracted a smaller %age of the calories in there .... post pulping, its easier for the body to extract more calories.

The acid in your stomach has more surface area to break down the food, the food moves more slowly through your large intestine due to absence of roughage.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 1:00 PM on December 5, 2014


basically, by pulping it up .. you are making it a lot easier for the body to extract calories from it. The calories are the same but unpulped your body would have extracted some %age of the calories in there .... post pulping, its easier for the body to extract more calories.

eh, I mean technically yeah, but your teeth do the same thing, and the whole negative-calorie celery canard aside, the amount of energy expended by chewing is pretty negligible. If jbickers isn't discarding the pulp, he's not changing the nutritional value vis whole fruit/veg by very much.
posted by kagredon at 1:02 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Periodic 12-24 hour fasting can be a good idea. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to take a long elevator ride with me after a three day beer and chili binge.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:06 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've done the same thing rmd1023 mentions, asked people what these toxins are. "Well they're byproducts of --" "No, what chemical compounds are they? What physical substances are they?" Never gotten any answer beyond a deer-in-headlights stare.
posted by KathrynT at 1:07 PM on December 5, 2014 [12 favorites]


I heard they are applying roundup to wheat ten days before harvest to facilitate harvest, this relativey new practice may be the source of increased intolerance to wheat products

See, that's exactly the kind of claim that needs some sort of scientific study to back it up. It's a relatively simple testable thing. Is RoundUp actually being applied to wheat ten days before harvest? Is that actually a new process? Does RoundUp cause wheat intolerance? Is wheat intolerance an actual phenomenon?

These are all claims that can be tested. But instead, the state of discourse in the US is "I heard this thing and OMG why are you eating that wheat?!". It is no better than superstition.
posted by Nelson at 1:09 PM on December 5, 2014 [22 favorites]


If no one wants their gluten, I'll take it. BRING ME ALL THE CARBS

(Though, bizarrely enough, one of my current favorite things is a gluten-free loaf by a local bakery. It is a super dense pumpernickel studded with sunflower seeds and oats. Makes an excellent morning toast, but a crap sandwich.)
posted by Kitteh at 1:19 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


These are all claims that can be tested. But instead, the state of discourse in the US is "I heard this thing and OMG why are you eating that wheat?!". It is no better than superstition.

Yeah all of this harping on what bullshit the "detox" industry is seems kind of unnecessarily focused when basically everything about food and eating in the U.S. is pretty well bullshit.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:21 PM on December 5, 2014


I do an 8-10 hour fast every night. It's the "lower wait, more reps" principle.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:22 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yeah all of this harping on what bullshit the "detox" industry is seems kind of unnecessarily focused when basically everything about food and eating in the U.S. is pretty well bullshit.

nah, as frustrating as people uncritically repeating "I SAW GOODIE FLOUR WITH THE DEVIL" is, it's pretty different from an industry that perpetuates pseudoscience to make a buck.
posted by kagredon at 1:23 PM on December 5, 2014 [23 favorites]


Totally stealing "I SAW GOODY FLOUR WITH THE DEVIL" next time someone who doesn't have celiac lambastes me for eating bread, kagredon. That is fucking gold, right there.
posted by Kitteh at 1:26 PM on December 5, 2014 [19 favorites]


The research done on artificial sweeteners is mostly done by those with most vested interest in outcomes. The fact that a lot of research results serve industry was a topic from three or four years ago. With regard to artificial sweeteners being non foods, they are. But that does not mean they are without effect. A couple of years ago blind tastebuds were discovered at the top of the small intestine, that call up an insulin response to sweet, whether artificial or regular sugars. Insulin without sugar to transport into cells, or with poor abaorbtion, acts like a narcotic almost, making people tired. This is especially true for diabetics.

So non foods consumed if you must have a rundown, artificial sweeteners, flavors, funny fats, trans fats, medicines, over the counter medicines, high levels of stimulant in energy drinks, gums guar gum, carageenen to thicken, dough softeners, preservatives, unnatural sugars, polysaccharixes used as artificial sweeteners, that cause diahhrea in children and some adults, which are used as laxative. Then another class of non foods consists of residual herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones in meat and hormones in milk, antibiotics, and disinfectants ushould ed in the raising and slaughter of meat. Another set of non foods is the allowable amount of mycotoxins in sileage fed to livestock.
posted by Oyéah at 1:26 PM on December 5, 2014


I've been on a pollute since last week, and I feel great!


They key is to balance the fatty foods you eat with the correct proportion of booze, so that the alcohol thins the blood to prevent stroke, while the fried chicken and French pastries soak up any excess alcohol. These methods are based on scientific principles, people!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:26 PM on December 5, 2014 [36 favorites]


Also, I'm not going to trust any "clinic" that is so obviously in the pocket of Big Mayonnaise.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:29 PM on December 5, 2014 [12 favorites]


How To Do a Colon Cleanse & Implants of Wheat Grass Juice into Your Colon

Many years ago I had a friend who was into this cleansing deal and I went with her to one of her weekend parties. It was a multilevel marketing thing where at the party they had a lengthy pitch for seeds and planting containers and growlights and juicers and whatnot. The guy making the pitch had skin with a visibly green tint.

I didn't buy anything and I never attended a second party.
posted by bukvich at 1:32 PM on December 5, 2014


does this involve eating dirt and seeds so that wheatgrass can actually grow inside your butt, please say yes
posted by poffin boffin at 1:34 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


"I'm going to drink a bunch of cucumber and kale and spinach smoothies this week," that's not recognized as a net positive.
I know a person who started juicing a bunch of kale, not because they were as misinformed as to believe any detoxifying food nonsense, but just because they wanted to get more vegetables and enjoyed the juice. They ended up getting joint pains due to oxalic acid precipitation in the joints. In this sense, kale is full of "toxins," far more than a can of Mountain Dew.

So, I would say that if one wants to "detox," go for the deep-fried foods before you go for the 8th bunch of kale leaves. Variety and proper balance of macronutrients is key.
posted by Llama-Lime at 1:37 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oyéah: You've mentioned "funny fats" a few times. What are funny fats?
posted by Juffo-Wup at 1:37 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey Kyrademon, do some reading on your own.

Uh, she has? And linked the sources that she was reading?

A diet high in fiber is shown to reduce blood fats.


I was curious, so I did some digging myself. Here's one pubmed paper The formation of short-chain fatty acids is positively associated with the blood lipid-lowering effect of lupin kernel fiber in moderately hypercholesterolemic adults.
posted by lizjohn at 1:38 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, see the preharvest staging guide offered by the makers of roundup, for grain, sunflowers, and feed crops, barley and oats.
Glyophosphate is a non food we eat a lot of.
posted by Oyéah at 1:40 PM on December 5, 2014


Oyéah: You've mentioned "funny fats" a few times. What are funny fats?

"Lipitor? I 'ardly know 'er!"
posted by kagredon at 1:41 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


In this sense, kale is full of "toxins," far more than a can of Mountain Dew.


thus far modern science has failed to find a way for me to properly and non-painfully consume/digest cruciferous veggies, so by avoiding kale and its vile kin I am actually far healthier than I would be if I had a kale-heavy or even kale-moderate diet.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:41 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Water is a toxin. Don't drink it.
posted by cellphone at 1:42 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


What are funny fats?

Chris Farley, John Candy, Ralphie May, Gabriel Iglesias, Curly Howard, ...
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:44 PM on December 5, 2014 [10 favorites]


Oh, and thanks for the set-up!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:44 PM on December 5, 2014


So non foods consumed if you must have a rundown, artificial sweeteners, flavors, funny fats, trans fats, medicines,

medicines

okay
posted by murphy slaw at 1:44 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's tocsins what really set off alarms for me.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 1:45 PM on December 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


In this sense, kale is full of "toxins," far more than a can of Mountain Dew.

The dose makes the poison.
posted by kagredon at 1:45 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's tocsins what really set off alarms for me.

who is sinning against the Table of Contents
posted by murphy slaw at 1:46 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oyéah: “With regard to artificial sweeteners being non foods, they are.”

That's nonsense. Seriously, evidence doesn't even enter into it at this point; this sentence just doesn't make any sense.

"Food" is usually taken to mean "an item customarily eaten by humans."

Artificial sweeteners are definitely food.
posted by koeselitz at 1:46 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


As a pretty simple example, eating a bunch of iron filings is not going to be better for staving off anemia than eating a steak or some spinach

The makers of many breakfast cereals would disagree with you.
posted by JHarris at 1:48 PM on December 5, 2014


i'm not sure we can make any truly educated decisions about this until we find out if anyone here has talked about food on teevee
posted by poffin boffin at 1:48 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


i'm not sure we can make any truly educated decisions about this until we find out if anyone here has talked about food on teevee

i tried that at thanksgiving but i fell off and everyone was trying to watch the movie anyway
posted by murphy slaw at 1:49 PM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


I looked this one up first, and it doesn't sound too promising to me:

Evidence shows that antioxidant supplements may increase mortality.

...

Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality.


Ignoring the whole detox angle for a moment, the idea that taking antioxidants will make you healthier AND the idea that they increase mortality may both be oversimplifications. Antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage, which is great if you're healthy since that can reduce the rate of mutations that can lead to cancer. However, if you already have cancer, then you want oxidative damage because it's part of the mechanism used to destroy cancerous and pre-cancerous cells, so you shouldn't supplement with antioxidants. What's actually best for you really depends on your current health status.

Also, apparently there are different kinds of Vitamin E that perform slightly different jobs, so if you supplement too much with one kind, you can deplete the other kind, leading to problems.

I learned this from the podcast of Dr. Rhonda Patrick's podcast, a Ph.D researcher in this field.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 1:50 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm literally drinking soda and eating Doritos right now but I'm on a plane so it doesn't count, you're moving too fast for the calories and sugar to catch up with you, FACT.
posted by The Whelk at 1:56 PM on December 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


>> "Is it really too much to ask that you link to some evidence that what you say is so is so?"
>"Hey Kyrademon, do some reading on your own."

So ... it is too much to ask. All right.

> "Try Dietery Fiber: Essential for a healthy heart- Mayo Clinic"

Well, that isn't a study and provides no references to any studies, but I guess it is something, for one of the three detoxification claims you've made. And it does indeed make the claim that "Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels".

... Something I already acknowledged as being true hours ago when I said "I am finding many, many beneficial effects of dietary fiber, including lowering blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels" because I found a study on the subject. However, as far as I have been able to tell, that's the result of a complex process where soluble fibers bind bile acids which in turn lowers blood cholesterol levels through the action of cytochrome P450-mediated oxidation. Which has nothing to do with pooping out cholesterol.

Now, if you want to argue that what I have just mentioned is a kind of detoxification process ... well, OK. But that isn't what you've been saying. You've been saying that fiber makes you poop more (absolutely true), fiber lowers cholesterol (absolutely true), therefore fiber is making you poop out cholesterol before it gets reabsorbed into your system ... which I have found no evidence for. It appears to be a different mechanism. Now, maybe what you have claimed is also true, but you have certainly offered not a shred of evidence for it yet.

And it's a very important distinction, because you didn't start by saying fibers make you poop out cholesterol, you started by referring to general toxins, then turned to cholesterol as an example when forced to clarify. But if pooping out cholesterol isn't the mechanism, then is fiber lowering other toxins the way you claim it can? Or is this a specific and restricted effect?

And even that is far more evidence than you've offered for the effects of increasing perspiration or consuming antioxidants.

You appear to think I'm -- I don't know, snooty, posturing, lazy, something? -- for asking you to back up your claims with evidence. But I even looked for evidence of what you said first, and came up empty-handed. If I'd found a whole bunch of credible studies saying "Increasing sweat decreases toxin load! Antioxidants are super-beneficial detoxicants!", I'd have said, all, right. Cool. I didn't find that. And you haven't shown me anything either.

You've made a lot of arguments in this thread against things you perceive as unhealthy woo -- juicing, cleanses, and so on. That's great.

Without evidence for the mechanisms you claim exist, you are also promoting woo.

This doesn't mean you are doing anything unhealthy. There's lots of evidence that exercise is great! Fiber is great! Antioxidants I'm far less sure about based on what I've been reading, but I doubt you're pounding down enough to harm you so it's probably peachy.

But the very things you are saying -- doing x detoxifies your body by such-and-such a method -- if they are actually baseless, then that is the very basis for the awful scam things in the linked article. "There are detoxifying things! No, we're not going to show you any studies, trrrrrust us! Buy this, buy that, it does this, it's healthy!"

When I ask you for evidence, I'm not actually saying you're wrong. But I am saying that without evidence, there is no way to tell that you are not a part of the very scams you rail against.
posted by kyrademon at 1:58 PM on December 5, 2014 [42 favorites]


Funny fats started life as liquid, but are hydrogenated to stay solid at room tmperature, these are trans fats used all over the place, hopefully in decline, and then tropical oils not typically used in the western diet and maybe not where they originate as processing is industrial, not at the site of the palm tree. There is currently a

There is a big sales push for coconut oil, solid at room tempeerature. Not a good fat to consume. Fat is supposed to be a very small fuel source in the diet. Ethanol is metabolized as a fat, so every thing else waits or stores until the liver finishes breaking it down.
posted by Oyéah at 2:00 PM on December 5, 2014


Ethanol is metabolized as a fat, so every thing else waits or stores until the liver finishes breaking it down.

Alcohol is metabolized preferentially, but not because it's "like a fat".

Your comments in this thread are a mix of true statements with incorrect explanations or obvious woo merely asserted.
posted by murphy slaw at 2:14 PM on December 5, 2014 [16 favorites]


I know I have a preference for alcohol, and that's no woo.
posted by valkane at 2:20 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


and then tropical oils not typically used in the western diet and maybe not where they originate as processing is industrial, not at the site of the palm tree

Are you saying that where you eat something changes how healthy it is on a macro level? Because it certainly seems like you are saying that.

There is a big sales push for coconut oil, solid at room tempeerature. Not a good fat to consume.

What makes it a bad fat to consume and do you have any actual proof for this assertion?

Fat is supposed to be a very small fuel source in the diet

'Supposed' according to whom exactly?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:21 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I am posting on an Android device and I am talking in general to everyone here, about subject matter I know well. The Android device makes linking difficult and I am perplexed by your personal approach, I am not your student, or working in a competing lab.

My information comes from workimg both sides of the wall between Dietetics and the health claims of various products industry. The American Heart Association Diet, discusses all of this with plenty of back up research.

I don't understand the deliberate obtusity with regard to known toxic substances in the environment that make their way into the human body, PCB's, Lead, Depleted Uranium, Cadmium, pesticides designed to attack the nervous systems of pests and also harm us. The idea the eliminative organs are not helped by choosing a diet high in fiber to lower absorption of fats, and antioxidants to block free radicals, and cut down on iinflammation, maybe for you this requires citation. Running our bodies well, using common knowledge about how they work, taken from any high school biology or health class does not require citation, do you need a citation for the common uses of the letter "F?"
posted by Oyéah at 2:23 PM on December 5, 2014


TungstenChef: “Exercise causes you sweat out ethanol, a rather well-characterized toxin, before it's metabolized into acetaldehyde which is even more toxic to the human body.”

Ethanol is not generally characterized as a toxin in toxicology. Neither is any substance, in and of itself, without reference to amount.

Toxicity has to do with the amount of a substance that can damage an organism. Water is a toxin if you take too much of it; but it clearly doesn't make sense to say that water is, in and of itself, a toxin in every case. In the same way, ethanol is not in and of itself a toxin. It's a toxin in particular doses.

Since the ethanol we sweat out "correlates strongly" with the amount of ethanol in our blood, I have a hard time believing that you could sweat out a toxic amount of ethanol.
posted by koeselitz at 2:23 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


PCB's, Lead, Depleted Uranium, Cadmium, pesticides designed to attack the nervous systems of pests and also harm us

These are very different from 'funny fats.' You've been on MeFi long enough to know that if you're making assertions, people are going to ask for the sources for these assertions. Especially when your assertions keep getting shot down by people who are providing sources.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:27 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


I am saying that getting the palm kernel oil, palm oil out of the tree isn't likely happening at the beach. Finding cheap products overseas does no correlate necessarily with human health. So food companies found the cheapest fats they could and hydrogenated them to make cheap snacks, in concert with high fructose corn syrup and it is on the shelves in bright wrappers. Not against the law, but not health inducing if it is a substitute for lunch.

Take that dreary twinkie, and the even more dreary broccoli smoothie out of here. This is spoken by a person who ate a Hostess Berry Fruit Pie, and Pizza Puffs for every lunch as a sophomore in high school, but could also buy a milk with a paper straw and a Moon Pie to go with my lunch for six cents iin first grade.

Moon Pies a food but barely.
posted by Oyéah at 2:35 PM on December 5, 2014


I am saying that getting the palm kernel oil, palm oil out of the tree isn't likely happening at the beach.

I'm trying to understand how that has anything to do with whether coconut oil is bad for you or not. So um, I'll ask again.. do you have any kind of citations for coconut oil being, quote, "Not a good fat to consume"? Or for how much fat is 'supposed' to be in one's diet? There are a million different recommendations--some diets don't care about fat, some actively suggest eating lots to replace calorie loss from carbohydrates, some advise cutting out as much as possible.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:39 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oyéah: “Moon Pies a food but barely.”

What do you mean by "food"?
posted by koeselitz at 2:39 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I would also like to see some studies showing the correlations between the nutritional value of foods and how aesthetically "dreary" someone finds them to be.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:40 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is also "subject matter I know well" and I too would like to know where Oyeah is getting this stuff from.
posted by Bacon Bit at 2:46 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


I have been asked to specify toxins. I specified some, let me just get back to my PCB riddled milkskake. You can go back to yeast yourself our aflatoxin riddled peanut butter sandwich. But really I am going to have the pie, with a high fiber nutrient rich crust of almonds, coconut, sugar and butter, with a filling of pear, sugar, home canned pear butter , and custard of organic eggs, plain nonfat greek yogurt, soy milk, cornstarch, rum and natural almond flavor, with a meringe of organic eggs,sugar and natural almond flavor. It has cured since last night. This will be my late lunch. I breakfasted on plain yogurt and a pomegranate and black tea.

The butter was left over from Thanksgiving, otherwise I never have it around. Thanksgiving was served to a ninety year old still writing a physics text, and an eighty four year old who quit smoking a couple of years ago and takes a martini every day. Unless I am in better shape than they are, I don't recommend growing that old. Neither have ever detoxed.
posted by Oyéah at 2:51 PM on December 5, 2014


Oyéah, while much of that sounds delicious, it's not really answering the question. You're making some assertions, it seems pretty obvious that you'd like us to learn from and agree with your assertions, so we are asking you to back them up. Can you provide a citation, for example, saying that coconut oil is a fat we shouldn't be eating?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:53 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel like the real woo practitioners are moving from "toxins" to "inflammation," at least based on the bullshit lunch-and-learns that my office hosts to earn points to save money on our health insurance premiums lol.
posted by misskaz at 3:04 PM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


I remember a food pyramid and sugars and fats on the top of it as the smallest portions you should take in a day. Fiber rich carbs were supposed to be the main source of energy. Now we have the plate. I can tell you this, talking to people who had just had heart attacks, I kept track one week, 75% were on the Adkins diet. Lots of vitamin K and meat.

Currently the Paleo Diet is big among active young people, The Mediterranean Diet is highly recommended for cardiac care, by the medical community. Eastern Orthodox people many near the Mediterranean climate have three meatless days a week, as an ideal.

And I am out of here, except I like to pick my own vegetables, it is December, I still have fresh tomatoes I grew, many things I canned whose origins I know, I prefer to chew my fruits and vegetables. I bake my own bread.
posted by Oyéah at 3:06 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oils that are solid at room temperature are considered less healthy than oils that remain liquid at room temperature. I will go look for a citation.
posted by Oyéah at 3:07 PM on December 5, 2014


None of the things you are saying connect to any of the other things, and half of them don't even make any sense. "Eat well to live longer but you don't want to actually live long, here's pie, it is December" are you just performance-arting this whole thread?
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:08 PM on December 5, 2014 [26 favorites]


Oh hey look I looked up the "experts" that lead said workplace lunch-and-learns and one of their nutrition programs involves 500 calories a day but it's okay because you take a "hC3" supplement? (Click the HC3 tab)
posted by misskaz at 3:09 PM on December 5, 2014


Oyéah, I really have no idea what you are trying to say anymore.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:11 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Coconut is an okay-ish oil to use, mostly advantageous for having a high smoke point. But it's low in unsaturated fats, and so the usual suspects, olive, canola, grapeseed and safflower are probably somewhat healthier sources of fats.
posted by bonehead at 3:14 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


The hC3 Trim Metabolic program is a comprehensive homeopathic diet

Well, that would explain why it works, I guess....
posted by mittens at 3:14 PM on December 5, 2014


Oh, I forgot: citation.
posted by bonehead at 3:15 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]




Oils that are solid at room temperature are considered less healthy than oils that remain liquid at room temperature. I will go look for a citation.

Oh, hey, I can actually field this one, as this is "about subject matter I know well"*. It's a bit of a simplification, but not an incorrect one. In general, fats with a higher melting point have a higher saturated fat content, because of the structure of the molecules involved (basically, saturated fats are very flexible and thus pack really well together really easily, like when you stuff a box full of sedated cats, and unsaturated fats have one or more double bonds that can't easily be rotated around and so don't pack well, like when you give each of the cats a hilarious and elaborate hat.) It's pretty uncontroversial that consumption of saturated fats correlates to risk of cardiovascular disease.

*MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE
posted by kagredon at 3:32 PM on December 5, 2014 [27 favorites]


... unsaturated fats have one or more double bonds that can't easily be rotated around and so don't pack well, like when you give each of the cats a hilarious and elaborate hat.

Great. Now I'm going to have that image in my head every time I go to sauté onions. People are going to wonder what the hell I find so amusing about mirepoix. Then dinner will burn as I try to explain...
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:39 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oyéah: "over indulgence in toxins"

There are no significant "toxins" in food, unless your food has somehow been contaminated. Everything in legal, normal food is non-toxic to you in the doses normally consumed (and several times that, even). This idea that there are "toxins" everywhere that are somehow considered legal and safe by the government (often because of some conspiracy) is what leads to fads like this, and it's part of what's now being called orthorexia, an eating disorder.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:39 PM on December 5, 2014


Them: "Wait, wait, I don't understand - are you cooking with cat oil??"

Me: "No, that wouldn't be mirepoix, that would be mewpaw!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:41 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


About twice a year I will go on an all juice diet for a week or so. This usually follows a crescendo of terrible eating and a complete loss of self discipline. I don't think know of it as a detox but as a reset. Drink thick green vegetable juice for a week and suddenly a big salad is a delicious meal, it just readjusts my expectations gets me back on track.
posted by InkaLomax at 3:43 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Web MD says though there are sure ome intriguing results, coconut oil is classed as a highly saturated fat, and therefore not a "healthy" fat to ingest at least not in quantities greater than a 7-10 percent of daily fat intake. The other reputable sources the American Dietetic Association, class coconut oil as a highly saturated fat.

We all have different genetic origins. Eighty years ago a lot of us lived and we wondering rked in the bitter cold, fat is a survical necessity. Now we burn natural gas instead of body fat, and wear insulation rather than be it, if we have that kind of metabolism. We are concerned with longevity and energy to live well right now.
We all heard ave different origins and different needs. Watch Nanook of the North, and there you see these hardy incredible Inuit, eat raw seal fat. They have to have it, to survive the cold. The lunberjack breakfast is not a favorite among fashion models, who do one kind of work, but it works for lumberjacks. Humans vary in many waya and the energy ecology for each is different with genetic tolerances, necessities of place and output, age and stresses of the time, including environment.

One size does not fit all, nor one menu, nor one particular fat ratio, nor one type of carbohydrate over another.

Some historians think Babylon grew so strong because the chick pea came into their diet, hummus is still a staple of the middle east.

Marketers will use strategies to sell product, whether it is juicers, a new source for coconut oil, coming soon soda from cashew fruits, a cast off the poorest East Indian farmers throw away, because it rots so quickly carrying some endemic fungus.

When people grow evangelistic about food, money is changing hands. When people can't go to a garden party and eat from the potluck without a food lecture, they are boring, they have an eating disorder, they feel they are only special because of how or what they eat, maybe they want to break the ice or sell a mixer, I say fill your plate with foods you like and can tolerate, and find someone to sit with you enjoy, or sit alone and s ee what comes your way. Don't let the energy vampires suck you in.
posted by Oyéah at 3:48 PM on December 5, 2014


Oyéah: "pesticides designed to attack the nervous systems of pests and also harm us"

Cite please.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:50 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oyéah: "When people grow evangelistic about food, money is changing hands."

Yes, this seems to be the case with almost everyone who professionally whines about "toxins", various non-mainstream detrimental health effects of certain foods, "non-celiac gluten sensitivity", or for that matter, electromagnetic sensitivity, chemtrails, or morgellons. They all write books and live off of lectures and product endorsements.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:53 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cite please.

I think Oyéah's referring to organophosphates, which are indeed neurotoxic to both insects and humans.
posted by kagredon at 4:00 PM on December 5, 2014


I have a friend big into the Woo who spent over a grand on a mat containing amethyst crystals. Laying on the mat is supposed to pull toxins out of your body.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


coming soon soda from cashew fruits, a cast off the poorest East Indian farmers throw away, because it rots so quickly carrying some endemic fungus.

"For some people, the real value is hidden in the cashew apple, to the point where some farmers focus their attention on the income-generating potential of the cashew apple over the nut. Processing the cashew apple is widely practiced ... because there is a ready market for the products. The apple can be pressed for its juice. In no time at all the juice ferments and is processed into wine or distilled into a liquor. The apple pulp can also be used to make candies, cakes, jellies and jams, or even dried and pounded into a couscous. Even the remaining pulp can be dried and used for animal feed; some are even looking to convert it into energy as biofuel. Each different product has a monetary value where there had been none before." (African Cashew Alliance)
posted by mittens at 4:13 PM on December 5, 2014


Oyéah, the breadth, variety and the authority you claim is staggering. You toss in four or five completely unrelated claims in a single paragraph, covering geography, history, genetics, diet, work habits, marketing, and food boredom. You claim an authority from high school biology texts and health classes unlike any the rest of us appear to have taken. (Being a biochemist, I have read a few biology texts, so i'm afraid i'm go to lay claim to some modicum of expertise here).
posted by garglebreath at 4:18 PM on December 5, 2014 [12 favorites]


aside from the lack of facts and science in this cleanse/anti-toxin health craze, the worst part about it is that it's basically a glorified crash diet. Most people I know who partake in "cleanses" are young women with body image issues and/or a history of eating disorders. it is definitely not a healthy behavior.
posted by emd3737 at 4:20 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Heck- I totally believe that partially hydrogenated tropical oils are bad for you.


That's why I only fry my potatoes in pure duck fat.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:32 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Back in my drinking days I once passed an evening with two old Irish (like from Dublin) dudes in a pretty dive-y place in Queens. One of the dudes was decidedly more pissed than either me or his buddy and when he shoved off and wobbled his way to the door his pal nudged me and said "Watch this buck..." He made it out the door and stumbled, bounced off a parked car and slid to the ground. As we gathered ourselves to go render drunk first aid the clearly wiser and less drunk of the two said to me "It's the fresh air, it's mortal, get's em every time. He's always fine till he hits the air."

"you got that on good authority?"

He laid his hand on my shoulder and gestured around to take in the whole of the bar and perhaps 2/3rds of the universe and said "The best authority buck, the best... Ipso fatso..."
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:36 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Gin has a lot of herbs and things and has more nutrients, and if you get a nice cucumber-y one it will play beautifully with the carrots.

A quick stop at the grocery on the way home to procure some product (Bolt house farms 100% carrot) and LN and I were set to try this out. All of the below were 4:1 juice to liquor. We cleared palates between shots with white olive and sea salt toasts.

Carrot alone: sweet, kind of meh.
Carrot and vodka: the vodka elevates the carrot flavour. If possible, this tastes more like carrots than the straight juice itself. Or maybe just what carrots should taste like.
Carrot and gin (Hendrick's) : surprisingly this accentuated the bitter flavours and the herbals dominated. Seemed unbalanced to our palates.
Carrot and rum (kraken) : too much, too sweet.
Carrot and white vermouth (martini) : again a surprise, a very well balanced rounded taste. Probably our favourite.

Rubbed dill (in gin) didn't add much. Crushed coriander pods in vodka was interesting. I want to try soaking some in vodka overnight to see where this could go.
posted by bonehead at 4:43 PM on December 5, 2014 [27 favorites]


bonehead, you're doing God's work.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:47 PM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


(this is, for me as a chemist, one of the really frustrating things about chemophobia--there are serious, evidence-based concerns about the effects of organophosphates both on agricultural workers who are exposed to them and to the consumer, and while regulation here has gone in a good direction over the last decade, this is very much not the case in many places overseas. But the amount of woo out there about "toxins" makes it really hard for a skeptical lay person to find reliable information.)
posted by kagredon at 4:52 PM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


I also suggested some other classic carrot combinations. A pinch of curry powder as a garnish. A mix of tomato juice, carrot juice and a pinch of garlic powder. Carrot and pineapple with a bit of nutmeg. The question is what boozeahol goes with those combos!
posted by LN at 4:54 PM on December 5, 2014


In short, additional research is necessary to pursue these exciting new avenues. Though this pilot study has yielded some intriguing results, we've switched to martinis now to not waste vermouth. This will have to wait for another day.
posted by bonehead at 5:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'll be right over, bonehead. Soon as I finish my scurvy-prevention dose (rye, lime juice, ginger simple syrup, splash of Campari and cynar).
posted by rtha at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


Does Bloody Mary mix count as "juice"?
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Carrot and pineapple with a bit of nutmeg. The question is what boozeahol goes with those combos!

Oh I'm thinking rum for this one. brb doing science.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 5:08 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oils that are solid at room temperature are considered less healthy than oils that remain liquid at room temperature.

What if your room is really warm?
posted by 2N2222 at 5:48 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


...but you can have all the C you want with no worries.
Recent studies have shown mega-doses of Vitamin C can metabolize into oxalates, increasing urinary oxalate excretion, and promoting urinary stone formation. Cite, Cite
I know a person who started juicing a bunch of kale...They ended up getting joint pains due to oxalic acid precipitation in the joints. In this sense, kale is full of "toxins," far more than a can of Mountain Dew.
As a chronic calcium oxalate stone former, who has experienced significant remission as a result of a low oxalate diet, I would drink 16 oz of coconut oil before I would even consider drinking 16 oz of oxalate-rich kale juice.
posted by zakur at 5:54 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, man, I used to live with someone who was into all of this, including the whole Hulda Clark thing. Food avoidance to the max. Tried to get me into it. I did eat vegetarian for a while, which is not a bad thing, but the whole swallowing lemon juice with olive oil thing (liver cleanse), nope. Nope. Nope.

And any time I washed my hands in a public rest room, he would sniff and tell me I was making him allergic. His mother got to the point where she wouldn't eat anything but cottage cheese and canned tomatoes from her garden, because she could smell the toxins in food. She weighed about 90 lbs. I think he weighed 140 and he was almost 6 foot.

The thing is, it would change with him, depending on the situation. As it does with anyone who is into the detox thing. This week it's chia, next week it's gluten, then it's rice. When I was a kid, soy was all the rage. My Dad had a big jar of the powder in the cupboard (and that's where it stayed).

I like to eat. I like to drink. I eat dairy, meat, veg and carbs. I don't eat all of those every day. Some days I eat more of one and some days I eat more of another. Last night was pasta primavera with zucchini and asparagus. Tonight was chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, shallot, garlic, bacon and a schmear of goat cheese. Some days I drink wine, some days I don't. Once in a while I eat takeout. The worst I ever do is not exercise. But I am pretty sure there is no wonder drug that will detox my body and health habits. Maybe NAC? Or Niacin for cholesterol?

But I am sure as heck not buying things to detox my body or not letting someone put something up my poop chute unless it is for a colonoscopy. Which is not fun, but I think getting one of those done is the best investment in your future health you can buy. My husband had colon cancer and they caught it in time so do it. Forget detoxing, get your colon looked at. I had polyps and now I am clean for a few years, so yay! I can poop all I want! Maybe I need more fiber but as for the rest of it, it's all a toss up in my experience. I eat meat and veggies and try to not eat too much fatty stuff but I go in spurts and then back off. Maybe they can examine the detox people in a big study or something, but my folks ate regular meals and they both lived long lives, despite the Hamburger Helper (which I don't eat).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:31 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Obviously if you consume kale smoothies, protein smoothies, etc., you want to avoid the experience of eating. Bingo, ingest stuff that already resembles the contents of the human stomach. Where's Optimus Chyme, he should be posting here for the eponysteria.

As for why you might want to avoid the experience of actually eating food, we won't go there.
posted by bad grammar at 6:33 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


This reminded me of those Evercleanse ads that were all over the radio a few years ago. claiming that it would get rid of the "10-25 pounds of waste that's trapped in your colon walls like spackle or paste." (URL name potentially NSFW but content is safe)

Also obligatory.
posted by SisterHavana at 6:56 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


...but I go in spurts and then back off.

eat moar fiber!

(sorry)
posted by futz at 7:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


"10-25 pounds of waste that's trapped in your colon walls like spackle or paste."

I have watched the video feed from a camera snaked up into my colon and can attest that there was barely a speck of stuff in there and certainly not wall-spackle.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:20 PM on December 5, 2014


Where's Optimus Chyme

Optimus Chyme died...
ten years ago...
on this very night
posted by Greg Nog at 7:31 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.


I'M TRYING. SO HARD.
posted by herrdoktor at 7:40 PM on December 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'M TRYING. SO HARD.


Again- fiber.


And careful, son- you'll blow out your o-ring.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:52 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


I should not have said spurts, LOL. And I guess I should eat more fiber. The one time I tried dieter's tea, from the Chinese store, OMG, a poop a mile long. The main ingredient was psyllium husk. If you ever want to look at your poop, drink that.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:26 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm going through a breakup that feels quite like a punch in the face so kale-cucumber-spinach smoothies are all I can get down, so...health food I guess. I mean people don't do everything just cuz they're oh so dumb and on a bandwagon. It's good to know that stuff works.

Note: no faces were actually punched in this scenario.
posted by zutalors! at 9:16 PM on December 5, 2014


Well, no, the detox juices don't "do" anything.

I mean, if that's what you feel like having for food, sure. They're no better or worse than anything else you could eat. But, you know, they're just juice. Just calories. You're not eating healthier by choosing a kale smoothie over something else.

The problem is when people think "detoxing" is an actual thing. That's the dumb bandwagon. Not the part where some people just genuinely would prefer to drink spinach juice.
posted by Sara C. at 9:25 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


> You're not eating healthier by choosing a kale smoothie over something else.

Plenty of people drink kale smoothies and the like without the intention "cleanisng", it's simply because they're averse to leafy greens otherwise, and cutting them with fruit juice makes it bearable.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 9:45 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


The idea that consuming food reduced to liquid contents creates added "cleansing" abilities has a lot of symbolism for people, and goes right back to infantile associations with food and poop. This kind of magical thinking has been around for a long time - the Victorians called it Fletcherism.
posted by meehawl at 9:55 PM on December 5, 2014


I had never encountered the British spelling of feces before, and now I am determined to start a band called Small Faeces.
posted by The World Famous at 10:20 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


it's simply because they're averse to leafy greens otherwise, and cutting them with fruit juice makes it bearable.

This is probably an even worse reason to rely on those fruit/veggie juice smoothies, actually, since most of the ones I've tried have very little in the way of actual vegetables. And they're absolutely packed with sugar.

I guess having a Naked Juice or Bolthouse Farms thing or whatever is better than a Twinkie washed down with Mountain Dew*, but it's not really better than having a glass of plain fruit juice or some other (even nominally) nutritious snack.

*And, again, if you're having that just because it's what you feel like eating right now, that's great and perfectly valid. Just as it would be valid to have a Twinkie and Mountain Dew.
posted by Sara C. at 10:25 PM on December 5, 2014


I'm not talking about bottled products, I was referring to people with juicers.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 11:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


And you should temper all your armchair advice.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 11:03 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I keep coming back to this thread in hopes of being able to articulate what makes me so uncomfortable about it. I think it's that there's one shade of holier than thou being pitted against another and no one's talked about what it's like to live between these two extremes when you have an eating disorder and you're tired of both sides policing your body, your diet, and your nutritional wellbeing.

I'm a lifelong vegetarian. I'm also a lifelong victim of pretty vicious and snide bullying from people who think vegetarianism is lazy, for suckers, for hipsters, for fools, etc. I spent a lot of my childhood being shamed and ostracized by peers and adults alike for having a lunchbox full of veggies and fruits and, if I was super lucky, a fresh smoothie or juice of both put together. Every fucking person around me had an opinion about my diet and they never let up about it, harassing me into oblivion until I finally stopped eating altogether because everyone had this shitty attitude about the right food. Someone up thread mentioned being obsessed with eating "correctly". Sometimes that has to do with eating super healthy, but sometimes it also manifests as being obsessed with only eating foods that are socially acceptable. My brain is constantly fighting between the two, and most of the time I just opt not to eat at all because I still fear censure about my eating habits as an adult, because people still insist on harassing me even though what I eat and why is nobody's business but mine.

I agree that snake oil salesmen who profit off of wonder foods and magic bullets and all that need to be tarred and feathered. But have some compassion for those of us still trying to just eat, and eat so that our bodies have real nutrients available to them. If juicing helps us get there, please don't judge us for that. If we say we're doing a cleanse, we may just be trying to use the verbiage that seems socially acceptable now that it's trendy to be "healthy", because we hope it will get others to leave us alone. I personally feel so much better when I juice, but the mockery that is made of those like me is a mental deterrent that triggers my ED again and again.

We should not feel shame about what we like or need to eat. That is what really matters here. The jokes are funny, but they're still a form of shaming and policing that can be damaging to those of us who find eating very stressful.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:34 PM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


I am saying that getting the palm kernel oil, palm oil out of the tree isn't likely happening at the beach.

There was a lot of confusion above, at least to me, between coconut oil and palm oil. But if you think palm oil has anything neceassarily to do with the beach, you're quite mistaken. I thought this was well known, given the vast areas of rainforest in asia destroyed to make way for the palms...
posted by Jimbob at 11:36 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


From the article:

Some colon-cleansing tablets contain a polymerising agent that turns your faeces into something like a plastic, so that when a massive rubbery poo snake slithers into your toilet you can stare back at it and feel vindicated in your purchase.

When I was about 23, one of my old high school friends got seriously, seriously, into high colonics, and colon-oriented spa retreats, and the like. At one point, she called to tell me that after a particularly, ehm, stirring intestinal event, she'd secreted "eight feet of mucus ropes," and that "They were really strong, too. You could barely pull them apart with your hands."

And that has haunted me, horribly, for nearly twenty years. Thank every last god for this article, because now I understand that they probably fed her some kind of poo polymerization agent when she was at Colon Camp and that she didn't have, like, the grotesque, elephantine hyphae of some effed-up, extragalactic fungus slithering through her bowels.

...You could barely pull them apart with your hands...

Though, actually, on reflection, I'm still pretty frickin' haunted. Ehhhch.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:32 AM on December 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


We should not feel shame about what we like or need to eat. That is what really matters here.

I have plugged it several times in this thread, but please read In Defense of Food. It goes into a lot of what you're getting at. There is an American (possibly generalized to the Anglophone world at this point) attitude that makes diet a moral issue, and Pollan dissects it and its origins. The attitudes you have gotten about your vegetarianism is similar. I could not be a vegetarian, but I respect people who are (I have a friend who lost well over 100 pounds by becoming vegetarian, and he is now healthier than me), and people who moralize or mock you for it are ridiculous. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It's an incredibly simple mantra, open to many different diets, that I think leads to pretty good outcomes. It does tie into the "non-food" discussion above, which can tend toward moralization, but Pollan's definition of "non-food" is "anything your great-grandmother wouldn't have recognized as food." (Although this doesn't deal with, for example, the pseudobread that now populates the bread aisle.)
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:03 AM on December 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is probably an even worse reason to rely on those fruit/veggie juice smoothies, actually, since most of the ones I've tried have very little in the way of actual vegetables. And they're absolutely packed with sugar.

Most people I know who are into the juices/smoothies thing make their own. If your homemade kale/broccoli smoothie is packed with sugar, something has gone wrong with the plan.

I've been following this thread with great amusement. I worked in a health food store for a while in college, and my husband managed a vitamin and supplement shop for seven years. It got the bills paid. Anyway, the stories we could tell you about the people who would come in bellyaching about "toxins", and the people who chose their supplements and even their protein shake powders by "resistance" (where they would press a package to their chest, stick the other arm out, and have someone pull down on it, don't ask me what the fuck that all meant), and the crop of special snowflakes that arrived every day with some new method for "detoxing" and "cleansing". Lawdy.

It's all bullshit. So is any prescriptivist attitude towards food. Eat a balanced diet. Try to avoid overly processed things. Don't fret if you have a pig out once in a while. Vitamins are fine as a way to fill in what you might not get from your food - they won't meet all your nutritional needs, but they're a fine extra support method. If a juice fast now and then makes you feel better, go for it. The benefit is psychological, and that's OK, it's important to feel good mentally, too!
posted by MissySedai at 7:22 AM on December 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


Most people I know who are into the juices/smoothies thing make their own. If your homemade kale/broccoli smoothie is packed with sugar, something has gone wrong with the plan.

Yup, agreed. I make juices/smoothies at home and the sugars in them become from the ingredients (fruit, veg, hemp/flax seeds, sometimes cocoa nibs). I don't add anything else (except occasionally Vega protein powder if I'm doing a particularly strenuous workout that week). I understand that the majority of people poking fun at people drinking them are probably folks who do buy at Jamba Juice or at the grocery, which yeah, those suckers are loaded with non-fruit sugars.

Anyway, nthing MissySedai's and sonic meat machine's attitudes towards food/diet, no matter if you're an omni or a veggie.
posted by Kitteh at 7:51 AM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Palmcorder, I sure as hell hope that there's some truth to that "plasticizing" theory because the thought of people deliberately getting rid of the mucus from their intestines is horrifying - seriously, I got a feeling it's kind of supposed to be there.

Seriously, is there a doctor that can speak to that? Don't the intestines need there to be some mucus up in there to, well, WORK?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:54 AM on December 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Though, actually, on reflection, I'm still pretty frickin' haunted. Ehhhch.

Well, now that's two of us.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:00 AM on December 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Another vote here for Pollan's In Defence of Food. He describes the wide variety of food /diets around the world that are keeping people healthy enough to enjoy their lives. He advocates for a simple approach and being kind to yourself and others, and taking pleasure in the aspects of food that are nothing to do with its nutrients - colour, smell, texture, sharing with people you love. It's evidence-based but looking at the big picture, not the grams of micro-nutrients.
posted by harriet vane at 8:12 AM on December 6, 2014


I can't find this now but I read somewhere, I think on MeFi, a medical person's takedown of colon cleansing regimes. Specifically looking at the claim about how after days of eating nothing all this stuff comes out of your GI tract and that's the toxins. He drily notes that material was probably the lining of your intestines sloughing off after you'd killed it with your "health regime". Ring any bells?

While we're recommending books I'll once again plug Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taube. The book moves to a conclusion in support of low-carb diets, but that's not the interesting part. The interesting part is his 300+ pages looking at the history of dietary science, particularly in the US. How little scientists really know and how politics has so distorted the discussion. It's a great bit of science journalism and the general lessons are applicable to other problematic topics like climate change, vaccination, etc.
posted by Nelson at 8:27 AM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don't fret if you have a pig out once in a while.

But if you dress it up and take it to the movies, people will look at you funny.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:00 PM on December 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


I don't believe in detox at all, but I really enjoy my juicers. I use raw juices in real food and as many above have suggested, they can be good for cocktails.
My favorite juice is red beets with ginger and a hint of apple.
My favorite use of raw juice is in Carême's recipe for Bortsch, from the Larousse. OK I really, really like red beets.

A juicer is a fine thing, and I recommend it for reasons of great taste.

I have totally given up on understanding the relation between food and health, so I won't bother with that..
posted by mumimor at 3:15 PM on December 6, 2014


I can't find this now but I read somewhere, I think on MeFi, a medical person's takedown of colon cleansing regimes. Specifically looking at the claim about how after days of eating nothing all this stuff comes out of your GI tract and that's the toxins. He drily notes that material was probably the lining of your intestines sloughing off after you'd killed it with your "health regime". Ring any bells?

this is the comment you are looking for
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:23 PM on December 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Thank you! Sometimes the fecal fear you monger isn't really feckless.
posted by Nelson at 5:02 PM on December 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Misskaz: I feel like the real woo practitioners are moving from "toxins" to "inflammation," at least based on the bullshit lunch-and-learns that my office hosts to earn points to save money on our health insurance premiums lol.

If there was some sort of trending terms chart for woo-y types, this one would be on there.

I know quite a few younger, at least for this kind of stuff, people who are just starting to hop on that train as something they mention. "Anti inflammatory diets" are the new gluten free. The artisanal juice thing is in its prime right now, but that's the next one coming up over the horizon.

What bugs me is i feel like each new trend inserts more and more pseudoscience, and official sounding actual scientific terminology every time. It's like the waves crest a bit higher each tide. The co-opting of language bugs me almost as much as it does with gamergators and social justice terminology.

What really gets me though is how many smart, educated young people get swept up in this kind of thing. People who call bullshit on all manner of other things that well, are, directly fall for this and defend it.

Ugh.
posted by emptythought at 8:27 PM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Anti inflammatory diets" are the new gluten free.

I want to gather these fuckers together and kick their asses up over their heads. If I had to count the number of them who have earnestly explained to me that my DIET is the cause of my RA...well, I'd run out of sanity.

So. Much. Hate.
posted by MissySedai at 10:08 PM on December 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


One of my tween-aged cousins has RA, and reflecting on it she's going to be in high school and possibly college during what will probably be the height of that whole "anti inflammatory" thing when it hits its stride.

I kinda weep for how much bullshit she's going to have to hear about how it would it ~totally~ go away if she just ate the right stuff.

Because you know what the "right stuff" is will change like every couple months, too.
posted by emptythought at 1:00 AM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sawbones did a good overview of the history of vitamins as wonder-cure, as well as some current research on them
posted by PussKillian at 11:18 AM on December 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


This thread is everything simply due to my discovery of Sawbones. Thanks!
posted by Sara C. at 2:08 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Say whatever you like about whatever food or pill or enema or ???, the core of the article is that there is no way you can improve on the body's built-in methods of detoxification, built on millemillennia of evolutionary tinkering with both intra- and extracellular regulation of free radicals and xenomolecules. For example, antioxidants. The amount of antioxidants in your cells is highly regulated at the cellular level, because a delicate balance is necessary for cellular functioning. And supplementing with antioxidants have not shown to be helpful in combatting either carcinogenesis or atherosclerosis. The body also has intricate, highly regulated mechanisms for removing exogenous toxicants ingested, inhaled, or absorbed from the environment. Outside of radical things like chelation, there are no procedures to "detoxify" from ambient levels of pesticides, VOCs, organic and inorganic metals, or airborne particulates.

So drink your juice and your smoothies, take your nutritional supplements, administer your enemas, and what not, but don't think they are somehow going to remove toxicants from your body. The important thing is to eat lots of fruits and veggies but not too many calories, exercise, don't smoke, drink in moderation, get enough sleep, and you'll do as well as your genes and environment will allow.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:11 AM on December 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


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