Detox diets, designed to flush out unhealthy toxins in your body, may inadvertently rid your body of healthy bacteria as well. And many detox plans restrict your consumption to eating fruit and vegetable juices, depriving you of nutrients needed for optimal balance. The probiotics, calcium and protein in natural yogurt may add health benefits to a detox diet, including potentially better weight loss results.
You could greatly improve the nutritional value of a juice detox diet by including yogurt. An 8-ounce serving of plain, low-fat yogurt contains 1,154 calories, 12.9 grams of protein and 448.4 milligrams of calcium. To stay healthy, you need about 50 g of protein a day, according to Madelyn Fernstrom, director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. You need from 800 to 1,500 mg daily to maintain proper bone health. If you added four servings of yogurt to a juice detox diet, you would meet your needs for dairy and protein. Such a diet would lack the six servings of grains that the United States Department of Agriculture recommends you include in your daily diet.
Long-Term Detox Plan
If you're looking for a nutritionally balanced, long-term detox plan that includes yogurt, the Oriental detox plan might appeal to you. It is a 12-month plan that requires you to consume at least 8 cups of water daily and unmeasured amounts of natural yogurt, fruit, fruit juice, vegetables, beans and lentils, tofu and Quorn, oats, potatoes, brown rice, rye crackers, rice cakes and oatcakes, fresh fish, unsalted nuts, unsalted seeds, plain unsalted popcorn, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and natural spices, including garlic. You do not eat red meat or poultry, dairy products except for the yogurt, chocolate, processed foods, pre-packaged meals, sugar or alcohol, according to OrientalDetox.com.
One of the reasons for including natural yogurt as part of a detoxification is the probiotics they contain. Probiotics are "friendly bacteria" similar to those that grow naturally in your gut. Probiotics may aid in digestion while preventing and treating some illnesses. Probiotics may also reduce urinary tract infections and boost your immune system. But the type and benefits of probiotics vary from product to product, and too little evidence exists to support the health benefits of any particular yogurt, says Wayne Miller, an associate scientist at the Canadian Research and Development Center for Probiotics.
Unsupported Yogurt Health Claims
Lack of scientific proof that probiotics in yogurt make you healthier caught up with Dannon, the makers of Activia and DanActive products. The United States government sued the yogurt giant, saying it could not back up claims that probiotics in their products could aid digestion, boost brain development and bolster your immune system. In settling the suit, Dannon admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to change its labels and set up a $35 million fund to reimburse customers who purchased Activia and DanActive yogurt because of perceived health benefits, as reported in September 2009 on theGlobeandMail.com website.
Yogurt Weight Loss Study
Including yogurt in a detox diet may help you lose weight. Michael Zemel led a study at the University of Tennessee to test the effects of yogurt on weight loss. In his study, all participants ate a calorie-restricted diet. Half of the participants ate 1,100 mg of calcium, including three servings of yogurt daily for 12 weeks. The other half ate 500 mg of calcium each day. At the end of the 12-week trial, the group with the higher calcium consumption lost 22 percent more weight and 61 percent more body fat than the group whose diets included lower amounts.