Cleanse vs. Detox: What’s the Difference?

No doubt, you’ve heard of juice cleanses, sugar cleanses, and detox diets.And if you’ve ever tried to break a weight-loss plateau, beat the bloat, or get back on track after a little too much mac and cheese, someone has probably suggested doing a body cleanse or detox diet (also known as a detox cleanse) to get things going again.

Cleansing and detoxing get a ton of hype — do a Google search for “detox” or “cleanse” and you’ll get millions of results.

When it comes to body cleanses and detoxes, the amount of info out there is overwhelming. In fact, it can affect your health and nutrition, so it’s important to dig deeper to figure out the truth behind the hype.

There are key differences between a cleanse and a detox diet, but people tend to use the two terms interchangeably, which makes things even more confusing. So what’s the difference between a cleanse and a detox?Read on to find out.

What Are Toxins?

When people talk about body cleanses or detox diets, they talk about the dangers of “toxins” a lot, but usually in a very non-specific way: “Toxins are all around us! Your body is filled with toxins that need to be flushed out!” But what exactly are these “toxins”?

Toxins are potentially harmful substances we come into contact with every day — pesticides on your produce, pollutants in the air, unpronounceable ingredients in processed food, or heavy metals like mercury and arsenic in the soil, to name just a few.

You’ve probably also heard that foods like gluten, dairy, and refined sugar are “toxic” — but unless you have an allergy or intolerance, you don’t have to swear off bread forever.

While anything can be toxic if you consume too much of it, the occasional handful of cookies won’t turn you into a biohazard.

But in our modern world, many of us are constantly bombarded by toxins in the air, in food, in our cleaning products, everywhere — and those toxins can add up.