You’ve probably heard of a juice cleanse, but what about a taco cleanse? Is it really possible to lose weight and remove “toxins” from your body by eating tacos for every meal, for 30 days straight?
Probably not—but that’s not really the point of the book The Taco Cleanse. Written by Wes Allison, Stephanie Bogdanich, Molly R. Frisinger, and Jessica Morris—four self-proclaimed “taco scientists”—the book is actually a collection of recipes for a wide range of vegan tacos. The authors do recommend eating tacos every day, but they do so in a tongue-in-cheek way, suggesting that their cleanse will “bring all of your levels to new heights and increase your nutrimatter content a thousandfold.”
The Taco Cleanse Book Cover
Their language parodies some of the rhetoric surrounding popular cleanse or detox diets, which involve eating one type of food (or liquid) for a set period of time in order to lose weight and detoxify the body. While these diets may help participants lose weight by reducing their daily caloric intake, there is no scientific evidence that cleanses offer long-term health benefits.
Cleanses may also have negative short-term effects because they cut out vital nutrients that the body needs. The lack of fiber in a juice cleanse, for example, can affect the functioning of the large intestine and leave people feeling like they have the stomach flu. People on a liquid-only cleanse may also experience fatigue, lightheadedness, headache, diarrhea, and bad breath.
Nutritionists recommend that people who want to eat healthier try to stick to a well-rounded, largely plant-based diet rather than attempting a cleanse or detox diet. Examples of healthy foods to incorporate into daily meals include leafy greens, fruit, nuts, beans, and whole grains.
Tips to Make Tacos Healthier
But what if you want to be healthy and have your tacos, too? While it’s probably not a good idea to eat tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, there are things you can do to make your tacos healthier when you do have them. Try these tips:
• Use corn tortillas rather than flour ones.
• Eliminate the tortilla completely by wrapping taco ingredients in a lettuce leaf.
• If you normally eat ground beef tacos, switch to tacos with ground turkey or strips of grilled chicken, both of which are lower in saturated fat.
• Use dried herbs and spices to make your own taco seasoning rather than buying pre-packaged taco seasoning (which can be very high in sodium).
• If you normally add iceberg lettuce to your tacos, switch to Romaine (which has more iron and vitamin A).
Remember: eating a balanced diet with minimal processed foods can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid diet-related health complications. For additional help losing weight in a healthy way, consider consulting a doctor for medical weight loss.