Foods to Avoid When Detoxing or Cleansing

Detoxing can be a tricky road to navigate; it seems like one wrong move can set you back days or even weeks. There are a good amount of foods out there that you’ll want to eat while going through a detox. There are just as many, if not more, foods to avoid when detoxing. Some of these foods seem obvious to avoid, but others don’t seem problematic at all, and, chances are, they are part of your daily diet. 

Diet and Detox

Your diet can make or break your detox. Some diets out there are specifically designed to detox in a short amount of time, focusing on cleansing foods like vegetable-rich soups. At the same time, people on tight deadlines may opt for detox kits without considering their diet. Whatever approach you plan to take when you cleanse, you should be careful what you eat, as certain foods can actually inhibit your detox process.

Foods to Avoid When Detoxing

Let’s get into the worst foods to eat when going through a detox and why they’re so harmful.


Some people may detox from alcohol specifically, as alcohol is a toxin itself, but anyone who is going through a cleanse should avoid this substance. It slows the detox process and diminishes detoxifying nutrients in your body. Additionally, one of the most important things when detoxing is staying hydrated, and alcohol is very dehydrating. It will worsen whatever withdrawal symptoms you are having.


Another substance that people may be directly detoxing from, caffeine, should be avoided while cleaning your system of any toxins. Like alcohol, caffeine itself is a toxin; it stimulates the brain and nervous system. As a stimulant, caffeine can mess with your detox process by increasing your toxin levels. While tea is a great detox beverage, make sure you’re only sipping on caffeine-free blends.  


Though they don’t always taste like it, dairy products are acidic. Among many issues, this means that consuming dairy inhibits cell function in your body, exactly what you don’t want when you’re detoxing!


Meat can clog your bowels, which are one of the main exits for the toxins in your body, and lead to slowed digestion. When your digestive system is slowed down, your body can’t break down the toxins as quickly as you would like, causing a much slower detox. If going vegetarian isn’t an option even for a few detox days, then be sure to eat meats that are extra lean.

Processed Foods 

Processed foods typically contain artificial chemicals, toxins in and of themselves, creating a higher level of toxins in your body. As a secondary issue, processed foods typically also contain absurd amounts of salt and sugar, which are other substances you want to avoid during your detox.   


Sugar is one of those substances that people may consider detoxing from, but you should avoid it even if it isn’t the focal point of your detox. Sugar slows your detox process because it diminishes the good bacteria that aid digestion. Further, sugar can enhance some of the withdrawal symptoms, like brain fog, irritability, and fatigue; once you crash from that sugar rush, of course.

Wheat/ Gluten 

Wheat is terrible for the lining of your intestines which, when diminished, hold onto significantly fewer nutrients for your body than it would otherwise. Gluten is incredibly irritating to the gut, causing constipation, the enemy of a detox! As we mentioned earlier, many of your body’s toxins exit through your bowel.

Although you may be intending on detoxing from other substances than those mentioned above, toxins from these foods to avoid when detoxing will be cleansed as well. Your body’s natural detoxification systems will be more effective, and you’ll finish your cleanse feeling better than ever.