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Dr. Oz warns about toxic metals in organic food: Detox diets debated

Learn about toxic metals in food.
Photo by Larry Busacca

Think that you're practicing smart food safety when you buy organic foods? On his July 17 talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz featured the potential hazards that lurk in some of the most popular organic foods. Plus: Learn about detoxifying weight loss diets.

Dr. Oz introduced an activist Mike Adams who revealed the filthy facts about healthy foods. Adams went through his own battle with his weight until he vowed to take control his diet and health.

Now Adams hopes to help others by unveiling what's really in some products viewed as "health foods." The following foods and supplements contain potentially dangerous metals: Rice protein powders, cacao and ginkgo biloba supplements. Although those supplements often are advertised as good for the brain, some manufacturers do not screen for lead.

Adams said he is particularly infuriated that the FDA does not scrutinize imported foods and supplements from China. Instead, the burden is on the consumer to check and see which companies are testing for heavy metals.

Earlier this year, Dr. Oz created a two-week rapid weight loss plan that features rice protein powder. But with the new information about the lead in some brands of rice protein powder, he suggests using a different option. Safer types of protein powder include ones made with hemp, whey, nuts and seeds.

What can you do to detoxify your body? Dr. Oz says some foods have been shown to help, including strawberries, almonds, and cauliflower. In addition, when it comes to weight loss, Dr. Oz has featured plans designed to detoxify and cleanse your body while boosting your weight loss.

For example, Dr. Oz recently featured Dr. Mark Hyman. Dr. Hyman created a 10-day detox diet that is designed to boost weight loss while helping you kick addictions to foods such as sugar and white flour.

He also devoted a show to Dr. Junger's "Clean" detox diet and cleansing that featured Gwyneth Paltrow. Her physician, Dr. Junger, says that his detoxifying diet purifies your body while helping you shed pounds.

But not everyone believes in strict detox diets and cleansing diets. Candace Cameron Bure was feeling fired up about her decision to go on a detox weight loss diet, so she posted her excitement on Facebook. She found herself under fire as her fans attacked her plan, reported E News on July 16.

The brouhaha began when Candace cheerfully posted that she was "excited to kick off a 5 day cleanse" after a "very indulgent week in Napa." After fans responded with criticism, she attempted to appease them.

"After reading your comments, let me expand! I'm excited to start my 5 day cleanse not to lose weight but to get my body back on track, ridding all the toxins and unhealthy stuff I've put in it the last few months," she tried to explain. And she blamed "Dancing with the Stars" for her problems.

"Since being off Dancing With The Stars, my body has struggled to find its balance after having danced up to 8 hours a day and eating so clean," said Candace.

But while "eating so clean" caused problems for Candace when she returned to her normal diet, most health experts advocate a clean eating approach. It's typically defined as one that avoids processed foods, sugar and white flour and highlights "real food" such as fruit, vegetables, fish and healthy fats such as nuts and avocado.

Yet constantly setting a goal of clean eating caused a different kind of problem for one young woman recently. She became so obsessed with what she viewed as a healthy diet that it shifted to an eating disorder, reported People magazine on July 15.

Known as the "blonde vegan" for her upbeat posts on plant-based meals, Jordan Younger was secretly miserable. "Food was not enjoyable anymore," recalls the 23-year-old. "I was spending the entire day obsessing about eating only vegetables, green juices, fruits and occasionally nuts and grains."

Her focus on food became overwhelming. "I restricted myself from certain foods – even some that fell under the vegan umbrella – because they were not 100 percent clean or 100 percent raw. I was following thousands of rules in my head that were making me sick," admitted Younger.

She's since renamed her blog and changed her focus. And she has a message for others: "I think labels – as far as diet choices – are very, very dangerous. I'm a prime example of that."

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