The hypotoxic diet aims to eliminate compounds that are toxic or harmful to the body, which could be responsible for chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or celiac disease, but also osteoarthritis and colitis.
Developed by Dr. Seignalet, it recommends returning to the hunter-gatherer diet of our ancestors, eliminating all foods containing milk proteins and gluten, and observing a cooking temperature of less than 110°C. The recommended consumption of raw virgin oils and plants from organic farming allows us to avoid decried trans fatty acids and pesticides that are harmful to health.
To date, no scientific studies have proven that the hypotoxic diet is effective, but many patients have observed a better well-being with the disappearance of the symptoms of their disease.
Like any restrictive diet, it can lead to deficiencies and is therefore not recommended for children, pregnant women and the elderly.
Hypotoxic diet: what is it?
The hypotoxic diet was invented by the French biologist and physician Jean Seignalet, a specialist in immunity, who observed the impact of diet on the evolution of three types of diseases :
- autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. ;
- illnesses related to the failure to dispose of waste and toxic products such as Crohn’s disease, chronic sinusitis, asthma, colitis, etc. ;
- Diseases related to the accumulation of waste products in tissues causing migraine, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, etc.
Although there is no talk of a cure, the reduction or even disappearance of symptoms is observed in some people following the hypotoxic diet, which generally advocates the elimination of dairy products and cereals containing gluten.
Good to know: Dr. Seignalet’s hypotoxic diet was taken up by a Quebec scientist, Jacqueline Lagacé, a specialist in microbiology and immunology, in her best-selling book “Comment j’ai vaincu la douleur et l’inflammation chronique par l’alimentation”, published in 2011.
Characteristics of the hypotoxic diet
The hypotoxic diet excludes foods containing milk proteins and gluten because, according to Dr. Seignalet, the designer of the diet, humans do not possess the enzymes needed to digest wheat and other derived cereals and any dairy products.
Good to know: according to Dr. Seignalet, the accumulation of large, poorly digested molecules in the small intestine affects the functioning of our bacterial flora, destroying our good bacteria to the benefit of dangerous, so-called pathogenic bacteria. These would find their way into the bloodstream by crossing the intestinal wall to accumulate and cause autoimmune, fouling or elimination diseases that can occur after 10 to 30 years.
Foods excluded in the hypotoxic diet
The hypotoxic diet excludes any food containing milk proteins and gluten that certain sensitive or genetically predisposed organisms would not be able to digest, to resemble the diet of prehistoric men qualified as hunter-gatherers.
Foods forbidden in the hypotoxic diet:
- All dairy products from animals (milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, etc.), including cheeses and lactose-free dairy products because milk proteins are always present.
- Butter and fresh cream, made from milk and all hydrogenated fats.
- All cereals containing gluten, i.e. wheat, oats, rye, barley, wheat, spelt and kamut. All breakfast cereals containing wheat are therefore banned, as well as all derived foods such as bread, pasta, pizza and cakes, etc.
- Genetically modified corn.
- Other foods: soy sauce and brewer’s yeast that contain traces of gluten, refined products such as white sugar, white salt and refined oils.
- Plants that are not certified organic.
Foods allowed in the hypotoxic diet
Foods allowed in the hypotoxic diet are those that do not contain milk proteins or gluten, as well as products not processed by industrial processes.
The following are therefore allowed:
- all meat, poultry, fish, eggs, seafood and shellfish ;
- fresh, dried and oleaginous fruits and vegetables certified organic;
- gluten-free cereals such as rice (white, brown, red, wild), buckwheat, sesame seeds, quinoa, tapioca and millet;
- organic pulses and legumes ;
- almond milk, rice milk and soy milk (in moderation) ;
- virgin oils such as rapeseed oil, walnut, hazelnut from organic farming.
Good to know: the hypotoxic diet plans to enrich its diet by consuming lactic ferments (bacteria that would be beneficial for the intestinal flora) as well as vitamin and mineral supplementation if necessary.
Cooking methods specific to the hypotoxic diet
In order to avoid the formation of toxic bodies due to the degradation of food during heavy cooking, the hypotoxic diet recommends cooking at temperatures less than or equal to 110 °C with a preference for raw food.
Hypotoxic diet: what are the benefits?
Although no scientific studies have demonstrated it, the hypotoxic diet would allow people with chronic inflammatory diseases to relieve their pain.
Among the benefits of the hypotoxic plan:
- Better digestive comfort observed for some people, especially those who may be hypersensitive to gluten without being allergic to it (as in celiac disease).
- Reduction or even elimination of the symptoms of inflammatory diseases according to patients’ testimonies.
- As Dr. Lagacé points out, the hypotoxic diet does not cure the disease but would allow a remission as long as it is followed to the letter.
- Weight loss by ricochet effect because eating habits change from the usual recommendations and restrictions are important.
Risks of the hypotoxic diet
Excluding all dairy products and cereals containing gluten, the hypotoxic diet can lead to deficiencies in the medium term if the person does not replace a prohibited food with another authorized equivalent. A medical follow-up is therefore strongly recommended to make up for any vitamin and mineral deficiency.
Some of the main health risks include
- deficiency of calcium, vitamins D and B;
- risk of food poisoning through consumption of contaminated raw food ;
- risk of social isolation due to the rigidity of the regime.
Note: for all the above risks, the hypotoxic diet is contraindicated for children, pregnant and nursing women and the elderly.
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