Foods to Avoid on a Detox Diet

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Looking for a list of foods to avoid as part of the detox diet plan? You've come to the right place. Replace these foods with these detox-friendly foods (see the list). To get more information on some key ingredients, like how to use them, check out our top 20 detox foods and get meal-by-meal suggestions.

Foods to Avoid on a Detox Diet

Here are various foods that you're better off without if you're looking to detox.

Dairy Products and Eggs

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Butter
  • Ice cream 
  • Mayonnaise

Instead of the dairy products on the list above, opt for organic, probiotic-rich kefir and yogurt.

Wheat and Gluten Foods

Give your system a break for a week and experiment with some alternate grains. Avoid wheat and products containing wheat, such as:

  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Bagels
  • Crackers
  • Breakfast cereal

Besides wheat, avoid other gluten-containing foods such as barley, bulgur, rye, triticale, wheat bran, wheat germ, couscous, einkorn, farina, emmer, faro, graham flour, kamut, matzo, spelt, and semolina. Although oats don't contain gluten, they are often processed in plants that produce gluten-containing grains. People with a gluten allergy or sensitivity should avoid them or opt for gluten-free oats.

Sugar and Sweeteners

Opt for fresh fruit and spices that have a sweet taste like cinnamon. Use natural sweeteners sparingly, such as honey, maple syrup, fruit jams, and fruit compotes. Sweeteners to remove during your detox are: 

  • Refined sugar
  • White sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Artificial sweeteners


Cut back on caffeine from coffee, energy drinks, and soft drinks. Instead, try green, matcha, oolong, or white tea, which generally have less caffeine. Or enjoy caffeine-free herbal tea. Rooibos tea and spice tea are good non-caffeinated options. If you are used to drinking coffee and are finding it difficult to cut back, try black tea instead. Avoid the following beverages during your detox.

  • Coffee
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Alcohol


  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Sausages and hot dogs
  • Deli meats and cold cuts
  • Canned meats

Fish and Seafood

  • Shellfish
  • Foods that tend to have moderate-to-high mercury levels, such as king mackerel, orange roughy, swordfish, tuna (bigeye, ahi, albacore, yellowfin), tilefish, bluefish, grouper, and mackerel (Spanish, gulf).


Avoid any condiment not made with the allowed ingredients. 

  • Non-dairy creamers
  • Barbeque or steak sauce
  • Salad dressings not made with allowed ingredients
  • Mayonnaise
  • Spreads not made with the allowed ingredients
  • Ketchup
  • Regular chocolate (with sugar and dairy)

Other Foods to Avoid

  • Food additives, color, and preservatives
  • Shortening
  • Margarine
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