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Detox Compliant Foods (and those to avoid)
Detox Compliant Foods (and those to avoid)
A more comprehensive list of the foods that are detox compliant versus those to avoid.
Kenny Gregg avatar
Written by Kenny Gregg
Updated over a week ago


Best protein choices:

Wild Alaskan salmon, Halibut, Herring, Trout, Anchovies, and Sardines. (These are also rich in essential fatty acids, which help facilitate weight loss), Poultry, organic eggs, Kefir (coconut), Tempeh, Hemp protein, Pea protein


lentils, chickpeas, dried beans.

Nuts and Seeds:

Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, quinoa (it’s a seed), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds.

Herbs and Spices:

Basil, cilantro, cinnamon sticks, dill, marjoram, parsley, turmeric,
ginger root, basil, oregano, thyme, lemon balm, mint, sage, and rosemary.


Green tea, water, unsweetened cranberry juice.


Choose low-fructose such as avocados, olives, and coconuts – limit berries if
you’re trying to lose weight.


Artichokes, arugula, asparagus, beets, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussel
sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, dandelion leaves, endive, fennel, kale, leeks,
onions, radish, romaine, Swiss chard, watercress, wheatgrass.

***Note that some foods are grouped in sections like sesame oil is under oils as well as other oils and almond milk is under nut milks***

Aloe leaf – Aloe leaf is considered to be a vegetable. It is used medicinally by ingesting or using the inner gel topically. For instance, you could use some gel in a smoothie since that’s great for your digestive system.

Almond cheese – Please still check the ingredients in alternative cheeses as they can be filled with non-detox compliant ingredients. The safest way to ensure a good choice is to make your own! Check out Pinterest and you will find a lot of recipes to try out.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Yes, make sure it’s the kind “with the mother” which is stated on the label and you will see the “mother” floating inside.

Bai5 antioxidant infusions – The anti-water would be ok, but all of their other products contain a juice concentrate and would not be ok once we begin the fruitless reset.

Beans – Beans are permitted, you will just need to watch your net carbs.

Brown rice & brown rice products (like pasta) – Allowed up until we begin the grain-free reset.

Buckwheat – Buckwheat is a gluten-free grain and is allowed until we begin the grain-free reset.

Bulgar – This is a wheat product and not allowed once we begin the grain-free reset.

BulletProof Coffee with MCT oil – is ok until we begin the caffeine-free Reset. The blender emulsifies the coconut oil and butter so the texture is more creamy than oily and it is a delicious way to get a boost of beneficial fats. This type of healthy coffee also gives much more extended energy throughout the day without making you jittery.

Bulletproof Cacao Tea – The website says it has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaf coffee so it would not be ok once we begin the caffeine-free reset.

Cacao, cacao powder & Cacao beans – Depending on the type of cacao bean it is made from they may or may not contain caffeine. Please contact the manufacturer directly to verify if there is caffeine and avoid brands that contain caffeine once we begin the caffeine-free reset. Note: the tiny amount of cacao (such as the one 80% dark chocolate square allowed a day) IS allowed and a nice little treat.

Carrageenan – It can cause inflammation in some people (esp. those with a damaged gut and so we recommend avoiding through the whole detox and even afterward as well.

Carrots – Yes, detox compliant. Enjoy!

Carbonated water – Enjoy your bubbles as long as there are no sweeteners. Cola-types of carbonated beverages have more phosphorus added than other sodas, so over-consumption of cola can put your body in a state where calcium will be released from the bones in order to maintain the proper pH level in your blood. Drinking moderate amounts of sparkling or seltzer water does not have this effect.

Carob powder – Yes. It does not contain caffeine and therefore is ok.

Clams – Yes, both wild and canned

Club soda – Yes, allowed during the detox. See carbonated water.

Coconut Aminos – These add a lot of flavor to steamed vegetables and soups. Find them online or at your local health food store.

Coconut Kefir – Without added sugar or additives it is allowed. There are brands with very low net carbs, often found at your local co-op.

Coconut milk – Choose full fat, often found in cans, choose BPA free cans, or coconut milk from the carton with no added carrageenan. If from the can, a serving is about 1/4-1/3 cup. If from the carton, 1/2-1 cup is a serving since it’s diluted.

Coconut water – Without added sugar or additives it is allowed. There are brands with very low net carbs, often found at your local co-op.

Coconut yogurt – This may be difficult to find without added sugar, carrageenan, or preservatives. Also, if you are trying to keep your net carbs under 49, store-bought yogurt may be difficult to manage. We recommend making your own with a culture starter. Culture starters may contain grains or dairy, so if they do, homemade yogurt may only be eaten before those resets begin.

Collagen Powder – Collagen powder is a protein supplement and the brands from grass-fed cows can be wonderful, but please only consume this before or after the detox since it comes from a red meat source. People use it for the amino acids and nutrients it provides for everything from gut healing to glowing skin! We like Dave Asprey’s Bullet Exec Collagen or Great Lakes brand.

Corn/popcorn (organic) – Once we begin the grain-free reset, corn products are not allowed, including popcorn.

Cranberry juice – Before fruitless, it’s a max of 5g sugar/meal with a total of no more than 15g sugar/day. Once we begin the fruit free reset all juice should be avoided.

Dandelion tea – Yes, if it’s from dandelion root and doesn’t contain any sweeteners or other non-detox friendly ingredients

Dandy Blend – Dandy blend is technically not detox approved once we begin sugar-free since it contains sugar beet. It is wonderful to use during prep before the detox if you are transitioning off coffee or after the detox for a delicious hot beverage.

Dark Chocolate – At least 80% cacao, 1 oz daily max and stay within the maximum of 5g sugar/meal. This is to keep you sane during the detox and a little treat to look forward to as long as it doesn’t create further cravings. It can also help lower cortisol.

Super Power Bars (by Dr. Sara) – The bars are detox friendly but should not be used as a full meal replacement during the detox as you will need more calories to last 5-6 hours between meals and to achieve your daily nutrient goals.

Decaf coffee or other teas – Once we begin the caffeine-free reset, enjoy herbal teas only. Decaffeinated teas and coffee still contain some caffeine.

Edamame – Yes, organic non-GMO is fine! Roasted is also ok.

Flavorings – Best avoided, as they may contain chemical additives. Example coffee flavor

Fruit & dried fruit – Before fruitless reset chooses low glycemic fruits like berries. Avoid all fruit once we begin the fruitless reset. Foods that are technically fruits that are OK during the duration of the detox: avocado, cucumber, beans, peapods, nuts, olives, tomatoes, pumpkin, lemon, limes, and squash. Beets and coconut are also allowed. Please note that nightshades (like tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, goji berries, garden huckleberries, cape gooseberries, paprika, cayenne, ground cherries, tamarillos, pepinos, and naranjillas) should be avoided by those who have inflammation.

Garden of Life Raw Fit Protein Powder – It is fine to use until we begin the grain-free reset because it contains grains.

Green tea – Stick with herbal teas since green tea contains caffeine

Greens powders that contain barley grass, wheatgrass, or alfalfa – Grasses are not a grain and do not contain gluten so they are ok during the whole detox. Some brands have high fructose which is not recommended (20g fructose/day max) so check directly with the company of the greens powder that you own if you are not sure of their fructose content. One brand Dr. Sara likes that is low in sugar & fructose is RealReds by RealDose. Powdered greens are great but the majority of veggies should be fresh! If you are extra sensitive to fruit, you may want to omit once we hit fruitless reset and test at the end of the detox to see how your body reacts.

Grilled food – Avoid charring or burning, otherwise it is allowed

Hummus – Allowed but be mindful of net carbs and potential additives

Kefir & yogurt – No dairy kefir or yogurt once we begin the dairy-free reset. You may have unsweetened coconut kefir though. Please still look at the ingredients and verify no other unapproved foods are in it.

Kombucha – Kombucha is a tricky one! Yes, it’s fermented and contains probiotics BUT generally, it’s best to do without during the detox. Be mindful that some brands have added sugar or juice which would not be ok once we begin the sugar-free/fruit free. It can be an avalanche food for some so be mindful if it creates cravings or an increase in blood sugar. There are studies showing that people on Candida diets (sugar-free to kill off yeast in the body) do not do well on kombucha, even though it has good bacteria. There are wonderful things about kombucha but because of the residual sugar we suggesting not drinking it during the detox. Or at the very least sparingly.

Lara Bars – Most flavors contain dates and/or other fruit and would not be ok once we begin the fruitless reset. Check the label to verify ingredients.

Lentils/beans – Yes, they are on the master foods list

Matcha – While it is less than coffee or tea, matcha does contain caffeine, so best to eliminate it until Reentry.

Mayo – Check the ingredients to verify. Most brands will include refined oils and will not be ok. Even ones that say made with olive oil; nearly all also contain soybean or sunflower oil! You can make your own though; it’s actually pretty easy!

Miso – Yes. Look for grain-free types.

Mushrooms - Yes, detox compliant.

Nutritional yeast – Yes. Nutritional yeast is an “inactive” yeast. It’s fairly high in protein and a good source of fiber.

Nut butters – These are allowed as long as they are only mashed nuts and do not contain added sugar or other non-detox-friendly ingredients. Avoid peanuts and peanut butter as peanuts can be both hormone disruptors and are sometimes a hidden allergy.

Nut milks – Yes, unsweetened nut milks are allowed during the detox. Examples: almond milk, hazelnut milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, hemp milk. Please avoid soy milk, oat milk, and rice milk during the detox.

Oil/fat – The best options are coconut oil, ghee, and true olive oil. Soybean and canola oil are highly processed oils, that are almost always GMO. Other commons oils that are not allowed include cottonseed, peanut, and grapeseed oil. Sunflower and sesame oil (expeller pressed, organic) are ok in moderation. A list of healthy fats for the detox is in the Master food list and Kitchen Reset. Red palm oil can be used at high temps in moderation. Walnut oil is allowed and should not be used in the heat.

Peas – Yes, peas are detox compliant.

Peanut butter – Peanuts can be both hormone disruptors and sometimes a hidden allergy so they are not detox approved. Use almonds/almond butter instead!

Pork – Dr. Sara recommends avoiding Pork. As she mentions in her book, The Hormone Reset Diet, "69 percent of pork contains superbugs." You can read more from her resource here: “Superbugs Invade American Supermarkets,” Environmental Working Group, accessed June 22, 2014,

Potatoes – No white potatoes but sweet potatoes are allowed. White potatoes have a higher glycemic index and are also a nightshade. For a starchy carb, we prefer sweet potatoes.

Pumpkin – Yes, this is considered a veggie for this detox. Dr. Sara considers Pumpkin a Superfood in The Hormone Reset Diet book. She says this is slow-carb food that doesn't spike your insulin levels as bad as other carb choices.

Quinoa – Yes it is allowed through the whole detox. It is a seed, not a grain.

Ranch Salad Dressing – No, ranch dressing would not be okay on the detox.

This avocado "ranch" dressing recipe would be a good alternative:

Rooibos Tea – By itself, it’s an herb, caffeine-free, and is allowed during the detox. You would need to look at the box to see if any other ingredients are included that might contain caffeine.

Sauerkraut – Yes!! It’s fermented cabbage a huge yes. Please make sure to always check ingredients or make it yourself. They count towards your pound of veggies daily goal.

Soy – Organic and a non-GMO (genetically modified organism) is allowed a few times a week. Fermented whole soy products such as miso, tofu, and tempeh are the most absorbable and digestible. Other soy products may be included as long as they are organic, non-GMO, and your digestive system tolerates them well. Refined soy products, including soy milk and soy yogurts, are hormone disruptors and not detox friendly. They mimic estrogens (increasing estrogen dominance) and goitrogens (wreaking havoc on the thyroid) that can lead to endocrine disruption and thyroid disorders.

Smoked wild salmon (lox) – Yes, as long as there are no additives or nitrates

Spaghetti squash – Spaghetti squash is a winter vegetable and is considered a starch for this detox vs a more watery non-starchy veggie such as zucchini. That said, it’s “less starchy” than parsnips or pumpkin. It’s great as a veggie “pasta” enjoy it through the whole detox, just don’t over consume it.

Sun-dried tomatoes – Ideally organic sun-dried is allowed (if you are not avoiding nightshades). If it’s packed in oil, just be on the lookout for the type of oil – use an olive oil product, not one made with vegetable seed oils!

Sweeteners – The goal is to eliminate sweeteners as much as you can. As lovely and natural as some are, they raise your blood sugar and can cause insulin resistance, etc. Evidence-based studies show that the 4 allowed sweeteners on our detox do not impact you the way sugar does, or confuse the body the way some artificial sweeteners do. The 4 approved sweeteners (xylitol, stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol) should be consumed only if you really have to have them. It’s best to get a sweet fix from a starchy vegetable or a piece of fruit that has fiber and nutrients (before fruitless). Please stick with ONLY the 4 specifically allowed sweeteners during the detox: Monk fruit, stevia, xylitol, and Erythritol.

Once you reach the Sugar Free Reset you will eliminate sugar and sugar substitutes. Avoid these because they still raise your blood sugar: white table sugar, honey, agave, brown sugar, sucralose (Splenda), maple syrup, and molasses

Tapioca – This is a starch, therefore you will need to watch your carbs, but it’s allowed as long as you keep that in mind.

Teeccino herbal tea – Some flavors are ok and others contain not approved ingredients so check the label.

Tonic water – Not approved during the detox

Tonics, tinctures, and extracts – For the detox, it is advised that you avoid all forms of alcohol, even the small amount found in these products. However, remember this is your detox. Do what makes sense for your body and goals. Dr. Sara recommends hydrosols as a good alternative that can be similar.

Tuna (canned) – Try to avoid or eat sparingly due to mercury content.

Turkey Bacon – In theory, it is an ok option, but most brands will have added sugar and spices. If you are avoiding nightshades, you would also want to avoid “spices” on a label.

V8 drink – Check the label. They make a lot of varieties now and many with fruit, which would not be allowed after fruitless. V8 is not quality, organic ingredients and it would be best to make your own version of tomato juice if you enjoy that flavor. Also, keep track of the carbs. For those avoiding nightshades, this would not be allowed.

VegaOne Protein Powder – They contain sprouted whole grain brown rice protein or fruit and would not be ok once we begin the grain-free reset or the fruit free reset respectively.

Veggie burgers – If they are pre-made, they probably have a lot of fillers or gluten that are not detox friendly. If you make it yourself with all detox friendly ingredients, it would be ok.

Vinegars – Ones that are allowed include red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Ones that are not detox friendly include balsamic vinegar due to its higher sugar content and rice vinegar.

Wild game – As long as it is not red meat it is allowed during the detox. Examples: rabbit and partridge are allowed. Venison and bison are not allowed; they are red meats.

Xantham gum – Is an additive that causes some people to have GI distress. Be mindful if you have digestive issues anytime you have a “gum” and see if there is a pattern that it upsets you.

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