Does it really help digestion and detoxification?
Is it healthy to try (even for a short period of time)? And is it actually effective?
If you want to know the answers to those questions, you're in the right place!
Note: This article includes references and studies on Mono Diet.
What Is Mono Diet?
Before anything else, let's start by looking at the basics of Mono Diet:
- a dietary pattern that requires only one type of food/beverage
- any other food groups will be completely eliminated from your routine
- the regimen's duration depends on the version of the diet you stick to
Now – there are many types of Mono Diet but most of them have one principle behind them.
It is to give your digestive system a break from processing a wide range of food groups.
Also – as early as now, you should be informed that it's one of the most restrictive diets (not the only one, though).
So even if its details are easy to remember, following this diet will likely be the problem.
Mono Diet's Potential Benefits
Creating this type of special diet comes with several reasons.
The advocates of the Mono Diet claim that it's beneficial for the following health conditions :
- weight loss and calorie intake
- digestive problems (bloating, constipation, diarrhea and gas)
- cleansing and detoxification
- appetite and satiety
- mental clarity and energy levels
Now – losing excess weight is the obvious effect you would see if you try the Mono Diet.
That's because you would eliminate a lot of food groups if you follow this regimen.
I'm mostly talking about those high in fats, calories and carbohydrates .
However – the studies behind this dietary approach are very limited (as of the moment).
So its efficacy and safety are still up for debate.
Some people believe that it's really good, while others don't.
How To Follow Mono Diet?
Let's now talk about the guidelines of the Mono Diet.
So how do you follow it correctly? Well, it depends on the approach you want to go for.
But generally – here are the common points in all versions:
- choose a food or beverage that you enjoy
- it should be vegetables, fruits or white meat (preferably)
- consume it fresh or use less to no additional ingredients (as much as possible)
- ideally, the duration of the diet is 5-7 days but others do it for a longer time
- hydrate with water throughout the day
- avoid intensive exercise and take multivitamins
Now – the daily serving depends on the food or drink you chose.
If you need specific examples, read our article about the 5 Best Mono Diets For Weight Loss.
In addition, from the name itself, “mono” means one or single.
So it's very easy to remember that you only need to focus on eating one food/beverage during the whole process.
But as I said, the execution of the diet might be the hardest part.
With that, let's further discuss some specific effects of the Mono Diet (cleansing and gut health).
Mono Diet & Gut Health
Again – the Mono Diet's goal is to reset the digestive system.
So we're going to talk about its pros and cons on gut health.
Firstly – here are the benefits it can give you:
- reduces digestive load
- allows more time for a proper digestion (since you're not having heavy meals)
- decreases gut-related inflammation 
- simplifies the process of digestion (as your gut will focus on one type of food/drink)
- can also alleviate symptoms of digestive problems (constipation and IBS)
If you look at it, following the Mono Diet can contribute to you digestive system.
To be specific, it's lowers the amount of food/drink needed to be processed internally.
However – the positive effects are only temporary (not in the long run).
One major reason could be the lack of solid studies to back up its claimed positive effects.
With that, here are the reasons why its disadvantages outweigh the pros:
- not getting a variety of nutrients can cause imbalances in the gut 
- can also lead to the growth of bad gut bacteria (low supply of prebiotics)
- eliminating a lot of food groups can cause nutrient deficiencies 
- a weak gut can lead to a lower immunity 
- seeing short-term results might cause disordered eating 
Honestly – the Mono Diet is not considered sustainable in any way.
Don't expect to get enough nutrients by eating just one type of food or beverage.
Sure – you might lose some weight and have a light feeling in the stomach immediately.
But it can still cause long-term complications, especially for some categories of people.
Overall – for a healthy gut, it's much better to focus on balanced and nutritious meals.
This includes eating more fresh/whole foods and eliminating the processed ones.
Mono Diet For Detox & Cleansing
Another claimed benefit of the Mono Diet is detox and cleansing.
The explanation behind this is to give your gut the time to relax from digesting varied foods.
With that – here are the possible pros of following it:
- helps eliminate body toxins by limiting the consumption of processed foods/drinks
- you can maximize the nutrients of fruits or vegetables eating them in full focus
- elimination of unhealthy foods can improve mental clarity 
- whole and fresh foods are rich in antioxidants that can support overall well-being 
- flushing out toxins can improve skin appearance 
Generally – fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, antioxidants and other essential nutrients.
However, consuming only one of them (without other food groups) is not too helpful.
Again – the Mono Diet is not well-balanced or sustainable in any way.
So you would just end up eliminating a lot of nutrients for the sake of focusing on a few.
Here are the possible reasons why this diet can be risky to your health:
- high risk of gaining more weight after finishing the regimen (rebound weight) 
- this can impact your mental health
- you might develop eating disorders 
- an imbalanced supply of nutrients can hinder detoxification
- toxins tend to stay longer due to a lack of prebiotics
- this can affect the efficacy of probiotics in terms of cleansing 
Honestly – the main reason why the Mono Diet is quite dangerous is because it's obviously not healthy.
So if you're looking for ways to detoxify and cleanse, there many alternatives that you can try.
Lastly – this type of diet is not really recommended by a lot of doctors.
So it's a big sign that you shouldn't experiment with it.
Overall, the Mono Diet offers only short-term benefits for gut health, detox and cleansing.
So far – here are the top reasons behind these benefits:
- decreases the amount of food to digest
- reduces gut-related inflammation
- alleviates symptoms of digestive issues
- limits the intake of toxins from processed/unhealthy foods
- provides antioxidants and other nutrients
Now – the positive points above sound promising.
But just so you know, there are way more disadvantages behind.
Again, it's a dietary approach that suggests consuming only one type of food or beverage.
At first – you might experience a better digestion and weight loss.
But after the regimen, you can experience weight gain or fluctuations.
Also – nutrients from fruits and vegetables are useless if you don't combine them with other nutrient-dense foods.
Lastly, having an imbalanced gut microbiome due to an unsustainable diet can lead to a other issues.
In addition to that, it can also affect your normal body functions and can cause long-term problems.
To be honest, the Mono Diet is not recommended by a lot of doctors, due to its risks.
So even if it's effective in some people, it won't always be the case for everyone.
If your only goal is to reset your gut and cleanse, there are healthier alternatives.