Monday, March 4, 2013

Juicing: One Dietitian's Take

Juicing has really taken off, but before you spend a fortune on a fancy juicing machine, make sure you're aware of the potential health risks and benefits.
The Pros

• Juicing is a great way to 'squeeze' fruits and vegetables in if you typically don't consume them.

• When making juice, you can add fruits and vegetables that are about to spoil. That way, you don't throw the produce away.
The Cons

• People think juice is a nutritionally-equivalent replacement for whole fruits and vegetables. Not the case; certain nutrients are lost through juicing, fiber most importantly. Some people save the skin and pulp and add it into muffins or pancakes, but if not you're losing the most beneficial parts of the produce. Fiber, vitamins, and minerals are a large reason to eat fruits and veggies in the first place.  

• Juicers are expensive. They can range in cost from $50 to as much as $400. That's a lot of money to spend on one piece of kitchen equipment with only one purpose. A blender, on the other hand, can be used for a variety of foods but costs much less.

• Juice, no matter where it comes from, is a concentrated source of calories because the fiber and roughage has been removed. This is especially true if you use more fruits than vegetables in your juices.

• The juice isn't pasteurized, which could be a food-safety hazard. Wash your hands and all produce before preparing juice. Drink juice within one week, preferably on the same day that you make it.

Juicing for Weight Loss or "Cleansing" Purposes

Juicing to lose weight or "cleanse" is not only unsuccessful, it can be dangerous. If you're drinking juices in place of real food, you'll fall short on a number of nutrients your body needs, namely fiber and protein. Fiber keeps us full for longer, preventing overeating. Protein also keeps us full and helps us maintain lean muscle mass.

If you cut your calories too low because you're just drinking juice all day, your metabolism may slow down. Then, once you start eating solid foods again, you'll likely put on weight in the form of fat.

The Bottom Line
Your body has two wonderful organs to do any cleansing you need--your liver and your kidneys. You don't need external juice to do the cleansing for you.

Freshly-prepared juice can be incorporated into a healthy diet, but it's not a miracle food that's going to make you instantly skinny or cure whatever ails you.

3 comments:

  1. Living a natural, plant-based, healthy lifestyle! Using Earth's active resources to provide healthy recipes, natural remedies, healing guidance and LOVE on your journey towards optimal health! Juicing, Herbs, Smoothies, Biking, Rebounding, Vegan Recipes and more!

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  2. Living a natural, plant-based, healthy lifestyle! Using Earth's active resources to provide healthy recipes, natural remedies, healing guidance and LOVE on your journey towards optimal health! Juicing, Herbs, Smoothies, Biking, Rebounding, Vegan Recipes and more!

    ReplyDelete
  3. alecialv10/03/2014

    Although I like your website, I don't know if I totally agree with this because before I ever went vegan raw I did a 7 day juice cleanse first and it cleaned me out a lot! I never felt sick at all. Also, what about Joe Cross (fat,sick, and almost dead) He did it for 60 days and lost a bunch of weight and got off his meds???? I have been vegan now for almost 3 years and I do a juice cleanse every quarter because the way I look at, it's just like when I fast at church, only drinking water, the only difference is that, that is for religious reasons and this is for cleansing purposes. It would be so great if we could all just get on the same page but I guess we all have our opinions!!!

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