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Juicing Fads: Health Benefits or Hoax?

Posted by Johnson Memorial Health on Oct 8, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Juicing. If you search the Internet, you'll find thousands of articles. This shows that it's a popular idea, but does that mean it is the healthiest way to get your fix of fruits and vegetables? You can find articles promoting both sides of the argument. Today, let's focus on what the trusted sources say. Then, you can decide what is right for you and your family.

colorful-juice-glasses

Juicing Vs. Whole Fruits & Vegetables

While juicing does get you concentrated does of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, it takes out the skin, pith, and peel which is where the fiber and other important nutrients are stored. Some claim juicing

 is healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables because your body can absorb the nutrients more easily, but there is no scientific evidence to prove that juicing is healthier than actually eating a whole fruit of vegetable. Conversely, if you do not like eating fresh fruits and vegetables, juicing could be a way for you to pack in fruits and vegetables that you wouldn't normally be eating. Juicing can be helpful in getting some vitamins and nutrients, but probably shouldn't be the only thing you are consuming. Moderation is key.

Macronutrients

Juicing liquefies the sugar, therefore making it easier for your body to absorb. You will likely lose weight on a juicing cleanse because you are drastically cutting your calories. The calories you do eat are carbohydrate, since sugars turn to carbs, so you are missing out on the healthy fats and proteins that will keep you full for longer. "So you're basically following a high-carb, low-protein and low-fiber diet, which can cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar, and lead to headaches, mood swings, dizziness, and fatigue. Another major drawback: liquid calories do not have the same fill power as whole, solid foods, which makes it hard to stick to a juice-only plan for longer than a few days without feeling irritable and completely ravenous," says Joy Bauer, nationally recognized nutrition and health expert.

As mentioned above, juice is basically a high-sugar carbohydrate which raises insulin levels. You'll need to burn off the excess sugar or it will be stored as fat. Once the sugar wear off, you'll be hungry again.

Digestion

Juices pass through the digestive system easily because there is no need for your body to break them down. This can cause you to eat more because you will feel hungry sooner. Secondly, this burns fewer calories because your body isn't working to break down the food. Not only is juice pass through the body quickly, it can cause diarrhea because it can slide past any blockages in the intestines. 

Teeth

Juice can break down the enamel of teeth. Juice has a high acid content that can break down the enamel of teeth as much as a fizzy soda. Teeth are weakened by the exposure to the acid. 

Still Want to Try?

If you still want to give juicing a try, follow these tips:

  • Stick to a blend heavy on green veggies and low on fruit to keep the calories and sugar content down. Here is a good example that has greek yogurt added in to provide some protein: Greens in a Glass 
  • Have a small glass of juice in the morning, and continue to eat healthy fats and proteins, focusing on whole foods for the rest of the day.
  • Try to add a healthy protein into the mix. This will ensure you get a wide variety of nutrients
  • Make only one serving of juice at a time. Freshly squeezed juice can develop bacteria quickly.
  • Be sure to clean all your ingredients and supplies. Follow these safety tips.
  • Try to keep some of the pulp in the juice to add a little fiber.

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Topics: Nutrition, Wellness, Health Care