Juicing: Cleanse or Crash?

As we head into summer, there will be lots of well-meaning people, who are serious about their health, that will be doing something that could be seriously dangerous…

Juice cleanses.

Juice cleanses dangerous? Well, yes.

Juice isn’t dangerous for you. Especially if it’s real and not full of sugars and additives. But If juice is your one and only source of nutrition with the sole intention of “cleansing” for super fast weight loss, then you could be headed for a world of trouble.

To be clear, using a juicer to eat fresh fruits and veggies is fine. It’s not as good as eating them totally unprocessed, but it’s still a good option if it helps you eat your colors. What wee’re talking about are unrealistic and often bizarre crash diets with weird types of “juice” (cayan pepper, maple syprup and lemon juice, for example). 

Most juice cleanses restrict you to less than 1000 calories. Drinking only juice may seem like it’s a good idea because the weight may come off quickly, but it’s rendered ineffective when the weight comes back on just as fast when you start eating again.

Not only are these “cleanses” ineffective as far as weight loss goes, but they’re dangerous as far as nutrition is concerned. Caloric intake is not the only thing you should be concerned about when it comes to weight loss. It’s where the calories are coming from and what they’re made of that matters. You need a healthy portion of protein and fats in your diet to maintain a healthy weight.

Harvard Health sums it up by saying “No published research currently supports the safety or efficacy of juice cleanses. Some types of juices are associated with health benefits, but more research is needed to determine cause-and-effect. Literature says that drinking vegetable juice is a healthy way to increase your intake of vegetables. However, it should not replace fresh, whole vegetables in the diet. Whole fruits and vegetables have a higher nutritive value and can help the body to naturally detoxify itself.”

We’re not done yet! In our next blog, we’ll look at why juice cleanses aren’t really effective as a method of detox. Here’s a hint—your liver and kidneys know what they’re doing…

Sources:

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/06/06/the-dangers-of-juice-cleanses

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/juicing-fad-or-fab

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