It’s one of the latest crazes. Everyone and their mom is on some juice diet or juice “cleanse”. It’s another day…another fad diet. Now, before you get defensive, let me tell you something. I’ll be the first to admit that I love an occasional glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. Um…delicious. But the whole juicing craze. Well……
Lets talk about this. Now, there are a few benefits of juicing.
It’s a good way to squeeze in some extra fruits and veggies if you don’t really like them and probably aren’t getting the recommended servings per day (around 5-6 servings depending on your age, gender, etc.)
When you’re making juice you can use fruits and veggies that are very ripe and might be about to spoil, this way you don’t have to waste them
However there are also A LOT of cons.
Many people think if they just “juice” their fruits and veggies they don’t have to eat them because they’re nutritionally the same. False. Juicing strips whole fruits and veggies of certain, important nutrients such as fiber. The skin and pulp in produce (where a lot of the fiber is found) is discarded and you’re missing out on a lot of beneficial nutrients.
Plus, juice is a more concentrated source of calories. You’re squeezing just the juice out of the fruit and you end up with a lot more calories in the juice than you would have just eating the whole fruit (this is especially important if you are trying to cut calories to lose weight). For example…
Calories – 80
Fiber – 4 g
Sugar – 14 g
Fresh, raw orange juice (1 cup)
Calories – 110
Fiber – 0 g
Sugar – 21 g
Juicing for Weight Loss – Fiber is a nutrient that keeps us full for longer. If you’re stripping the fiber out of your food, guess what? You’re going to be hungry much sooner. That kind of defeats the purpose right? No wonder when people go on juice fasts/diets they’re always starving. Also, if you’re drinking only juice and not eating food you’re likely under-consuming calories which can decrease your metabolism…again…defeating the purpose of trying to lose weight. Plus, without the nutrients and energy you need you likely won’t have enough energy to work out, which is a huge part of weight loss and just being healthy in general…are you starting to see my point. NOT. A. GOOD. WEIGHT. LOSS. PLAN. Believe me. Please.
Juicing as a Cleanse – Um, so our bodies are pretty great, and you know what. They actually have organs that detox and cleanse FOR us. Yep. They’re called your liver and kidneys. There is no sound scientific evidence to show that ingredients in juices help your body eliminate toxins. You’re body is designed to detox itself. Also, your GI system doesn’t need a “break” from fiber. Fiber is actually good for your GI health and you SHOULD be eating fiber-rich foods on the regular.
Not to mention, juicers are expensive. They usually cost anywhere from $60 to $300 and this expensive kitchen addition really only does one thing. Juice. So it’s really not very versatile or useful. A blender would be a much better option. This way you can make smoothies and keep the whole fruit, including fiber!
So to sum it up. Juice can be good, if you want an occasional glass of orange juice, apple juice, cran-grape-pineapple-mango juice…or whatever juice is your flavor (pun intended)…go for it! Just don’t use juice as your main source of fruits and veggies and definitely don’t rely on juice as your main source of nutrition completely (meaning juice fasts and cleanses where you don’t eat or drink anything other than juice).