Juicing has become a chic contender in the diet industry over the past several years, but while these “good for you juices” seem like a healthy way to lose weight, they are actually not a viable diet plan.
Unlike eating fresh whole fruits and veggies, consuming them in juiced form does not provide the same vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
A nutritious juice can be beneficial for your health but limiting your diet to strictly juices for an extended period is not a magical solution, like some people may think – and there is very little research to support the health claims made by many juicing companies.
Juicing is the process of blending the fruit/vegetable, instead of pressing which extracts most of the healthy fiber and some antioxidants found in the skins and seeds. For instance, the white pulp in an orange provides flavonoids, providing antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits which unfortunately all get left behind during the juicing process.
Juice also doesn’t offer fiber, which has a very important role in the body as it’s the indigestible component of whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Without it, the body easily absorbs fructose sugar, drastically affecting blood-sugar levels. Fiber moves quickly through your digestive tract and helps it function properly. Additionally, it helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Foods containing fiber also provide a feeling of fullness while also containing fewer calories. If you meet the daily recommended fiber intake, the risk of heart disease and diabetes decreases, and cholesterol lowers.
Research shows that whole fruits are not only more beneficial than juice for preventing diabetes, they are also more effective in helping to satisfy daily fiber requirements. Research suggests substituting juice with a banana, apple and orange for a 25% to 32% increase in fiber.
Many juice diets involve consuming no protein at all, or at most a very small amount which is not sufficient for your body to function properly. Your body needs a daily supply of protein to build healthy immune cells and regenerate muscle tissue. Reputable nutritionists believe that juicing diets are not harmful for a few days, but if continued, could lead to sickness due to lack of fiber and protein. This could affect older adults who are more susceptible to infections, because they may already have lower protein stores.
While juicing is low-calorie compared to chips and sodas, it is still a very concentrated source of calories.
For example, a cup of pineapple is about 83 calories, but a cup of pineapple juice is 120 calories. You might not realize how much sugar you’re consuming when you drink fruit juice. In fact, 8 oz. of apple juice contains 29 grams of sugar, whereas 8 oz. of cola contains only 27 grams of sugar. The truth is that juicing diets load you with empty calories, which can fill you up without supplying the nutrients your body needs to function properly. When done for 10 days, the empty-calorie intake could send the body into starvation mode. In an effort to conserve calories, the body’s metabolism may slow down, which can result in weight loss difficulties long term. Additionally, when people restrain from eating their favorite food, after a while they tend to reward themselves, which can often lead to overeating. Ultimately, the vast majority of what is taken off during a juicing diet plan is mostly water weight and will likely be gained back again once your everyday eating habits resume.
To put it more simply, you cannot simply drink your way to health and your dream weight.