I get a lot of questions about juicing from my clients and friends – they all want to know “Is Juicing Healthy?” I think many are disappointed to hear that I am NOT an advocate for juicing, juice detoxes or juice fasts.
Is Juicing Healthy?
What I don’t like about juicing is the elimination of the “pulp” (fiber and other micronutrients) from the fruits and veggies. This quote by Dr. John Berardi, Chief Science Officer at Precision Nutrition, says it all –
“To me it’s wasting some of the most valuable nutrition [from the vegetable]. After all, much of the benefit associated with whole fruits and veggies – beyond the micronutrients (some of which you lose when you juice) is due to the slow digestion/absorption of them.”
So what can I do instead of juicing?
If you really really want to turn your produce into a beverage, there’s a better way – blending v. juicing.
Remove the fiber from a fruit or vegetable and you’re essentially drinking a sugary drink, granted a vitamin and antioxidant packed one. Your body absorbs the sugar very quickly – just like with soda pop or chocolate milk – resulting in a huge release of insulin into your blood stream. So, consuming juice still affects your carbohydrate tolerance/associated fat gain AND your risk of developing Type II diabetes. This is why pediatricians say NO JUICE for kids – ever, or in very careful moderation.
There’s cost to consider, too – many juicing enthusiasts end up consuming far more produce than they actually need. Even worse, the nutritious pulp often gets thrown away or composted – even though you’ve paid for it!
Overall, I prefer my clients chew their food – not sip it. However, if you’d REALLY like to make your veggies into a beverage then blend rather than juice. This way you keep the fiber along with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other good stuff! I highly recommend the Vitamix blender, which does an incredible job of practically VAPORIZING your vegetables so you’re not chewing on “veggie cud” at the bottom of your shaker.
Still, beware of staying within your portion guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake as quantity control becomes harder to “eye ball” when you turn a food into a beverage.
For a more in depth look at a Juice Detoxes, please visit this excellent article by Precision Nutrition’s Ryan Andrews.
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