Juicing has been an ever-increasing popular fad for drinking your veggies and fruits. So many supposed TV health gurus and infomercial persuaders continue to force feed the idea that juicing is healthy and leads to weight loss. All of you have seen the “lose 10 pounds in a week” sham and some of you have probably taken the bait. Of course juicing looks appealing, who doesn’t want an easier method for getting down all those veggies and receiving all of the benefits and nutrients. The problem is that marketing is winning this battle. Juicing is not good for you for several reasons, let alone the fact of how financially costly and wasteful it is.
“But what about my cleanse?!” Let’s get physiological here. Your body’s digestive system is quite literally the entire process of blending! Your mouth and teeth break down the foods, just like the shiny blades on that costly blender on TV. Juicers claim that by blending the food and extracting the juice you are removing the toxins…guess what your liver does? Your liver’s essential function is to break down the nutrients that have been chewed by your mouth and filter and process out all of the toxins. What then happens is the nutrient matter and bulk of the food is sent to the stomach where acids break down the nutrients and are absorbed into the body for fuel. Everything that is not used or needed is turned into waste. Amazing really! Take that in itself into consideration the next time a friend or coworker starts explaining their great new cleanse they’re trying.
There are several other reasons why juicing isn’t all it’s made out to be, and most of them deal with the actual blending and juicing process. By putting several vegetables and fruits into a blender you are removing the bulk or mass of the food and essentially leaving behind a concentrate. By doing this you are now left with the high sugar content from all of the food, yet taking out the fiber and vitamins found in the fibrous material. This means that instead of your digestive system slowly digesting the fibrous food as it should, you are now shocking your system with a glass or cup of sugar. This gives your body an immediate spike in insulin as there is no fiber to slow down the process. The insulin spike leads to increased fat stores and the inability to let go of unwanted fat. Not to mention the fact that you removed the vitamins that are found in the bulk matter, thus leaving you with a glass of flavored sugar. You must remember that fruits are basically nature’s candy. 30 grams of sugar in a glass of fruit juice is digested exactly as that of 30 grams of sugar from a candy bar. The end result of a quickly sugar laden glass of juiced fruits and vegetables is that you will be hungry quickly because it is a liquid, leading to overeating, and further frustration.
On the financial side of things juicing really is just a waste. Think of how many fruits and vegetables it takes to make an 8 ounce glass of juice. You can just as easily receive less calories, more fiber, more satiation, and less sugar simply by eating a cup or two of whole fruits and veggies. This results in a happier wallet that can be spent on other fun nutritional items.
A final note to remember is that cooking foods releases antioxidants that you cannot get from raw or juiced foods, and what isn’t great about reducing inflammation, aches and pains, and bloating. So next time you or someone you know considers juicing as a means to cleanse or lose weight, do some further research and really take a second look at your overall plan.