I get asked multiple times a week about my professional thoughts on juicing. Many people want to try it as a way to “cleanse” the body or restart their diet. I typically try to dissuade from juicing and here is my reasoning:
1. Juice is simply carbohydrates: The items that we use for juicing are fruits and vegetables that have very little protein content and high sugar. This typically provides our bodies with extra carbohydrates that aren’t needed immediately and are thus stored. We also miss many important protein and fat components when only taking in fruits and vegetables.
2. We miss out on fiber and other nutrients: When we juice, we remove the pulp and skin of many fruits and vegetables. Those removed areas contain excellent fiber and nutrients. Eating the fruit itself would give you the benefits of these.
3. Juicing does not “cleanse” the body, nor does our body need cleansing: Our body has natural ways to detoxify using the liver and kidneys. Eating a healthy, natural diet can help your body work properly and “cleanse” itself.
Overall, I say put away your juicers and eat whole, natural foods. Smoothies can be a great way to get the juice-like consistency while still getting the added benefits of the whole fruit. Add some protein powder, flax seed, chia seeds or Greek yogurt for protein and you’ve got a great meal or snack!
Katherine Horner, RD, LD, NASM-CPT, CES
Surgical Weight Loss Dietitian and Exercise Specialist