"Juicing" seems to be on everyone’s lips following Peaches Geldof’s untimely death earlier this month, with many treating her obsession with juicing as the prime suspect.
The juicing business has long enjoyed a large following, seeing as people can now drink their fruits and vegetables instead of having to be faced with them at breakfast and dinner.
Juicing is used as a source of detoxing, cleansing and dieting – however prolonged use can do more harm than good: And it may not be doing as much good as you think it is in the first place.
While juicing can be quite beneficial by breaking down cell walls of vegetables to fully access all nutrients, one should be very careful not to rely on this method indefinitely.
Many dietitians will warn you that juicing is not a permanent fix to dieting, and here’s why:
Juicing for weight loss
What many people don’t realise is by juicing and drinking fruits such as apples you are essentially drinking pure fructose due to the high natural sugar content. This is also without the benefit of the fibre which is found in the skin of the fruit.
A pure fructose drink is highly glycemic, which will spike your blood sugar levels dramatically and kickstart your pancreas into secreting .
Fibre is not only found in the skin but also in the pulp of the fruit or vegetable. Fibre is great for keeping you regular, full for longer, and lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Fruit skin is not only important for fibre, it is also rich in nutrients which may not be available in just the flesh of the fruit. Monique dos Santos of Berry Healthy warns that by juicing your food, you receive none of these additional benefits. Your appetite is also never fully satisfied, which is counterproductive for staving off cravings.
By replacing meals with juicing, you are not only losing out on essential fibres, but also essential parts of a healthy diet such as lean protein and healthy fats, which can lead to dietary deficiencies as a result of the food groups you exclude.
“I need a good detox!”
This is the go-to phrase for all who want to lose a few unwanted kilos, however detoxing could result in you simply packing the weight straight back on, if not more, says dos Santos.
Most detox diets will have you eating very little and drinking enormous amounts of fluids such as water or herbal teas. While you may think you are “cleansing” your body of toxins and seem to lose weight rapidly, the weight will reappear as soon as you stop your cleanse, and in the process wreck havoc on the body.
Dos Santos advises that while the weight loss may be quick, it is a short-term fix and advises against this method to lose weight.
The weight lost in a detox diet is not fat at all – but rather water and muscle. Since your body has no food to break down and absorb for energy, it will start to attack the muscles to fuel your daily movements, such as walking and breathing.
The damage caused by your body using your muscles for fuel also produces toxins which make it doubly hard for the kidneys to clear.
“Therefore, not only are detox diets ineffective at cleansing but they can actually cause more harm than good,” dos Santos says.
The body is extremely well equipped to handle toxins on a daily basis, and dos Santos says your liver and kidneys are the best detoxing mechanisms you can hope to have. So, if you wish to detox, you should rather look to keep these organs healthy to ensure that they are able to do their job effectively.
If you follow a well-balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle there is no need to detox as your body is more than able to do this without help.
Dos Santos recommends that instead of juicing, one should look to make smoothies with fruit and vegetables as this will keep the pulp and fibre content. However, be sure to add a few raw foods together to keep the smoothie balanced and antiglycemic
Find out more health tips from Monique dos Santos of Berry Healthy here