All About Juicing, Is it for you?With documentaries like http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/and shout outs on late night TV from people like Jimmy Kimmel's, Guillermo, juicing has definitely risen to the top of the popular fad diets in North America today. There are tons of claims of mass amounts of weight loss as well as cancer and heart disease fighting power linked to juicing diets, however, as with any diet, especially one that drastically changes the calories that you consume I caution you to consider how easily maintained this diet can be. Sources like WebMd and the Mayo Clinic seem to both be in agreement that while juicing is a great way to consume many of our daily requirements for fruits and vegetables there are some cons to juicing. The majority of fiber that is found in a fruit or vegetable is located in the skin. A blender will keep more of the skin intact or break it down to a manageable consistency but a juicer actually removes the skin so the fiber that is so essential to digestive health is lost. Mayo Clinic nutritionist, Jennifer K. Nelson, states,
"Juicing is not any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables but it is an excellent way of consuming our greens if they're not your favorite thing. Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables; the resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole fruit. Whole fruits and vegetables, however, also have healthy fiber, which is lost during most juicing processes."
The health benefit claims from juicing is related to studies linking that a plant-based diet has been found to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. That being said, there really isn't enough research to prove that juicing is better than eating whole fruits and vegetables."
From the research that I've done I think that if you are going to do a juicing diet as a way to get fast weight loss results you have to be very careful of the calories that you're consuming, the hidden natural sugars that are found particularly in most fruits, and the lack of protein that is found in the diet. An article found on WebMD says, "You may also not get enough protein. If you are trying to lose weight by only juicing, then you are putting yourself at risk to lose muscle mass... By the end of any extreme diet, your Metabolism may have temporarily slowed down. Once you start eating a more normal diet, you’ll be prone to building fat cells..."
In conclusion, here are my thoughts:
If you're trying to sneak in fruits and especially veggies into your family's diet because they just will not eat them than by all means, juice away. If you are juicing as a means to lose an extreme amount of weight then I caution you to reconsider. This is not a lifestyle that's successful in the long term you need to understand the reality of setting yourself up for failure once the weight is off and you have to go back to real life.
Here are some sources on juicing and juicing recipes:
WebMD Juicing, How Healthy Is it?
Mayo Clinic - Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables?
Juicing Vegetables - This has great recipes if you're wanting to sneak those pesky veggies in.
Juicing For Health - Another good community resource for recipes, questions and tips for making juice recipes.
My Juice Cleanse with Carey Kingsbury - There are tons of yummy recipes on here divided into juices, smoothies and other yummies!
My Raw Food Diet - Nice categorical veggie juice recipes that tell you how they will help whatever ailment you feel you need to be helped with.
So juice up if you're wanting to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies but I'd say skip it as a way of losing weight. Try a more sustainable approach to weight loss first and then add in juicing. Also, in my opinion, it's okay to just use a blender, no need to break the bank if you can't afford the top of the line juicer. It's better to get those fruits and veggies in and if you need to make a smoothie by all means, do it with a blender.
So, for those of you who juice? What's your favorite recipe and what benefits have you seen since juicing regularly?