Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. If you are not fond of eating fresh fruits and veggies, juicing can be a good way to include them in your diet. Although it may sound like a good idea, this practice can, in certain cases, cause more harm than good. As such, it is important to know how juicing might be bad for your health.
In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at how juicing can be bad for your health. We will also read up on a few benefits of juicing, as well as some of the ways juicing can be good for you. If in the end, you decide that the pros outweigh the cons, we will give you a handful of tips and a few sample recipes to help you get started.
In This Article:
Juicing and Juice Diets
Before we get started on what juicing is, you should know that juicing and juice diets are not one and the same. In fact, juicing can be done without going on a juice diet.
A juice diet, also known as a juicing diet, juice cleanse, juice fast, or juice detox, is a detox diet based on consuming only fresh fruit and vegetable juice for a period of time. Juicing enthusiasts believe that doing so is a natural detox for the body, while experts say that the human body is fully capable of doing so on its own. However, some health professionals agree that a juice detox may help our organs cleanse our bodies more efficiently.
Furthermore, individuals on a juice diet must follow a severe calorie restriction, which often results in rapid weight loss. In fact, a small 2017 study of 20 people who went on a 3-day juice cleanse found that a weight loss of about two pounds per day was average. On the other hand, health professionals agree that this is mostly weight loss from water, rather than fat loss. As a result, weight gain is almost inevitable once the diet is over. Keep in mind that health experts advise against juice fasting for more than three days unless medically supervised.
What is juicing?
Juicing is the method of extracting fresh juice from fruits, vegetables, or a combination of both using a juicer. Experts say that most of the vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients remain in the juice obtained. However, some food compounds, such as dietary fiber, are lost during the process.
Additionally, you may have read that you can use any combination of fruits, veggies, and herbs to make your juice. This is true, but health experts recommend choosing the right ingredients for your juice. Many health enthusiasts vouch for the benefits of drinking juice containing beets, carrots, kale, celery, lemon, orange, lime, apples, ginger, turmeric, cucumbers, and pomegranate, among others. But remember, each fruit and veggie contains different nutrients, which means some juices may be more nutritious than others.
If you are considering juicing, remember to first consult your doctor. However, if you have already done so or are simply curious about the types of juicers, then let us proceed.
We know how difficult it can be to choose which juicer is best for you, so we will help you out by providing recommendations for each type. You might also want to see the best juicers you can buy today.
Juicing is not for everyone.
In general, nutritionists say that juicing can be good for a lot of people. In fact, most adults can benefit from drinking the right juice blend on a regular basis. However, the first downside of juicing is that it is not for everyone. As always, we recommend consulting your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
For certain people, juicing and juice diets can do more harm than good. For the former, people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes should take extra caution when considering juicing. The list is not long, since juicing is generally good for one’s health when properly done and in moderation.
On the other hand, doctors have a long list of people they recommend should avoid juice diets. Generally, experts advise against juice fasting for these people unless medically supervised:
Juicing Cons: How can it be bad for your health?
- People using medications that they must take with food
- Children and adolescents
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Underweight people
- People who have had an eating disorder
- Older adults
- People with chronic illnesses such as diabetes
Just because the juice comes from fruits and vegetables does not mean it is completely harmless. Just as juicing provides certain health benefits, it has its downsides, as well.
Lack of Fiber
Health experts say that juicing fruits and vegetables removes a lot of the nutrients in the process. And, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber are some of them. Juicing merely extracts the juice and usually leaves behind the pulp, where the fiber is found. Because of this, many health experts recommend blending over juicing. With this in mind, you might want to know the differences between juicing and blending.
However, the good news is that masticating and triturating juicers do not separate all of the pulp when juicing. It does not merely become waste; rather, the pulp becomes part of the juice. This way, the juice contains at least some of the fiber usually found in the fruits and veggies. So, if you are serious about juicing and it has been cleared by your doctor, keep this in mind when considering which type of juicer to buy.
Lack of Solid Food in Juice Diets
Most juice diets require abstaining from any kind of solid food. And, the main sources of nutrients during the diet are juices from fruits and vegetables. Many health professionals advise against juice fasting precisely because of this. Dietitians and nutritionists say that a healthy, balanced diet should include fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber, and oily fish, and it must be low in saturated fats.
With this in mind, juicing enthusiasts have created juice cleanse programs that permit eating vegan food and snacks or drinking smoothies made using a blender. These added food and beverages often make up for the nutrients that fruit and vegetable juices lack, such as protein. If you are considering going on a juice diet, remember to first consult your doctor so you can follow a proper meal plan during the diet.
Temporary Weight Loss
Juice diets often result in rapid weight loss, but experts say it is often temporary. Because juice fasts involve a severe calorie restriction, doctors advise against juice fasting for more than three days. This means that a juice detox is a liquid diet that cannot be sustained. Thus, the weight lost during the diet often comes back once you start eating normally.
Additionally, experts do not recommend going on juice diets for weight loss. Often, the weight lost during juice cleansing comes from losing water weight, not from the loss of fat. As such, health professionals say that this is not a healthy way to lose weight. Instead, they recommend choosing a healthier diet to follow along with some exercise.
Fruit Juice Increases Sugar Intake
Fructose is the natural sugar in fruits. While all cells in the human body use glucose as energy, the liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose and make use of it. Thus, experts believe that a diet high in calories and high in fructose can overwhelm the liver. As a result, the liver starts turning the excess fructose into fat. At the same time, excess fructose in the bloodstream can also lead to increased blood sugar levels.
Additionally, 100% fruit juice concentrates fructose, which could lead to an increase in sugar intake. With this in mind, eating one apple that has 10g of sugar in it is good; however, drinking apple juice containing 5 or more apples to get enough juice will quickly multiply that amount. Because of this, experts recommend sticking to only one serving of pure fruit juice per day. However, experts agree that 100% fruit juice can be a good source of nutrients. The only problem is in added sugar consumption.
Furthermore, scientists believe that excess fructose consumption could increase the risk of several chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer. Because of this, we always recommend consulting your doctor before trying out juicing. Of course, juicing can be good for diabetics as long as it is done in moderation and is medically supervised.
Food Poisoning Risk
Keep in mind that juicing involves drinking fresh fruit juice. And, while some people peel their fruits and vegetables before juicing, others do not. Doing so could increase the risk of food poisoning, as the bacteria on the outside of fruits and vegetables could get incorporated into the juice. Since fresh juice is unpasteurized juice, any bacteria it contains does not get destroyed before consumption.
Despite this, experts say that most healthy people will be fine even after drinking fresh juice. However, those with compromised immunity systems, children, pregnant women, and older adults are at a higher risk of getting sick with food poisoning. Thus, juicing enthusiasts recommend juicing only organic produce and thoroughly cleaning them before juicing. Alternatively, if you plan to drink pre-made juice, make sure to buy the pasteurized ones.
Potential Kidney Damage
As we learned above, health enthusiasts recommend juicing only organic produce. One more reason they recommend this is to avoid consuming other toxins which can be harmful to the liver and kidneys, such as pesticides. Additionally, some fruits and leafy greens are high in oxalate. Researchers have linked a diet rich in oxalate to the forming of kidney stones as well as kidney failure.
Furthermore, those who juice must be especially careful of limiting some nutrients to avoid overwhelming the kidneys. Some examples are potassium and sodium, but many juicing recipes contain fruits and vegetables high in potassium. One such example is orange juice. In addition, a diet high in sodium can lead to a higher risk of kidney disease.
Lastly, researchers have not found scientific evidence that clearly points out juicing works, but it is ultimately up to you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons. If you decide that you want to try juicing despite everything, make sure to consult your doctor so you can avoid any harmful side effects by doing it safely.
The Bottom Line Of Juicing
We know looking at all the ways juicing can harm you may be overwhelming, but you can avoid most of them by juicing safely. For example, the risk of food poisoning can be lowered significantly by juicing organic produce and thoroughly cleaning fruits and veggies before you juice them.
Of course, fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, but what your juice contains can affect how good it is for your health. Many health experts suggest drinking mainly vegetable juices and adding a small amount of fruit for a little sweetness. Additionally, if you do not want to risk juicing, doctors suggest trying out blending instead.
Furthermore, many health experts advise against juice diets as they are often not balanced diets. Because of this, they suggest adding fruit and vegetable juices to your diet instead of replacing your meals with them. Your doctor or nutritionist can help you do this, so always consult them before making any changes to your diet.
Remember, juicing responsibly can let you enjoy the benefits of juicing while avoiding the ways it can be bad for your health.