The concept of juicing fruits and vegetables for health has been around for many years. In terms of simplicity and ease, it is an attractive idea. Fruit juice is delicious, sweet, and easy to prepare, so many dieters are intrigued by using it for weight loss. Plus, many juice cleanses promise drastic results.
Similar to water fasting, juice cleansing is designed to rid the body of built up toxins. But according to the Mayo Clinic, many of the perceived benefits of detoxing (more energy, enhanced clarity, etc.) may be a largely psychological boost caused by the faster believing they are making a healthy choice. Actual toxin loss from detox diets has yet to be substantially proven. And in some cases, it can also be dangerous. Because fruits and vegetables are so healthy, juice fasters may not think critically enough about the healthiness of their juice fast. It is easy for juice fasters to cross the line into unhealthy starvation and dehydration effects. Metabolism can plummet, and fasters may experience headache, confusion, and tiredness caused by dehydration.
There are several forms of juice fasting. Usually cleansers will sip fruit and vegetable juices like carrot juice, apple juice, or kale juice throughout the day, and will abstain from any other solid food and other substances like alcohol and tobacco. Fasts typically last one to three days, and fasters wanting to perform longer cleanses are strongly encouraged to seek medical supervision because of the risk of dehydration and malnutrition.
The Mayo Clinic also reports that usually most of a fruit’s healthy fiber is lost during the juicing process. Removing this important element not only reduces the overall health benefit of fruit, but it causes the body to process energy much more quickly. If exercise and fruit juice fasting are combined, this factor can exacerbate the risk of light-headedness and cause an unhealthy drop in blood pressure.
Many dieters use a juice cleanse as a way to drop unwanted pounds fast. Juice diets claim radical results, with some promising losses of up to 40 pounds in 30 days. Depending on several factors, the healthy maximum recommended weight loss is usually one pound per week. Weight loss can become dangerous if done too quickly, not to mention unsustainable. Dieters should be wary of any plan that promises such rapid results, as the claims are usually fabricated.
While juice does contain valuable nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, consuming only juice for any extended period of time is risky. Always consult a doctor when beginning a new diet or exercise regiment, especially when embarking on a radical plan like fasting.
- “Do detox diets offer any health benefits?” Mayo Clinic
- “Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables?” Mayo Clinic
Better meals begin with better planning. We can help.