The Big Juicing Controversy

The nutrition world is full of controversy. I think the problem lies in the explosion of diets, fads, trends based on little to no evidence, only to be "debunked" later. It wasn't but 5 years ago when the whole world was going Vegan after "Engine 2" diet was publicized over national television. Now you get confused looks and glares if you're vegan because, "Don't you know you should be eating tons of fats, high protein and basically no carb?", thanks to the Ketogenic diet, Paleo diet, the "Grain Brain", and so many other books out there. 5 years from now, a huge research article will be published on the importance of whole grains and carbs, just sit back and wait with me. 

With that being said, I'm not a go-with-the-trend "dieter". I'm more of a rebel. If you don't know, shhhhh, but the juicing trend is on it's way OUT. And after cheating on juicing for two years with smoothies, I'm back on the juice (yep, even though it's losing it's "cool"). I'm also a vegetarian. Go ahead and scoff. I get it all the time. Oh, but I eat fish. Because I can. With a nice portion of carbs on the side. So, as you can see, I do ME. I eat healthy {loads of veggies}, hardly any sugar, too much coffee, fish when I want it, and JUICE. 

I know you're here for the JUICE, and I promise I'm getting to that, but if you want to learn more about me and MY diet, check out my Eat What The Nutritionist Eats Series.

So, what's the word? Well, that's just it. It's purely based on word of mouth. Mouths from reputable sources, but there hasn't been a slew of research regarding juicing. In fact, when I go to my peer reviewed research library, NOTHING comes up! But, based on conversations with colleagues in the industry, researching the industry myself, and understanding the human body and making sense of it, here's what I've found:

Juicing was all the rave, but is it really all it's chalked up to be?

Juicing was all the rave, but is it really all it's chalked up to be?

The good claims

There are loads of fruits and vegetables in one little glass, which also means it's jam packed with micronutrients! People tend to use juice fasts as a way to detox and lose weight, and it works. Obviously, if you're consuming nothing but juice for more than a day, then you'll likely lose weight. You'll also gain it back the second you return to normal eating, so I don't recommend using it as a way to shed the pounds. 

It is widely thought that the liquid form of juice allows for easy absorption of minerals and vitamins and the lack of fiber gives you're gut a break. It's true, in it's liquid form, you're body has to do substantially less work in order to strip and absorb the nutrients. On the contrary, you're body doesn't have to work to consume a lot of calories and sugar, so if you over do it, it's likely to cause weight gain rather than loss.

The bad claims

With juicing, you're stripping out all the fiber from the fruits and vegetables. Fiber regulates the rate at which sugar is released into the blood stream. Sugar coupled with fiber allows for a slow and steady release. Without the fiber, you're blood sugar will spike upon downing a cup of juice. In the event that you're juicing too many fruits {which you probably are, because no one loves a 100% vegetable juice} you're spiking your blood sugar which will then lead to fat storage and a cycle of sugar highs and lows throughout the day. 

Raw juices have the potential to quickly grow harmful bacteria. If you're juicing at home, it's best to drink straight away. If you're purchasing juice from a store front, it's best to go with pasteurized. This has it's own set of claims, often suggesting that pasteurizing juice reduces the nutrient value. 

The detox claims

If you want to sip on some juice to supplement a detox, be my guest. BUT full juice detoxes are counterproductive and NOT NECESSARY! You're body can detox even while you're eating, and can do so even better when you aren't starving yourself! 

While detoxing, it's important for your body to have support, such has specific minerals and vitamins to encourage the process, fiber to help push the toxins out, and bulk {food} that will assist in transitioning you to a healthier lifestyle.

Thorne makes a great protein powder that is loaded with the vitamins and minerals needs to sustain and promote detoxification. When used with the fiber supplement and a healthy diet, it is a fantastic detox that I personally do once a year! If you are a Lifetime Member, they sell it as their D.TOX bundle.

Click on the pictures and they will take you directly to amazon for purchasing. I receive a small commission to help support this blog. If you have questions about the products or need a "diet" to follow to help assist the detox, as always, reach out to me!

The cure cancer claims

Do I think that extra vitamins and minerals can help? Absolutely. Do I think we should ignore the time, money, brains and research that has gone into modern medicine to help us live longer and cure disease? Absolutely.... NOT. 

Respect your body. Give it health. Feed it good foods. Juice your greens if it makes you feel better. I think a healthy diet can certainly prevent disease. And it just might be your ticket back to health, with the assistance of modern medicine and health professionals!

My personal claim

I like juicing. I juice vegetables that I'd never dream of eating or cooking with. I also juice vegetables that I'd never add to my smoothie. And sadly enough, it happens to be the only sure fire way to get my HUSBAND {yep, I said husband, not kid} to eat vegetables. Do all wives count their significant other as their additional kid? When I say, "finish your veggies" at the dinner table, I'm talking to my grown, mature (eh, questionable), man of a husband!

The Solution:

  1. Juice MOSTLY vegetables and add in low sugar fruit {berries} for taste.
  2. Juice the vegetables yourself. The store bought juices are processed and potentially have nutrients stripped from them. When you can, always do FRESH!
  3. Don't use it as a weight loss or detox tool but rather a healthy, natural way to add vitamins and minerals to your diet. 
  4. Do not use in place of medicine but as a compliment to an already healthy lifestyle.
  5. Make a smoothie! Smoothies, like juice can be packed with vegetables, vitamins, minerals AS WELL AS protein and healthy fats to make for a well-rounded meal. If you're looking for a "meal replacement", a smoothie is your best option!

By: Tess Chupinsky; BS Biology Pre-Med, Precision Nutrition