Is juicing worth the hype?

Is juicing worth the hype?

After seeing Kim Kardashian drop 15 pounds in two weeks with the latest juice cleanse, you may be thinking, “Maybe I should try this.”

But do these popular health fads really help you obtain a healthy physique or can they actually harm you?

During a juice cleanse, a person’s diet is limited to fresh vegetables, fruit juices and water for anywhere from three days to three weeks. While consuming only fruits and vegetables does sound healthy, juicing” can leave out other vital nutrients a body needs to function properly.

“Eating just fruits and veggies doesn’t give you the filling protein your body needs,” says Michelle Remkus, registered dietitian at the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill. “It is important to add a protein source like peanut butter, almond milk, whey protein or Greek yogurt if you are solely having a glass of juice as a meal.”

Juice cleanses are commonly used to lose weight or to cleanse the body of toxins. In reality, however, juice cleanses might not do either of these things. After a juice cleanse, you might drop a few pounds but the weight you lose is usually just water weight that you will gain back. The nutrients you are depriving your body will actually lead to more food cravings and binge eating since the body is not able to distinguish between a “diet” and actual starvation, Remkus says.

And while you may be cleaning out a few toxins here and there, your body does a great job of that already. The liver, kidneys and intestines filter the unwanted things we eat or drink and get rid of them through urine, bowel movements and sweat.

While the juicing trend to lose weight might not be the best way to go, juicing does have its benefits when done properly. If you do not eat a lot of fruits or vegetables on a regular basis, you can pack all of your essential fruit and veggies for the day into a great-tasting juice, Remkus adds.

Experts advise that regular exercise and eating healthy will help shed pounds at a good rate and keep them off for good; juicing and other quick fixes can’t do that.

“The key to long term weight loss success is eating healthy foods, portion control, moderation and exercise,” Remkus says.

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  1. I think a juice cleanse is questionable but juicing is a great way to get added nutrients. I actually do it with my two small children who enjoy making the juice (mainly with veggies) and it’s a great way to get extra vegetables into them!

  2. I also agree that this is not the way to loose weight. But, if one is looking to jump start their diet and make a clean break from junk or fast food, I think it is a good method. I did the three day juice clense from a juice bar in chicago and I felt great during and after!

  3. Lisa Parro

    Numerous studies have shown that drinking alone (without eating) doesn’t make you feel full, which will leave you hungry and wanting to eat or drink more. Compare how you feel two hours after having a banana and some strawberries versus visiting Jamba Juice for a banana-strawberry smoothie.

  4. I have always wanted to try a juice cleanse, but I’m afraid once I finish the cleanse I will want to eat everything in sight. But, after reading this maybe a shorter juice cleanse of maybe 3-5 days with the inclusion of greek yogurt is the way to try it out.

  5. Debi Jordan

    Since I am currently trying to reduce my weight, this is not a good option. I don’t think it would satisfy me for too long and I’d be hungry again. I much prefer the crunch of the veggies and biting into a nice piece of fruit.

  6. What I usually have is not considered a juice cleanse. I usually blend my veggies and fruits with whey protein and almond milk so not only I get my daily intake of veggies and fruits but my protein and calcium. I have noticed my skin looking good and an increase of energy. A delicious smoothie idea is putting in banana, peanut butter, and almond milk for peanut butter banana smoothie.

  7. Maybe if you just substituted some meals for veggie or fruit blends could be beneficial and healthier.

  8. Good to know, was considering trying one of these!

  9. Ernst Lamothe Jr July 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm · Reply

    I’m big into juicing and always will be. I just feel healthy when I do it on a regular basis. Plus I can be around people who have colds and for some reason I don’t get sick so either I am a superhero or something is helping my immune system.

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About the Author

Sarah Fitzpatrick
Sarah Fitzpatrick

Sarah Fitzpatrick, health enews contributor, is a public affairs intern with Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove. She is currently a student at the University of Illinois studying Journalism with a certificate in Public Relations.