The Pros & Cons
a special feature from *Debra Orringer, Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Crazes in America come and go, like ringtones. From Pickleball to Paleo and Aerial Fitness, to Fifty Shades of Grey, to Carrie Bradshaw’s love of Jimmy Choos and Manolo’s, and everything in between, there has been no greater fad to hit the streets of America than the Juicing Craze. Juicing and juice fasting may seem like a good idea, but there are pro’s and con’s to think about.
Considering the fact that the average American is eating less than a fifth of the recommended five servings of vegetables and three fruits a day, if grabbing a juice can help make up the shortfall, juices have a vital role to play.
In a Department of Agriculture study, researchers analyzed 12 fruits and found 90 percent of the antioxidant activity was in the juice, rather than the fiber. In other studies people who drank juices were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, cancer, or heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
These drinks are automatically low in ingredients we want to avoid – like toxic fats, added sugars, excess salt and more.
Side note – they may be lower in the added sugars, but the natural sugars and calories can still add up, making it difficult if you are trying to lose weight.
While juicing is a great way to get in your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, (especially if you’re not a fan), you shouldn’t count on it as your sole source of these daily needs. A juicing machine extracts the juice from whole fruits or vegetables. The processing results in fewer vitamins and minerals, because the nutrient-rich skin is left behind. Juicing also removes the pulp, which contains fiber.
Fresh squeezed juices lack protein and healthy fats that your body needs for tissue repair and maintenance. Extend your juice fast out too long and your body will begin to break down muscle. Placing this type of stress on your body can also slow your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight.
If calories during a juice fast remain low, you’re sure to stimulate fat metabolism. But with that breakdown of fat, there will be release of toxins and your body will need certain nutrients to help properly detoxify.
Protein is vital for maintaining muscle while calories are being reduced, because any reduced-calorie diet, including juice fasts, can result in weight loss, but without proper protein, muscle will be lost as well. Restricting your body for weeks from the nutrients it needs is not healthy either.
Juicers can be expensive and which type to buy? A citrus juicer or a juice extractor?
BOTTOM LINE – Moderation is key
Aim to eat two whole fruits, and three to four vegetables a day. They should come in different colors, as the colors have different vitamins and minerals. If you do like the taste of fresh juice, enjoy it in moderation and as part of a balanced diet that includes a healthy balance of protein, produce and heart healthy fats. Here’s an easy juicer to use: https://amzn.to/1dn6ufC
**Debra Orringer, MS from Naples, FL, is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with 20 years in the fitness industry. She has managed the wellness programs at the Kennedy Space Center as well as consulted for several national fitness companies, authored articles, and retains a myriad of advanced level certifications. Debra works as a Wellness Coach for Isagenix.
For further comments contact Debra at: debo@321GetFitt.com