5 Reasons “Juicing” Is Dangerous

Jackie Damboragian, Health Coach
Health Coach
December 30, 2015

Whether you’re bouncing back from the holidays, envisioning your goals for the New Year, or wanting to feel more confident in your summer body—eating well and losing weight may be on your to-do list.

But if you think “juicing” is a path to better health and weight loss, please proceed with caution.

For the following reasons, Parsley Health encourages our members to refrain from juice cleanses. Instead, we recommend juices as a treat, never a staple. Every now and then, I enjoy a beautiful, fresh juice, but I only get fruit-free juices—such as a green juice with lemon and ginger—and I never use it as a meal replacement.

Here are 5 reasons NOT to juice:

  • Juicing can mess with your metabolism.
    Most juices contain up to 20 grams or more of sugar , which is equivalent to 4 teaspoons. Studies show that high levels of sugar in the diet can have devastating effects on metabolism, causing metabolic disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease down the road. To reduce the burden of sugar on your body, it’s better to have a smoothie than juice: the fibers in the fruit slow the absorption of sugars in the body, and you can mix it in with healthy fat and protein, which reduces the glycemic load. Slower absorption of food and higher fiber content are associated with a lower risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure, and weight loss.
  • Healthy fat is back.
    The fat-free brainwashing of the 80s is still embedded in many of us. However, healthy fat is essential for energy, digestion, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A and D, and hormone and nerve health. Juices generally don’t contain much (if any) fat or protein, both of which stimulate your brain to quiet hunger pangs when they reach your small intestine. You won’t be satiated as long from a juice as you will from a smoothie or meal.
  • Juicing encourages constipation.
    Your body needs fiber for food to move through your system, draw out toxins, and rid itself of waste. Fiber is necessary to induce proper peristalsis (the waves of contraction of your intestinal muscles that move food along). Juicing separates all that fiber and discards it, rendering it useless and constipating many a juice devotee.
  • Your gut loves fiber.
    Fermentation happens in the large intestine thanks to plant fiber and the helpful bacteria that like to eat it. You can take all the probiotics you want, but if you don’t give the bugs in your colon the complex carbs and fermentable plant fibers they like to munch on, you miss out on the golden byproduct of bacterial digestion: the short-chain fatty acids that nourish and protect the gut barrier and reduce inflammation . For example, bifidobacteria, a helpful kind of gut bug, metabolize fiber into short-chain fatty acids that in turn feed the cells lining your gut. If you’re juicing, you’re throwing away a lot of fiber that these bugs love!
  • Juicing spikes your blood sugar.
    The glycemic load is quite high in juices—even a pure greens juice that has only 6-8 grams of sugar, since they lack healthy fat, fiber, or protein to slow down the absorption of those sugars in the bloodstream. Spikes in blood sugar inevitably lead to a crash, leaving us lethargic, exhausted and wanting to eat more to get our energy back. This cycle leads to sugar, carb, and caffeine cravings—all of which interfere with weight loss .

What should I do instead of a juice cleanse?

It's possible to reset without a juice cleanse! For many people, detox is synonymous with juice cleanses and occasionally curbing our alcohol habits. At Parsley Health, we believe detoxing is much more than that. Detoxification is a process of transformation in our bodies and there are many alternative ways to detox that don’t involve a bunch of spinach and kale green juices.

Here's how to detox without a juice cleanse .

Ready to take control of your health? Schedule a free call  to learn more about Parsley’s root-cause approach, using insurance  with Parsley, and how we can personalize your health journey.

Jackie Damboragian, Health Coach
Health Coach

Jackie is the Director of Coaching Services at Parsley Health. She has over eight years of health coaching experience, both in person and virtually, in functional medicine settings. Before joining Parsley Health she worked for Dr. Frank Lipman in his NYC practice. She holds a Health Coaching Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as additional training from the School of Applied Functional Medicine.

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