Juice Fasts: Is It All It’s Cracked Up To Be?
Juicing is the all the rage these days. There’s a juice shop on every corner and you can’t visit social media without seeing someone posting about their latest juice fast. But is this really a healthy option? And if not, what should you be doing instead? Well let’s first take a look at some of the problems with juicing and juice fasts and look at some healthier alternatives.
Problems with Juicing:
1) Juice Fasts are Low Fiber and High Sugar
A piece is fruit is designed by nature in a way that is perfectly balanced. The fiber and the sugar in a piece of fruit work together to balance each other and integrate into your body the right way. However, when you juice, you remove a key component: the fiber. Yes, juicing removes all the fiber from the fruit and leaves mostly sugar. While this can create a sweet and delicious beverage, it doesn’t mean good things for your body. Without the fiber to slow down digestion and absorption, your body very quickly processes the sugar causes a quick blood sugar spike. Also, the fiber is the filling part of the fruit! Without it, we don’t get that pleasant feeling of fullness that makes us content to stop eating. Also, the fiber of the fruit contains the carotenoids and flavonoids, which are the healthiest parts of it. So, my juicing we remove the fiber and a lot of the nutrients and retain a whole lot of sugar: not something that is idea for your body.
2) Juice Fasts Strip Your Diet of Protein
We all know that protein is a vital part of our diet, especially if we are trying to build muscle and take care of our bodies physically. Unfortunately, juicing strips most of the protein from our diet. This can set us up for a myriad if issues both physical and psychological. It can cause feelings of dizziness, can weaken our immune system, can cause hair loss and can even increase the sugar cravings we are experiencing. Not an ideal list of side effects!
3) Juice Fasts Deprive Our Bodies of Healthy Fats
Fats are also an integral part of our body’s proper functioning. We need fat to help transport vitamins like A, D, E, and K throughout our body. Without them, we can experience hormonal problems, bone health issues, and even nervous system disorders. Fat also helps insulate and protect our bodies, especially our internal organs and our brain. No one wants an unprotected brain, right?
4) Juice Fast Can Reinforce Diet Dependence
Juice cleanse can be a quick way to lose a few pounds but they are not an ideal way to keep weight off. In fact, most people gain those pounds back right after they finish their juice cleanse, or shortly thereafter. And because juice cleanses are so restrictive, they have the same effect as any restrictive diet where they set us up to rebel and overeat. So, while we may lose a little weight, it is never long-term. This sets us up to continue to feel dependent on diets moving forward.
Ok so maybe juicing isn’t the healthiest option. So, is there a way to do it healthier or is there another option? Yes, of course. An ideal option is to follow a healthy, balanced diet that’s based in moderation while eating more mindfully and intuitively. But if you want to try juicing, considering these alternatives as a healthier option:
- Make sure your juices are not just fruit and incorporate a lot of vegetables.
- Eat a meal of fruits and veggies instead of having juice.
- Consider having a juice for only one meal and having protein and vegetables at the others.
- Have a smoothie instead of a juice: smoothies retain all the fiber from the produce.
- Substitute a protein shake for a juice each day.
These alternatives to a strict juice fast, will help ensure you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs while still treating your body well!