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A post by

Kara Glasco,MS, RCEP, HFS

When I think of juicing, I envision the shopping networks selling the PowerJuicer XL1000 for the extra low price of $399.99 on today’s special!  These type of ads always seem to be selling stuff with claims to make you healthier, remove all the toxins from your body and help you to lose 5 pounds in two days!  And, green juices have also gotten popular with all the celebrities touting their miracle properties.  In this article I will highlight some things to consider before switching to a juicing diet. 

Pass the Pulp

When it comes to juicing, I believe there is a major misunderstanding of what juicing really is.  True, juicing is when whole foods are put into a liquid extracting machine and the pulp and whole food byproducts are removed.  Throwing whole foods into a blender without removing any fiber or byproducts to create a juice like drink is NOT true juicing.  I witness this confusion all the time when trying to work on my client’s diets.  There is a MAJOR difference between pulp and no pulp.  The fiber found in cell membranes of fruit and vegetables is incredibly import for your body.   Fibrous foods improves digestion, aids nutrient absorption, cleans teeth, slows the absorption of sugar and helps you feel fuller faster.  Separating fiber from the juice allows natural sugars to spike your insulin and blood sugar levels quicker.  The body can’t differentiate fruit juice sugar from soda sugar; it is absorbed all the same.  Most individuals consume way too much sugar daily and fruit juice has no needed place in their already sugary diet.  Many juices call for a 2:1 ratio of fruit to vegetables with the sugar making the veggies more palatable.  Depending on what you throw into your juicer, a combination of multiple fruits and vegetables could wrack up over 100 grams of sugar.  Personally I’d rather have a slice of cake for all that sugar. 

Drinking Swamp Water

So now let’s address the “juice” that involves whole vegetables blended together without removing the pulp.  I’ve seen recipes that vary from kale and apple combos to ginger, beet, and zucchini concoctions.  Inevitably, most juices turn into that lovely viscous brownish green beverage.  If you are trying to get extra vegetable servings in your children or husbands, I highly doubt they will guzzle down swamp water.  I find actually eating the whole fruits and vegetables much more enjoyable and I can’t seem to wrap my brain around kale and apples together. 

Chewing also increases the time it takes to consume a meal, which give the brain more time to register that food has been consumed.  When a meals worth of juice is consumed in under a minute, those satiety hormones have no chance to tell the brain that it isn’t hungry anymore.  This has the potential to cause over eating since it is consumed so quickly and in a less satisfying form.  Studies show that those who eat more quickly tend to be heavier and have higher rates of obesity. 

Another thing to consider is the blender performs the role of the stomach by breaking food down.  With less digestion, fewer calories are burned to break down the food consumed.  This also causes the juice to travel through the digestive track at an accelerated rate potentially resulting in fewer essential vitamins and minerals being absorbed. 

Lastly, whole foods take up space causing you to feel fuller quicker and hopefully making you consume fewer calories.  Juicing may or may not be your thing, but you can’t deny the benefits of whole foods in their natural state.

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