The Juicing Diet claims
You have probably heard people touting the benefits of a juicing diet. The “nutrients are in the juice” “speed up the absorption of nutrients”, “concentrate the nutrients”…etc. These are the claims of proponents of heavy juicing diets. While this can be partially true, there is a significant problem that few hear about. It is the very concentration of the juice that is the issue.
I will acknowledge that juice from fresh fruit and veggies is a decent source of nutrients. It does even concentrate them in a smaller easier to ingest form. But remember, EVERYTHING in the juice is concentrated. Why does this matter? Have you ever wondered why fruits and vegetables have all that fibrous build up around all that healthy juice? It was no mistake they were created that way. It is the same reason pharmaceutical pills are designed as time release, dissolving tablets and capsules.
Why Juice comes in a Fibrous Package
Your body requires a measured dose of macro and micro nutrients each day, throughout the day. While a juicing diet does flood the many essential nutrients rapidly, one element of juice makes drinking too much, or using juice as your vegetable intake a dangerous proposition. Sugar. Yes juices have all the sugar from the vegetables and fruits they come from. This can be a lot. Fiber provides a safe and manageable absorption rate for these nutrients and sugars to be absorbed. Without regulation, excess sugar consumed too rapidly, even from healthy foods, is bad for you. As discussed in the posts on this site Type 2 Diabetes and other problems including cardiovascular disease, are associated with excess sugars in the diet, and increased insulin levels. It does not matter where the sugar comes from, even if its supposed to be a healthy juicing diet. We are not saying a Juicing diet would cause Type 2 Diabetes, but the spikes in sugar and insulin can be an unhealthy roller coaster for your body to ride.
When you eat whole foods veggies and fruits included, they are like time release capsules. The nutrients are assimilated into the body in a slow methodical and calculated digestive process, which allows the body to unpack and distribute nutrients and sugars in an organized way. The fiber in those foods actually regulate and slow the process of assimilation so the bodies systems can keep up with the intake, particularly of the sugars. This allows insulin levels to keep a measured pace and the body can use the energy from the sugars during the few hours of assimilation.
The Sugar Flood
Juice however takes all the roadblocks out of the process. Its like a torrential downpour on a drought stricken area. Flash floods and erosion, instead of saturation. So much sugar is taken in so fast (think of how many apples it takes to make an average glass of juice) your body cannot possibly assimilate it quickly enough, and the result is excess sugar in the system, releasing excess insulin, possibly even creating insulin resistance over time, just like too much candy or fast food. Then the excess sugar the body cannot assimilate or expel fast enough is turned into fat, and stored as metabolically active and toxin releasing cells, which can even create or exacerbate inflammation and all the inflammatory disorders so common today.
The fact is you need the fiber. The fiber is essential to regulating blood sugar, and keeping the GI tract in good shape. Fiber also fills space, so you feel full and don’t take in too much food. In addition to fruit and vegetable fibers good fiber sources include: beans, bran, brown rice, and nuts. You can even use powdered varieties, but the whole grains and complete foods are always best both for the fiber, nutrients, and sugars.
The Balance of a Juicing Diet
Obviously moderate use of juice can be beneficial. Adding protein and fiber to a smoothie can also help make a concentrated juicing diet a little more balanced. But it is always best to eat as many whole fruits and vegetables as is possible, since they are perfectly designed to allow the body to properly use and distribute the components of the food appropriately.
In my next post I will address the importance of water.