Extreme juice cleanse diets can cheat the body - AmericaNowNews.com


Extreme juice cleanse diets can cheat the body of valuable nutrients needed

Juice cleansing, or a juice detox, is a hot fad and big business as more people chug down colorful, frothy juices hoping to detox poisons from their body, lose weight, or just add a glow to their skin.

You can buy specialty juices at the grocery store, juice bars or have them delivered to your door. For die-hards, you can purchase a machine to make frothy juice concoctions at home.

But do juice cleanses live up to the hype, and if taken to the extreme – could they do more harm than good?

At the Healthy Home Market in Charlotte, the 'Green Genie' is one of the more popular fresh juices customers order. It contains bits of parsley, cucumber and spinach.

With names like 'Perfect Fit,' 'Blood Booster,' and 'Liver Tonic,' it's easy to see why so many health-conscious people like Holli Adams are ordering and slurping down these colorful drinks.

But then there are others who say juicing is a way of life.  

Claudine Binne-Declercq lives on a farm and she is convinced that juice cleansing is the only way to remain healthy and fight disease.

For 10 years, she and her husband, John, have replaced traditional meals which typically consisted of processed foods and preservatives with homemade juices they create from organic fruits and vegetables purchased at the store or grown on their farm.

"In 2000, my husband got really sick and we really wanted to help his health by changing our diet and getting a healthier diet and paying attention to what we put into our body," she told America Now's Jeff Rivenbark.

She took us inside her kitchen to show us how easy it is to prepare fresh juice. First, she sliced a variety of fruits and vegetables. Then, she flipped the switch on her commercial-style juicing machine and shoved chunks of raw vegetables and fruits down the chute. Moments later, a foamy juice started dripping into a bowl underneath the machine.

"It's like a mixed-vegetable soup, a cold soup," Binne-Declercq said.

She believes fresh-made juice rids the body of toxins and waste from John's medical treatments for cancer.

Many people go on a juice cleanse diet or fast because they want to look or feel better, often to shed a few pounds.

A juice cleanse lasts from three to seven days or, for some, weeks at a time during which eating solid foods is discouraged.

Proponents of juice cleanses say the body gets more health benefits from fruits and vegetables in juice form, and that juicing gives your digestive system a break from having to break down fiber.

Ironically, the fiber extracted during the juicing process is something our bodies need.

Dr. John Acquaviva is an associate professor in the School of Sport Sciences at Wingate University located an hour east of Charlotte.

"Fiber is in integral part of a healthy diet, and not that there isn't fiber in fruits and vegetables, but often when we juice it, we remove the fiber-containing components of the product when we put it in the juice, and that's one of the things that people are missing out on when they juice 100 percent of the time," Acquaviva explained.

A juice cleanse will likely help you lose weight and you may even feel a burst of energy, but don't be fooled.

What you're feeling is not so much the release of toxins from your body, but rather a buzz from the natural sugars in fruit juices.

Along with the positive benefits of juicing, comes the bad.  

"Too much juicing will burn protein and what happens is that you are going to burn muscle mass," warned Emi Miller, a certified holistic registered nurse. "Someone who is doing heavy work, who is a runner, who is an athlete, what they don't realize is that the heart itself is muscle, and so you are going to typically interfere with your heart's ability to function properly and can even damage your heart."

Miller says when you drink juices day after day without eating a well-balanced meal consisting of protein, carbs and healthy fats, it could trigger another major change in your body.

"Instead of raising your metabolic rate as you would think, your body is going into what it considers 'fasting mode' because it is not getting everything it needs," Miller cautioned. "When your body goes into a 'fasting mode,' the metabolic rate slows down and it can permanently slow down."

When this occurs, your energy level decreases and this will affect your ability to lose weight naturally.

So, how about all those claims that juice cleanses removes toxins from the body?

Experts we spoke to say juicing for this reason isn't really necessary because our liver, kidneys, and intestines already filter the unwanted things we eat and expel them through urine, bowel movements, breath and sweat.

Dr. Acquaviva says most people need about 2,000 calories a day to maintain their weight and health, but the caloric intake of many juice cleanses is about half that amount.

"If you just juice, it's really difficult to reach the amount of calories the average person should take in because fruits and vegetables, even though they are a great source of nutrition, they shouldn't be the only form of the diet or calories in the diet," Acquaviva said.

Perhaps, the best advice regarding juice diets is moderation."

"We can have a fruit smoothie every day, we can have a vegetable juice once or twice a day as long as around that we are continuing to eat a balanced diet so that our bodies get everything it needs during that 24-hour period, then juicing is part of a wholesome nutritional package and that keeps everybody healthy," Miller said.

Pathogens can live on all raw food. Since fresh juices have no preservatives and aren't pasteurized, drink them as soon as they're made, before the bacteria starts growing.

Consult with a medical professional who understands your health situation and knows about all the medications you're taking before starting a juice cleanse diet.

Additional Information:
The following information is from WebMD in an article entitled "Juicing: How Healthy Is It?" (Source: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/juicing-health-risks-and-benefits).

  • Juicing is a good way to help you meet your daily recommendation in one drink according to Jennifer Barr, MPH, RD, LDN, who works at Wilmington's Center for Community Health at Christiana Care Health System.
  • Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, CSSD, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesman and founder of Eating Free, a weight management program, says you shouldn't count on juicing as your sole source of fruits and vegetables.
  • Your goal should be to eat two whole fruits, and three to four vegetables a day. They should be different colors, as the colors have different vitamins and minerals.
  • 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.
  • Besides muffins, Barr uses other combinations -- such as spinach, pears, flaxseed, celery, and kale -- to make broth for cooking soup, rice, and pasta. She calls it "going the extra step to fortify your meals."
  • Juicers can be expensive, ranging from $50 to $400. Some more expensive juicers will break down a lot of the fruit by grinding the core, rind, and seeds, Barr says.
  • You may not need a juicing machine to make juice. You can use a blender for most whole fruits or vegetables to keep the fiber -- add water if it becomes too thick, Villacorta says.
  • A medium piece of fruit has about 60 calories. A cup of vegetables has about 25 calories, and 3 cups of leafy greens have about 25 calories. Each 60-calorie serving of fruit equals about 4 ounces of juice. A typical juice is usually 12 to 16 ounces.
  • If you use vegetables to juice, the calories are a lot less. If they use mainly vegetables, add an apple or kiwi for flavor. Calories are a concern if it's pure fruit juice.
  • To make a juice more balanced with protein, some good sources are almond milk, Greek yogurt, flaxseed, or peanut butter.
  • When juicing, follow these food safety guidelines:
  • Fans of juicing also say that juicing is better than eating whole fruits and vegetables because the body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives the digestive system a rest from working on fiber.
  • But "the nutrients might not have the same potential because you've processed them," Villacorta says. "There's nothing like eating the whole fruit or vegetable."
  • It's important to speak with your health-care provider before integrating juicing into your diet to avoid any potential food and drug interactions. For instance, large amounts of foods high in vitamin K, such as kale and spinach, may change how an anti- blood clotting medication works, Barr says.
  • you are trying to lose weight by only juicing, then you are putting yourself at risk to lose muscle mass. Research shows that adding protein is essential to preserve muscle mass during weight loss.
  • What about juicing as a way to detox or cleanse your body? "I haven't seen any research or science paper to support that cleansing is happening from juicing," Villacorta says.Your liver and kidneys take care of that -- whether you're juicing or not.
    • Wash your hands before touching the fruits and vegetables.
    • Thoroughly clean the produce.
    • Use hot, soapy water if you have to hand wash the juicer or blender. Let all parts completely dry before putting away, to prevent bacterial growth.
    • Use your dishwasher's sanitize cycle if the juicer is dishwasher safe.
    • Don't keep juice longer than a week. It's best to drink it the same day, since the juice isn't pasteurized.

The following information is from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (Source: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm).

  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are jointly issued and updated every 5 years by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They provide authoritative advice about consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active to attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health.
  • The DGA provides advice for making food choices that promote good health, a healthy weight, and help prevent disease for healthy Americans ages 2 and over. The advice is based on a rigorous review of the scientific evidence through a transparent, unbiased process. The DGA is congressionally mandated under the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act (Public Law 101-445, Section 301 [7 U.S.C. 5341], Title III). It is released by the Secretaries of USDA and HHS every five years.
  • The DGA is intended for policymakers, nutrition educators and health professionals in developing nutrition policy, nutrition education messages and consumer materials for the general public and for specific audiences, such as children.
  • The DGA has always focused on adults and children 2 years of age and older. Children under 2 years of age are not included because their nutritional needs and eating patterns vary by their developmental stage and differ substantially from those of older children and adults. A separate committee for reviewing nutrition and physical activity needs of pregnant women and children from birth to 2 years old could be beneficial as it would be made up of scientists and nutrition professionals who are experts in those very specialized topic areas of infant development and infant feeding practices.
  • The policy document is available online at www.dietaryguidelines.gov. This website also will provide information about availability of hard copies, and ordering information, as soon as that information is available.

The following information is from the United States Department of Agriculture ChooseMyPlate.gov (Source: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/print-materials-ordering/dietary-guidelines.html).

Build a healthy plate. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Try some of these options.

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Switch to skim or 1% milk.
  • Make at least half your grains whole.
  • Vary your protein food choices.
  • Keep your food safe to eat - learn more at www.FoodSafety.gov.

Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt. Many people eat foods with too much solid fats, added sugars, and salt (sodium). Added sugars and fats load foods with extra calories you don't need. Too much sodium may increase your blood pressure.

  • Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars.
  • Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy - it all adds up.
  • Eat fewer foods that are high in solid fats.

Eat the right amount of calories for you. Everyone has a personal calorie limit. Staying within yours can help you get to or maintain a healthy weight. People who are successful at managing their weight have found ways to keep track of how much they eat in a day, even if they don't count every calorie.

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Cook more often at home, where you are in control of what's in your food.
  • When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options.
  • Write down what you eat to keep track of how much you eat.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly - limit to 1 drink a day for women or to 2 drinks a day for men.

Be physically active your way. Pick activities that you like and start by doing what you can, at least 10 minutes at a time. Every bit adds up, and the health benefits increase as you spend more time being active. Note to parents: What you eat and drink and your level of physical activity are important for your own health, and also for your children's health. You are your children's most important role model. Your children pay attention to what you do more than what you say. You can do a lot to help your children develop healthy habits for life by providing and eating healthy meals and snacks. For example, don't just tell your children to eat their vegetables - show them that you eat and enjoy vegetables every day.

The following tips are from the USDA's ChooseMyPlate.gov (Source: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet2AddMoreVegetables.pdf). It's easy to eat more vegetables! Eating vegetables is important because they provide vitamins and minerals and most are low in calories. To fit more vegetables in your meals, follow these simple tips. It is easier than you may think.

  • Discover fast ways to cook. Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick-and-easy dish to add to any meal. Steam green beans, carrots, or broccoli in a bowl with a small amount of water in the microwave for a quick side dish.
  • Be ahead of the game. Cut up a batch of bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli. Pre-package them to use when time is limited. You can enjoy them on a salad, with hummus, or in a veggie wrap.
  • choose vegetables rich in color. Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange, or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, or collard greens. They not only taste great but also are good for you, too.
  • Check the freezer aisle. Frozen vegetables are quick and easy to use and are just as nutritious as fresh veggies. Try adding frozen corn, peas, green beans, spinach, or sugar snap peas to some of your favorite dishes or eat as a side dish.
  • Stock up on veggies. Canned vegetables are a great addition to any meal, so keep on hand canned tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, mushrooms, and beets. Select those labeled as "reduced sodium," "low sodium," or "no salt added."
  • Sip on some vegetable soup. Heat it and eat it. Try tomato, butternut squash, or garden vegetable soup. Look for reduced- or low-sodium soups.
  • While you're out. If dinner is away from home, no need to worry. When ordering, ask for an extra side of vegetables or side salad instead of the typical fried side dish.
  • Savor the flavor of seasonal vegetables. Buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at a lower cost. Check your local supermarket specials for the best-in-season buys. Or visit your local farmer's market.
  • Try something new. You never know what you may like. Choose a new vegetable—add it to your recipe or look up how to fix it online.
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