The Truth About the Juice “Cleanse”

Juice cleanses are a recently popular way for people to lose weight, but what are the drawbacks to this low-carb diet?

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Juice Cleanse: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Every time the New Year rolls around, people make resolutions to improve upon themselves since the previous year. Many of these resolutions are to quit smoking, drink less, volunteer more, and most commonly: to lose weight or start a healthier diet. Because of this, many people over recent years have turned to the controversial juice cleanse to solve their problems.

Allegedly, juice cleanses are meant to detoxify your body of all its impurities and rid your body of toxins. However,  Eric Ravussen, Ph.D, at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, claims that the rumor that juice cleanses can purify your body of toxins is merely a marketing ploy. Cleansing of the body of its toxins is essentially the purpose of a liver and kidneys.

With that said, if the cleanse is meant as a short term diet and the person doing the juice cleanse has no serious health issues, such as diabetes, then juice cleanses are not the most harmful thing to the body.

Drinking only juice made from fruit will substantially increase the body’s intake of sugar, which has numerous drawbacks. The body’s blood sugar will increase, because of a higher concentration of sugar in the diet and also because of the lack of other macronutrients, like fiber and protein that a juice cleanse does not provide.

A diet consisting of only vegetable juice will lack carbohydrates that are necessary for the body to function properly. Additionally, juice cleanses are extremely low in fiber, which is necessary to slow down the digestive process and moderate the body’s blood sugar levels. The absence of these essential nutrients, could leave you feeling lightheaded (from deficiency of salt) or dizzy (from a lack of carbohydrates).

The biggest drawback of juice cleansing is that it can leave you feeling extremely hungry. Many juice cleanses only give your body about 1,000 calories a day, leaving you  at least 1,000 calories short of the recommended daily calorie intake. Therefore, while juice cleanses will make you lose weight, you will also lose muscle mass.

Juice cleansing will not have any extreme harmful effects on someone who is already healthy, as long as they limit the diet to no more than a few days.

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