To Juice Or Not To Juice?

I hold my hands up and admit that I do love a good juice, but with increasing warnings, with research coming out from many nutritional experts, I may have to kerb my usual consumption and modify the contents of what I juice.  The odd glass is not going to affect you, but those who are on a juice only fad diet, may wish to read on.

 

watermelon juice

 

There are claims that juicing could do the following:-

  • Loss of fibre – constipation
  • Increased bacteria risk from unclean utensils
  • Type 2 diabetes risk
  • Increased calories – weight gain
  • Dental problems
  • Illness due to people storing their juice

How & Why?

I shall try to keep my answers to the above, short and to the point.

Loss of Fibre

Many juicers leave the pith, core, peel and pips behind.  These elements have vital fibre and even if you put the whole of the fruit in your juicer, the blades could damage the cellulose fibre, which will affect how much fibre is in the juice.  Top nutritionist Scott Laidler has even said ‘You are unlikely to get the same fibre as you would from just eating it.’  Fibre has a massive part to play in the fight against bowel cancer, plus it makes you feel fuller for longer which could help those people who are prone to snacking.

Bacteria from Utensils

Having a juicer myself, those blades can be mighty tricky to clean.  It is some task to make sure it is clean and not leave yourself with no fingers.  Swabs have been taken from juicers and found that they are a breeding ground for e-coli and salmonella. Nice… not! Make sure the juicer is thoroughly clean and that includes any spouts and other parts unless you would like diarrhea, vomiting or even worse kidney problems.

Type 2 Diabetes

Fruit contains sugar.  However, when you eat the whole of the fruit naturally then the fructose (sugar within the fruit) is broken down slowly, making the absorption process slower.  When you crush the fruit in say a juicer, the fructose is then quickly absorbed into your body.  Our body then has to release insulin to deal with this sugar bombardment.  This sugar has to be burnt off as if you do no exercise, then it will be stored as fat.  For some who have a high juice diet, they stop producing insulin and then become diabetic.  Swapping juice for whole fruit, is said to help them considerably.  My husband who is a type 2 diabetic sufferer (due to his smoking and eating excess sugar, which he has now thankfully cut down on both considerably) has swapped his juice, for whole fruit.  We shall both watch his levels with interest.  I have berated him for years, and I know that diet can help his type 2 diabetes, sadly he does not like the healthy food I like, nor is he keen on raw foods.

Increased Calories – Weight Gain

So you thought being on one of these fruit juice fad diets you would lose weight? That may be true for the short-term but what about the long haul?  Put simply have you ever tried to eat say three oranges naturally, all in one session? By the second orange I am starting to feel full, yet could easy polish off a glass of juice that has 4 or five oranges in it.  If you eat the whole fruit, the body has to digest it, which takes some time, hence the reason why you feel fuller for longer.  The body also burns calories whilst digesting it, so that is another bonus.  If you gulp a juice, then that process is pretty much missing out on burning around 200 calories a day.  Now that is a lot for a calorie counter for doing pretty much nothing.  Some juices have more sugar than a lot of chocolate bars that are on the market.  So again, eat the whole fruit rather than just drinking its juice.

I have also witnessed people who go on fads and take it from me, after they get bored with it they end up with more weight on them than they did before.  A balanced diet and exercise is the key to sustained weight loss.  It is not rocket science to know that if you put more in than you put out by way of exercise, you will be more likely to gain weight.  I shall explain how I lost 14 pounds in over a month without taking drastic steps in a blog post this coming week.  Please follow this blog if you want to know about this.

Dental Problems

Acid in fruit can cause erosion of the enamel on teeth.  Even youngsters are suffering from this.  If you drink juice, you may wish to use a straw to help protect your teeth. After all, who wants to see a healthy body with a set of gnashers that look like they are from the UK guests of the Jeremy Kyle show?

Illness due to storing juice

Do not store your juice.  You need to drink it after it has been made for a good reason. Juices that you make at home could be vulnerable to bacteria, hence the reason why many brands that are bought ready-made from the shop, are pasteurised.

Another issue is that the minute any fruit is cut, is has been exposed to the air and light (oxidation) which means valuable nutrients and antioxidants are being lost. We need to make sure our diets are balanced and as full of vital nutrients as much as possible.  We never get enough of what we need in our diet.  I also advocate using organic produce too.  I have been trying to eat organic food over the last twenty years. No matter what anyone may say to the contrary, chemicals sprayed on food cannot be good for you.  I understand food shortages blahdy blah and the reasoning behind it, but it does not mean to say I have to digest it.  If you have got un-organic fruit and vegetables, make sure it is thoroughly washed.  I will blog on this emotive subject shortly.

Lastly, I would like to add that some juicing can be reasonably good for you.  Lower sugar based juicing seems to fare better with nutritionists, as some fruit and vegetables have a lower natural sugar content, where there should not be so much of an insulin spike within the body.  It still does not get away from the issue of fibre though.  Some of these lower sugar items of produce are an acquired taste though… Tomorrow I shall be attempting one of these and give you the recipe.  I can promise you one thing, it won’t taste as nice as my cupcakes.  Sorry.

Emily

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Published by

Emily Glancy

Broadcaster, Author, Writer and Business woman Slightly obsessed with food, health, current affairs and travel. Have far too many interests to list, so I will not bore you. Have a Christian faith and a heart to help others when it is in my power to do so. My saying in life is 'You have only failed if you quit... If you don't quit then you have not failed.'

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