Dietitian-Approved Guide: Pros And Cons of Juicing
Is the secret to nutritional health found in a glass? Summit’s nutrition and wellness team shares pros and cons of the juicing trend.
If you’ve been mesmerized by commercials featuring powerful blenders that pulverize leafy greens and fruits, you aren’t alone. Federal dietary guidelines recommend consumption of one and a half to two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables daily. But most of us struggle to eat enough fruits and vegetables. In fact, recent CDC studies report that only approximately 10 percent of American diets meet these recommendations. We asked Summit’s nutrition and wellness team if juicing was a good way to close the gap between what we should eat and what we do eat.
Most juicing diets require people to consume several fruit and vegetable juices each day for a specific number of days. Many of them do not allow consumption of whole foods during the diet. Although the diets can increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, there are also disadvantages to these regimens.
Positive features of juicing
Boost fruit and vegetable intake
Many Americans don’t get the recommended daily servings of fruit and vegetables. Juicing is a way to increase your intake of the fruits and vegetables. These foods contain vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
It’s not time-consuming or difficult to blend up fruits and vegetables. Juicing is an easy and convenient option to get the recommended servings of these foods.
Negative features of juicing
High sugar content
Fruits are an important part of a nutritious diet, but if you’re having eight fruit servings in a single drink, that is a high concentration of sugar. If you are consuming lots of juiced fruits and not much else, you risk eating a lot more sugar than you need.
Not enough fiber or calories
A liquid juicing diet does not provide the calories your body needs. It’s an approach to eating that doesn’t teach you to portion food. In addition, because juicing extracts liquid and discards fiber-filled pulp, you miss the fiber you need to feel full. We suggest blending over juicing to keep the fiber in the drink. Fiber slows absorption and provides digestive benefits.
Does not provide a healthy variety of food
Good nutrition is dependent on consumption of a variety of foods. Restricting your diet to fruits and vegetables eliminates too many important food groups.
Poor choice for weight loss
You may experience weight loss on a juicing diet. But it’s likely that the pounds you shed will be due to water weight. That’s a temporary fix at best.
If you need a quick breakfast that boosts your servings of fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a better choice. But drinking calories is not very satisfying. We need to chew to feel full. A steady diet of juicing eliminates too many of the food groups we need. It’s not a sustainable way of eating. Feel free to enjoy a glass of green juice every now and then, but combine it with whole foods or as a snack in between meals. We recommend consuming these juices along with a well-balanced diet, but not as a meal replacement.
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