Health Safety

The Dangers of ‘Juicing’ and How To Lose Weight Safely Instead

Nowadays, it is very trendy to say to your friend: “I am currently juicing to cleanse my body and lose some weight”. Sounds very cool, right?

Now, the question is if this whole juicing thing actually works, and even if it does, you’ll want to find out if there are any side effects.

In this article, we will be tackling this topic head on, exploring the benefits of taking fruits and whether or not ‘juicing’ is safe.

Let’s start by discussing what juicing is in the first place.

What Is Juicing?

Juicing is simply taking blended fruits and vegetables. It is very popular among people that desire weight loss. In many cases, when it is promoted as a weight loss product, it is often taken alone with few additional meals. Fruits are blended in a mix, and then taken as frequently as possible on a daily basis, till the person achieves the target weight. Sounds like a smart weight to lose weight, after all, you’re not swallowing in heavy amounts of ‘hard carbs’.

The problem though, is that people who practice this don’t take out time to consult their doctors to ask whether it is medically okay to do this. They seem to completely trust their source of information (which may be a ‘weight loss tutor’ or an online weight loss group), without looking back or asking questions.

They seem to think that since it worked for some person, it definitely will work for them.

Before we analyse this whole issue, let’s start by discussing the benefits of taking fruits and vegetables

Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Right from elementary school, we have all been taught that a meal is not complete without taking fruits and/or vegetables, this is very true.

Fruits and vegetables help your body in several ways. They contain essential vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system, helping you resist diseases. They help in wound healing and tissue repair. Also, they contain a good amount of fibre.

The presence of dietary fibre in fruits and vegetables is really important in the digestive process. Fibre adds bulk to your food, making it easier to digest by your intestines. It helps the intestines easily move your food around, so that you don’t feel constipated and go a long time without pooping.

In fact, if you feel constipated, one question your doctor will likely ask you is if you have been eating fruits and vegetables regularly.

Can you Cleanse Your Body By Juicing?

Since fruits and vegetables are very beneficial and help fight diseases, then it makes perfect sense that they can be used to ‘clean our internal organs’ and wash off toxins, right?

Absolutely not true!

Many proponents of this myth aren’t trained dietitians, nutritionists or doctors. They theory that your body needs some special diet to neutralize body toxins is scientific nonsense.

There’s no scientific or medical basis for this assumption, and everything is wrong with this school of thought.

Our bodies don’t accumulate toxins at all, and if we did, then those who don’t juice will be sick every other day. In actual fact, our bodies have a very efficient way of handling toxins or harmful chemicals. Your liver, kidneys, lungs and even skin work with your immune system to handle potentially dangerous chemicals or invaders. A classic example of this is how our bodies deal with medications. If not for your liver and kidneys, most over the counter drugs have the potential to harm tissues in our bodies. The liver detoxifies these drugs and pushes the end product to the kidneys to be sent out of the body.

So, the answer is a clear no, you can’t detoxify your body with any food, fruit or juice.

Dangers Of ‘Juicing’

Not only does juicing not help with any detoxification or cleanse of our bodies, it can harm you if you take them in excess or if you take it as ‘stand alone’ meals for a prolonged period. Here are different ways juicing can be dangerous.

1. It can cause frequent stooling

Diarrhoea is a common side effect of juice diets, taking too many fruits can ‘overwhelm’ your intestines and lead to the passage of loose stools (liquid poop). Not only this, if your juice contains a lot of green vegetables, your stool colour can change from brown to green.

2. It can harm your teeth

Your teeth may look very strong, but when in contact with the acids and sugar from fruits especially, they could get eroded. The sugar content of fruits can cling to your teeth, serving as a good substrate for mouth bacteria to act on, breaking down your teeth surface as a result.

This can cause toothache and decay.

Also, since many fruit juices are acidic, they soften the outer surface of your teeth (enamel) and if you brush shortly after, you could involuntarily erode this outer surface, potentially causing sensitive teeth.

3. You can actually gain weight instead

If you thought juicing always works to shed away that extra flesh, you may be in for a shocker. The thing is many fruits contain a lot of sugar, and if taken in large quantities, you’ll be loading yourself with a lot of calories.

The result is that instead of losing weight, you’ll rather be adding extra weight.

4. It can raise your blood sugar level

As we just explained, fruits contain a significant amount of sugar, so, if you take a lot of them in your juice, it could raise your blood sugar more quickly than your body would prefer. This is noteworthy for people with diabetes who are attempting to lose weight by juicing, it is never recommended, since it rather makes their blood sugar less controlled than helping with weight loss.

How To Lose Weight Safely Instead

Since juicing neither take care of body toxins nor is it a magic bullet for extra weight, how then do you lose weight effectively?

In science, we like to answer this question with two simple steps.

1. You need to first adjust what you eat.

We recommend a balanced diet, even if you want to lose weight. A balanced diet is one that has all the classes of food in good proportions.

The only thing is that you should decrease your caloric intake, by being conscious of the calorie content of whatever meal in your diet.

In simple words, decrease the amount of carbohydrate and fats in your meals, but don’t completely stay away from them.

In the same vein, don’t binge on another class of food like fruits, vegetables or proteins just because you want to lose weight.

We also recommend that you consult a qualified dietitian, who will draw up a practical diet plan, just for you.

2. Physical exercise is important

When attempting to lose weight, diet change alone is not sufficient. You definitely need to increase the amount of calories you burn everyday. It’s simple maths, if you increase how many calories you burn while decreasing how many calories you’re eating, you’ll be at a caloric deficit, hence, you’ll lose weight.

Running, brisk walks, cycling and using jump ropes are some of the ways you can increase your physical activity.

Conclusion

So, if you are serious about getting to your target weight, you shouldn’t be seeking a magic drug or bullet, rather go through the sustainable route of eating healthy and less calories while increasing your daily physical activity levels.

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