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The Dark Side of Juicing: Why Too Much Juice Can Get in the Way of Your Health

I’ll be the first to admit that a glass or bottle of fresh juice is a delicious treat. I’ve been known to order a green juice after yoga class or a beetroot juice before bootcamp. In fact I’ve even followed 1-day juice fasts with both Blueprint Cleanse and Cooler Cleanse.

But I’ve long wondered just how healthy the juicing cleanse trend was. After all, once you strain away the healthy fiber of fruits and veggies you’re left with a lot of nutrients (pro) and also a lot of sugars (con). People claim to feel lighter and “detoxed” after drinking these fresh blends, but regular juicing never sat right with me. After all, nutritionists regularly steer clients away from juice because of its high concentration of sugars and calories, recommending whole foods like salads and pieces of fruit instead. Why would a diet of just juice be good when a glass of juice is often considered bad?


When I read a recent Opinion piece in the New York Times, about how Jennifer Berman’s health habits—including juicing—were having the opposite affect, I wasn’t all that surprised.

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Skinny Limits is the More Affordable Raw Juice Cleanse

By Naomi Shapiro of

Although many people think of juice cleanses as a weight loss tool, for some they’re a pathway to wellness. The idea is that if you give your digestive tract some time off from all the hazards of the modern world — processed foods, refined sugars, artificial colors and flavors, etc.— and fill it with easy-to-absorb, nutrient-dense liquids, your body and mind will work more efficiently.

skinny limits raw juice

Skinny Limits is an Austin-based purveyor of fresh, cold-pressed raw juices that can be delivered nationwide. Their menu consists of six core juices, each of which you’ll consume each day via 16-ounce bottles. The following Skinny Limits juices will be drank in lieu of solid foods.
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The Dangers of Juice Fasting for Quick Weight Loss

A few months back, I watched the documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead‘ – which followed an overweight man as he completed a 60-day juice fast to gain back his health.

The film showed Joe Cross as he travelled around the U.S., subsisting purely on fruit and vegetable juice for all three meals a day. Admittedly, the day after I watched it, I set out to juice. I didn’t own a juicer so I opted to pile my fruits and veggies into a blender with water and puree until it was drinkable. I was expecting worse, but the taste was actually pretty good. And the fiber kept me full for a surprising amount of time.

But how long did my juice fast last? About two meals. I started craving ‘real foods,’ which meant my juicing experience was short-lived. But, for others, they see it as worth staying the course.

According to a recent article on MSN Health there’s been a recent surge in juice fasting as a means of get-thin-quick dieting – something we don’t view as a healthy approach to weight loss. This view was only further solidified after speaking with’s registered dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD.
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The Pros and Cons of Juicing

We’ve talked about juicing and its proposed health benefits before on Diets in Review in our Beginner’s Guide to Juicing articles ‘How to Make Fresh Juice’ and ‘The Benefits of Fresh Juice.’ And again in our story on the documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,’ which follows a man on a 60-day, cross-country juice-fast for his health and weight loss. But with so many people singing the praises of this health trend, perhaps it’s time to stop and consider whether or not juicing is a healthy option for everyone.

According to a recent article from USA Today, when done properly, juicing can provide a flurry of health benefits for the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it provides. And it encourages us to reach for fresh fruits and vegetables instead of sugary drinks and fattening foods. However, it noted that juicing should not be a long-term diet solution as it doesn’t provide our bodies with all of the food it needs. And that individuals suffering from conditions like diabetes, kidney disease and iron deficiencies are not prime candidates for juicing because of the way it affects the body post digestion.
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Beginner’s Guide to Juicing: How to Make Fresh Juice

If you’re thinking of starting a juice regimen, it’s important to make informed decisions about your new diet. If you’re planning on replacing your meals with juice, you should first check with a doctor or health care provider to ensure that your new regimen is safe for your body.

However, if you are thinking about adding juice to your existing diet to up your fruit and vegetable intake, we have some tips to help you get started.

Know the importance of buying organic. According to Cherie Calbom, MS, author of The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet and Juicing for Life, it’s very important to know what vegetables and fruit are the most heavily sprayed and which ones are the cleanest.  “Not everything has to be organic, but the most heavily sprayed produce should always be organic,” said Calbom. “Otherwise, it may not be safe to use. Familiarize yourself with the most heavily sprayed produce, known as the ‘dirty dozen’ and shop accordingly.”

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