Is Juicing a Healthy Habit? January 13 2016

 

A lot of people are juicing for health because they think it’s a great way to jump-start their weight loss. However, what you might not know can not only stop your weight loss, it can make you sick. Juicing may provide some nutrients, but it could also be doing a number on your blood sugar levels, which stops weight loss dead in its tracks, causing your body to store excess fat around your stomach, hips, and thighs. Storing this excess fat makes it even harder to lose weight in the long run.

Here's a letter I received:

"My fiancée and I have been losing 1 pound a day on your plan for the last two weeks. We started juicing, thinking it would be good for us. We make fresh juice using a variety of fruits and vegetables; including cucumbers, carrots, kale, spinach, celery, apples, and mangos. We drink 16 ounces every 3–4 hours throughout the day, followed by a healthy dinner. But after the first day, our weight loss stopped, and we were wondering if the fresh juice might be causing blood sugar spikes. We're concerned that this might not be a healthy habit and could be the reason we are hungry all the time." — John A 

Yes, you guessed it. When people start juicing, they assume it’s all good, and they tend to take an "all in" approach. They don’t think about the fact that they are juicing several quarts of fresh juice daily, and most of the time they consume only one healthy meal a day. This couple's concern is right on target—Juicing elevated their blood sugar levels that stopped their weight loss.

If you've ever juiced before, you know that it takes several pounds of produce to produce 16 ounces of juice. That’s why we think juicing is such a healthy habit. We all know that eating our vegetables is good for us, and most of us fall short of the recommended intake, which is five vegetables per day and 2–3 fruits, making juicing seem like the perfect solution. But is it? 

When you juice, you are getting the nutritional equivalent of at least a dozen servings of fruits and vegetables in every glass. The problem is that juicing also concentrates the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables while separating out all the fiber that would normally slow the absorption of sugars. If you drink the juice all by itself, those sugars will be quickly absorbed into your bloodstream causing your insulin levels to skyrocket. The insulin spike gives you that sugar high, but it’s not good for melting fat or losing weight.

Want to know how much sugar is in that so-called healthy juice you’re drinking?

Check out the table below of the eight most popular fruits and vegetables used for juicing. It will show you how much of each it takes to make 16 ounces of juice, as well as how much sugar that amount contains. 

Believe it or not, it takes between 2–3 pounds of produce to make 16 ounces of juice. The sugar content varies quite a bit. Fruit is the highest, of course, followed by high sugar vegetables like beets and carrots. Green vegetables are certainly the lowest. The sugar content of your mixed juice depends on what combination of fruits and veggies you select. Keep in mind that not all of that sugar will end up in the juice. Some will be left behind, along with the fiber in the pulp. Approximately 75 percent of the sugar will make it into the juice.

Fruit comparison chart 

Does fresh juice raise blood sugar levels as much as drinking soda?

Yes. If your juice contains all of the typical fruits and vegetables most commonly used (such as the clients above), in roughly equal amounts. Taking into account the fact that some of the sugar will be left behind in the pulp, we could guess that each 16-ounce serving would have about 38 grams of sugar, which is the amount in a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola. The problem is your fat cells, glucose receptors, and pancreas cannot distinguish between the sugars in juice and the sugars in soda. 

My suggestion is to chew your food don’t juice it. It’s better for you in the long run and will save you a ton of money. Drinking 16 ounces of fresh fruit and vegetable juice every 3–4 hours or even once a day, without adding protein and removing the fiber, could lead to some significant blood sugar spikes that stop weight loss dead in its tracks.

I can hear you now—Unlike the sugar in a Coke, the sugar in the juice is natural, so it’s good for you, right? It also contains vast amounts of nutrients. It takes, at least, a dozen servings of fruits and vegetables to produce a 16-ounce glass of juice. Surely all of that great nutrition would offset that blood sugar issue, wouldn’t it?

Most of the nutrients you receive from juicing fruits and veggies are antioxidants. Antioxidants are good for us, but there's a limit to how much your body can utilize at one time. We can create an imbalance of nutrients that sets us up for a nutrient deficiency by overshooting the runway. Yes, five servings of vegetables a day keeps us healthy, but more is not better. Researchers even believe overdoing it can be harmful to your health, especially if you have cancer or any other disease that might prompt you to feel the need to cleanse.

Fresh juice is nutritious but it’s not balanced, and it doesn’t contain an essential nutrient your body needs—Protein. It lacks fiber and essential fatty acids that are nutrients your body needs. Ladies, this also keeps your hair, skin, and nails healthy and your brain functioning optimally.

Want to boost your nutrition without hurting your weight loss? Juice like this.....

If you love the taste, or you're convinced that fresh juice is making your life better, here are a few suggestions for maximizing your returns and minimizing any downside, especially if you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off.

    1. Juice in moderation. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of fresh juice on a daily basis, but 8-ounces a day is plenty. Stay away from straight fruit juice.
    2. Juice leafy greens vs. higher sugar vegetables (See thermogenic list of vegetables in The Metabolism Solution)
    3. Boost weight loss and nutrition by adding 1–2 scoops of Complete Whey Protein Powder Advanced. Adding protein will not only round out the meal nutritionally but will also slow the absorption of sugars from the juice. When it comes to digesting sugar, slower is always better unless you’re running a marathon. For weight gain or maintenance; add almond or coconut milk, nuts or nut butter, grains, Greek yogurt, avocado, olive oil, fish, and/or whole fruits. Vegetables would all be good complements to fresh juice.
    4. Have your Lean Green Cleansing Machine (see recipe below) after your workout. The best time to consume your green drink is immediately after you exercise to replace lost nutrients, replenish blood sugar levels while it’s also less likely to spike blood sugar levels.
    5. Make "whole juice." High-powered blenders can emulsify, or reduce, whole fruits and vegetables to a smoothie-like texture. That is good because it also retains the fiber that slows the release of blood sugar. Don’t forget to add a scoop of Complete Protein Powder to boost your metabolism. After all, isn’t that why we all cleanse?

Here are a few cleansing pros: You hydrate, nourish, and your emotional health improves because you are dong something good for your body. Here's that quick recipe for the Lean Green Cleansing Machine mentioned above, courtesy of The Metabolism Solution:

(½) cup of pre-made Green Tea
(1) scoop of LynFit Non-GMO Complete Protein Advanced
(½) cucumber
(1) small fistful of Kale or any leafy Green
(½) peeled lemon

Wash and prep ingredients, add to blender and blend away for 30 seconds to 1 minute and drink.