Juice Diets' - A poor choice for a dieter
General Nutrition • • 1 minute to read • By Dr Shunmukha Priya, INFS Faculty
Author: Dr.Shunmukha Priya. S
With the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases, people are aiming to lose weight. When thinking of weight-loss diets, a few people prefer short term big results. Here the juice diet offers quick results in a short time without too much effort.
A juice diet is a diet comprising only juices from vegetables and fruits. Juicing is the process that extracts juices from fresh fruits as well as vegetables. During this process, most of the solid matter such as pulp and seeds from whole fruits and vegetables are removed. Usually, juicing methods vary from squeezing by hand to motor-driven juicers. The common type of juicers such as the centrifugal will blend the fruits and vegetables into pulp through a high-speed spinning action with a cutting blade. This spinning separates the juice from the solids. The next one is the cold-press or masticating juicers. In this type, the fruits and vegetables are crushed and pressed very slowly to obtain as much juice as possible. Studies state that the nutritional quality of juice obtained from both centrifugal and cold-press juicers is similar.
A juice diet usually lasts for 1 to 10 days or more. There are different methods of following a juice diet. Some, drink only freshly pressed juice, while others allow additional food to be eaten.
Benefits of a juice diet
Instant source of nutrients-
For severely sick and surgery patients, juice diets offer an instant source of nutrients, without mastication and digestion.
Rapid Weight loss –
Usually, a juice diet will be low in calories and a reduced calorie intake may result in rapid weight loss, but this change is rarely long-lasting.
Improves gut health –
A three-day study on a juice diet with vegetables and fruits reported having polyphenols, oligosaccharides, fiber and nitrate (beet juice). These act as prebiotics in the body. This diet showed an improvement in __ among the study participants.
Being a rich source of antioxidants, polyphenols and other micronutrients, the juice diet helps in reducing hypertension, improves cardiovascular health, acts against inflammation and thus helps in the overall health of the body.
Risks of juice diet
Low satiety –
The basic role of food is to provide satiety. Then comes all other functions. When compared to a balanced diet from solid foods, a juice diet provides a less satiating effect.
Short term weight loss -
Juice diets are often done by people who want to lose weight in a short period. Through this diet, there would be a reduction in a few pounds. Once resuming the normal diet, the lost weight is expected to come back.
Plentiful sugar –
Fruits are rich in sugar fructose. Moreover, to make a glass of juice, more fruits are needed. Hence, when the fruit is made into juice, it will be overloaded with sugars. Excess intake of fructose can lead to liver diseases. Also, a juice diet causes spikes in sugar levels.
Though fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of protein, they won’t be adequate to meet the daily protein requirement from the juice diet alone. Following a juice diet for a longer duration would result in muscle wasting.
Feeling hungry and tired-
Mostly, a juice diet will be low in calories and might lead to low blood sugar levels. Also, it is devoid of dietary fiber. Hence, when following a juice diet, a person may feel hungry as well as tired. While following a juice diet, an individual may experience symptoms like fainting, weakness, headaches, and hunger.
Stomach upsets –
If the juice is unpasteurized or has not had another treatment to remove bacteria, they are at greater risk of illnesses like dysentery. This is especially accurate for kids and older people as well as those with weakened immunity.
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances –
If the juice contains laxatives or other contents that stimulate the bowel, a person might lose too many nutrients in their stool. This can lead to dehydration as well as electrolyte imbalances.
Overall health –
When there is excess fluid in the body, electrolyte imbalances, drastic weight fluctuations, deficiency of macros and micronutrients, dietary fiber can affect overall health which could be mild symptoms like headache, reduction in blood pressure to adverse health effects like coma, when one is following juice diet on a longer duration.
Tips to follow a juice diet
Follow a juice diet under a coach's supervision. Discuss with the coach the no. of days to be followed. Include supplements for protein and fats to avoid deficiencies. Take electrolytes as well. Read the nutrition labels when consuming packaged juices.
Whatever nutrients are said to be in a juice diet, it is always preferred to have whole fruits and vegetables. A juice diet is a perfect substitute when a person finds it difficult to consume whole vegetables or fruits. In this way, they would be able to meet their nutritional requirements. Before starting a juice diet, consult with a physician or health coach and find out if they need to alter their juice diet plan to protect overall health.
- Khaksar, G., Assatarakul, K., and Sirikantaramas, S. (2019). Effect of cold-pressed and normal centrifugal juicing on quality attributes of fresh juices: do cold-pressed juices harbor a superior nutritional quality and antioxidant capacity?. Heliyon, 5 (6), e01917. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01917
- Henning, S. M., Yang, J., Shao, P., Lee, R. P., Huang, J., Ly, A., Hsu, M., Lu, Q. Y., Thames, G., Heber, D., and Li, Z. (2017). Health benefit of vegetable/fruit juice-based diet: Role of microbiome. Scientific reports, 7 (1), 2167. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02200-6
- Yao, L. H., Jiang, Y. M., Shi, J., Tomás-Barberán, F. A., Datta, N., Singanusong, R., & Chen, S. S. (2004). Flavonoids in food and their health benefits. Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 59 (3), 113–122. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-004-0049-7
- Zheng, J., Zhou, Y., Li, S., Zhang, P., Zhou, T., Xu, D. P., & Li, H. B. (2017). Effects and Mechanisms of Fruit and Vegetable Juices on Cardiovascular Diseases. International journal of molecular sciences, 18 (3), 555. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18030555.
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