Juice fast? Not so fast!
As I posted a few years ago here and here, juice fasting has been touted as a healthy choice to “clear your body of toxins,” or “give your digestive system a break” and, of course, to lose weight. While drinking fresh juice in moderation can be part of a healthy diet, juice fasting for a prolonged period of time could lead to some dangerous health related pitfalls. Now that the fad has waned, more and more people are talking about how the “holy grail” of weight loss and detox may have been a false idol all along. Here are five possible negative results of prolonged juicing.
1. Juicing can do more damage to your tooth enamel than your normal diet, so protect those choppers!
The juice from fruit and vegetables tend to have a high acid content which severely damages the enamel of your teeth in a similar way to soda and other high fructose laden drinks.
The bacteria in your mouth love to feast on all the fructose that juicing provides. Be extra diligent when brushing and rinsing, also try not to drink a juice within an hour of going to sleep. Another helpful practice is drinking your juice through a straw.
Don’t think that making a high vegetable/low fruit juice will help. You’ll be surprised by how much sugar is in your greens. (See the chart in number 2)
2. The high sugar content in your juice might be cause for alarm. Here’s the kicker- fruit is not the only culprit!
These high levels of sugar combined with almost no fiber in juice could be a dangerous combination for those with insulin resistance or diabetes.
In one particularly disconcerting study, “Normal healthy subjects were overfed fructose. De novo Lipogenesis (DNL) – or the production of new fat in the liver increased six fold accompanied by a 79% increase in plasma triglycerides. A measure of insulin resistance in the liver increased by 28%. After 6 days!” (source)
Serious stuff, as with every diet, consult your physician and monitor your blood sugar levels closely.
3. The leafy greens might get you stoned and not in the fun way. Yes, even seemingly unassailable leafy greens can cause health problems if one drinks their juices excessively. The culprit is oxalate which is found in spinach, kale, beet greens and other raw leafy greens. Some studies have found, “the greater the amount of oxalate that gets absorbed into the body, the greater the amount that will reach the kidneys and raise the level of urinary oxalates. When combined with high levels of urinary calcium, there is an increased risk of calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.” (Source)
4. Eating high amounts of pesticide-laden produce
The Environmental Working Group, which advocates for buying organic produce, tracks the amount of pesticides in fruits and vegetables. They have compiled a list of 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide loads, which they call the “Dirty Dozen.” The EWG also lists some serious issues that could be brought about by consuming large amounts of pesticides;
- brain and nervous system toxicity
- hormone disruption
- skin, eye and lung irritation
As you can see, pesticides are a serious consideration when your planning a juice fast. Always try to buy organic. When you cannot, research the proper way to thoroughly clean your produce.
5. Time and Money
When you begin your fast, it will be an exciting new adventure. The longer the fast, the more time you realize it takes to grind down all those solids into liquid form. Don’t forget the time it takes to properly clean the produce before you start and the juicer when you’re finished.
While some parts are dishwasher safe, most juicers have to be disassembled and scrubbed clean to ensure bacteria doesn’t form and invade your next batch of juice. Ewww!
Buying organic produce every few days can start to get expensive. If you lose your enthusiasm, you skip a day and the produce starts to go bad. At that point you’ll start to feel like the only thing that’s getting sis your wallet!
What do the TV-Docs have to say?
And what do you have to say? Please comment and let me know!