Cleansing on juices: the opinion of nutritionists

In the summer, many people, especially women, try to carefully monitor their diet and try to bring their parameters closer to ideal. “Purges” begin long before summer and continue as warm days come, because at this time of the year our body is as open to prying eyes as possible. While a balanced and healthy diet is the best and most beneficial option (ideally, of course, leading a healthy lifestyle regardless of the time of year), many are trying to quickly eliminate what has been piling up for months. One of the ways to get rid of extra pounds and centimeters is juice cleansing. It can quickly detoxify the body, remove excess water and cleanse the gastrointestinal tract.

However, accredited practicing dietitian Katherine Hawkins said that this method is unlikely to actually bring benefits. According to her, during the “cleansing” the body may seem thinner, lighter, but in fact, juices lead to water loss and can lead to atrophy of human muscles. That is, apparent thinness is a loss of muscle, not fat. This is due to the low content of proteins and complex carbohydrates in juices – two things that our body needs on a regular basis.

The juice diet can also cause mood swings because it causes blood sugar levels to rise. According to Hawkins, detoxing, by its very nature, is simply not needed by our bodies. The body is smarter than us, and it cleans itself.

If you’re not able to follow a healthy diet all the time and still want to detox to cleanse your body, the best option is to start choosing the right and healthy food. As soon as you stop eating heavy fried and processed foods, drinking high-sugar drinks, and including fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins and complex carbohydrates in your diet, your body will return to normal and get the cleansing processes working on its own. You will realize that you simply do not need weekly juice diets.

Australian nutritionist Susie Burrell is also skeptical about the new food trend. Compared to emergency weight loss diets, there is nothing technically wrong with a juice detox, she says, but it can cause problems if juices become the mainstay of the diet for a long time.

“If you do a juice cleanse for 3-5 days, you will lose a couple of pounds and feel lighter and more energized. But fruit juice is high in sugar—6-8 teaspoons per glass, Burrell says. “So drinking large amounts of fruit juice creates chaos in the body with both glucose and insulin levels in the long run. While this may be good for athletes who need to lose 30-40 kilos of excess weight and will be actively exercising all this time, for women weighing 60-80 kilos with a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, this is not such a good idea.

Barrell recommends a cleansing therapy with vegetable juices. This option is much better, she says, as vegetable juices are lower in sugar and calories, and colorful vegetables like beets, carrots, kale, and spinach are rich in micronutrients. But the question arises: what about the “green” juices?

“Sure, a mixture of kale, cucumber, spinach, and lemon is no problem, but if you add avocado, apple juice, chia seeds, and coconut oil, the calories and sugar in the drink increase significantly, potentially negating the benefits if rapid weight loss is the goal.” Burrell commented.

Ultimately, Susie agreed with Hawkins’ position and said that in general, the juice diet does not contain the proper amount of essential nutrients that the human body needs all the time. She says most paid detox programs are full of simple carbohydrates and don’t contain healthy amounts of protein.

“For a person with an average build, losing muscle mass as a result of juice diets is not recommended,” Burrell concludes. “Consuming only juices over a long period of time can harm the body and is completely contraindicated in people with diabetes, insulin resistance and high cholesterol.”

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