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Don’t Do Juice Cleanses (Here’s Why)

Low Calories/Fiber

Most juice cleanses last from anywhere between 3 and 14 days and are usually within the caloric range of 600-1200 calories, which is low for almost everyone

The continued low-calorie intake can send the body into starvation mode (prolonged periods of low energy intake) and the body will try to conserve calories by slowing down metabolism – most weight lost is usually just water weight

Low Protein

Juice cleanses are also very low in protein and it is not just needed to build muscle – needed to build healthy immune cells and is used to make enzymes and hormones

Protein can also be quite satiating, by reducing levels of ghrelin – a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing protein consumption from 15 to 30% of calories made subjects eat 441 fewer calories each day, without intentionally restricting foods (1)

Low Fiber

Fiber is lost during the juicing process – Some soluble fiber will remain, but the majority of insoluble fiber is removed

We need the fiber content of the fruit or vegetable to experience the plant’s full health benefits as antioxidants that are naturally bound to plant fibers are lost in the juicing process (4)

Fructose Metabolization

Should be known that while every cell in the body, including the brain, can use glucose, fructose is metabolized differently – the liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose

Whereas with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20% of it (we weren’t designed to consume much fructose, if at all)

Since every cell in your body can utilize glucose, it is used up fairly quickly after consumption. Conversely, when fructose is metabolized, it turns into free fatty acids (FFAs) and triglycerides, which get stored as fat

These fatty acids accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Additionally, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is used to turn FFAs into triglycerides – The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store (fructose is a lipophilic carb)

A byproduct of liver metabolism is that your liver begins to create uric acid, causing blood pressure to increase and can result in gout

Fructose has no effect on ghrelin (glucose, for example, can suppress ghrelin → suppresses appetite) and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating (2,5)

Study

A study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fed mice a diet in which 18% of the calories came from fructose vs mice whose diet included 18% glucose

The mice who ate fructose gained more weight, were less active, and had more body and liver fat after 10 weeks

All the mice in the study ate the same number of calories, the only difference was the type of sugar they consumed (3)

References

1) A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/41.long

2) Sugar May Be Bad, But Fructose is Far More Deadly, Part 1 of 2. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/02/highfructose-corn-syrup-alters-human-metabolism.aspx

3) Fructose decreases physical activity and increases body fat without affecting hippocampal neurogenesis and learning relative to an isocaloric glucose diet. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/articles/srep09589

4) Juicing: Good or Bad? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/juicing-good-or-bad

5) Fructose and Fatty Liver – Why Sugar is a Toxin – Diet Doctor. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dietdoctor.com/fructose-fatty-liver-sugar-toxin

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