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Are Juice Cleanses Healthy?

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Ever wondered if your juice fast is actually good for you? In order to understand whether or not you should be juice fasting, let’s delve into what happens to the body during a juice fast. During a juice fast, you are skipping on vital nutrients, such as protein, fiber, fat, and some vitamins and minerals. While some fasts last only a few days, the effects of these deficiencies remain palpable. Symptoms may include irritability, constipation, diarrhea, weakness, and hungerA typical juice fast provides less than 1,000 calories daily. This is considered extremely low for any adult. During this extreme caloric deficit, the body is forced to breakdown muscle for energy. Since muscle burns more calories at rest than other tissue, it is considered a precious resource with regards to metabolism. So while it seems counterintuitive that a very low calorie diet would cause you to struggle with weight maintenancewhen you consider the alterations in body composition, the sexiness of the juice fast fizzles as quickly as your kombucha

But what about the juice cleanse? Doesn’t eliminating solid food from your diet for a period clean out your intestines of toxic residues and chemicals? The short answer is no. No, this is not how the body works. The body is an amazing machine that is capable of “cleansing” the body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yes, even while we are binge drinking on the weekend, contemplating the “cleanse” we will start on Monday, the liver, kidneys, lungs, and digestive system are all working harmoniously to rid us of the junk we put into our bodies.  Essentially, your organs are always on fleek.

But don’t panic just yet- juice can be incorporated into your balanced diet. I still recommend eating the whole fruit/vegetable or blending so that you aren’t losing any nutrients in the process. Check out our sweet potato or banana berry smoothies recipes for some great examples. And if you’re still wondering the secret to health and weight maintenance, the recommendations from dietitians will likely never stray from a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Fads come and go, and are fun to chat about with friends and post about on social media, but behind closed doors, I’ll continue my unprovocative habits that are never fun to talk about, but always tried and true.

To YOUR Taste!

Chef Kelsey

Kelsey Anderson, RD, LD, CNSC, RYT-200

Kelsey Anderson, RD, LD, CNSC, RYT-200

Chef Kelsey received her Bachelor of Science in Coordinated Dietetics from Texas Christian University (’06). She went on to obtain her Diploma of Culinary Arts from Arizona Culinary Institute in 2007.

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