To juice or not to juice?

This morning my very good friend turned to me and said: ‘Today, I’m starting my juice only diet’.  I know she wants to shift a few pounds (don’t we all!) but unsure whether she was looking for some weight loss advice, some support and confirmation that this was a good option, or just sharing her plans, I felt duty bound to ask…..’Why?!’
As a dietitian I’ve seen and heard of many fad diets, many ‘quick fixes’ that promise to help you drop a dress size but I’ve yet to see any of them work, especially juice diets.  Long term, juice diets are not recommended especially for weight loss or detoxing…..that’s what our liver is for!
But what’s the attraction with the detoxing juice diet?  Common misconceptions include healthy and swift weight loss, a great way to get your ‘five-a-day’, it’s fruit and vegetables…it must be good right?  But the reality is much different.  Firstly, whilst fruit and vegetables are an integral part of our diets, there are other essential components that are missed with the juice alone option.  Protein, oily fish and whole grains are just a few.  You also need to remember that some juicing methods remove the fibre from the foods so all you get is the fruit sugars, vitamins and minerals.
So what’s my take home message….juicing alone is not the way forward. If it’s weight you want to lose, then it’s all about having a healthy balanced approach.  The Food Plate is a good model to work from and keeping as active as possible is essential.
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