The truth about Juice Cleanses

What is a Juice Cleanse?

Juice cleanse diets have become a popular health trend as a quick reset to detoxify the body and give the digestive system a break. The idea is to give your body a rest from a poor diet and toxin buildup while providing pure nutrients. The diet consists of only juice that is extracted from fruits and vegetables.

Sorry to burst your bubble but there is no research to prove cleanses actually detoxify the body or give the digestive system a break. It’s bs!

Let’s be real – I have tried a juice cleanse

I have a confession before we dive into all of this, 3 years ago I tried a juice cleanse. It was supposed to be 5 days, but I cut it short after 3 days because I was hungry and knew I needed food. I only tried it because I thought it would cleanse my body (I didn’t even do any kind of research). I absolutely hated it and thought all the juices were nasty!! I didn’t feel energized or anything magical. It was honestly a waste of my time, I was better off just eating healthy like I had been.

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Suja Juice 5-Day Core Fresh Start Program

Let’s dig into a specific juice cleanse…I want you to determine if this is something you would want to do.

The 5-day Core Fresh Start program is intended for those that are looking to limit sugar intake, increase energy, and rid toxins of the body. Suja states that this cleanse will bring balance and perspective, which will ultimately help people transition to a healthier lifestyle.

This juice cleansing diet lasts five days and consists of 6 – 16oz bottles a day. The total calories consumed are roughly 920 calories a day. The ingredients in each bottle contain only organic produce without any additives. The juices are to be consumed in a specific order: breakfast is the juice Glow, mid-morning is Purify, Lunch is the 12 Essentials, mid-afternoon is Reef, dinner is 12 Essentials, and dessert is the Blue Dream.

1 day of Core Fresh Start Program

Consisting of only 920 calories.

Glow Purify 12 Essential Reef 12 Essential Blue Dream Total AMDR based on 2,000 calorie diet
Fat 0 0 0 0 0 22g 22g 44-78g
Sodium 170mg 170mg 230mg 120mg 230mg 30mg 950mg
Carbohydrate 36g 32g 14g 34g 14g 46g 176g 225-325g
Protein 2g 4g 4g 2g 4g 8g 24g 50-175g
Sugar 28g 24g 8g 28g 8g 34g 130g

The Downside to Juice Cleansing

A healthy lifestyle is not obtained by strict dieting or cutting out entire food groups, it is achieved when your diet is adequate, moderate, balanced, varied, and nutrient dense. Juices shouldn’t make up our diet, it should be a small component of it paired with whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Lack of Fiber

Fiber is one of the four most under consumed nutrients, along with vitamin D, calcium and potassium. Suja’s 5-day Core Fresh Start program lacks fiber. The DRI for fiber is 25-38 grams a day and Fresh Start provides no fiber whatsoever. Fiber consumption can prevent or reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, colon cancer, and diabetes.  

No satiety, fast stomach emptying  

Physical breakdown of food begins in the mouth, however since there is only liquid in this diet there is no need for chewing. This makes it easier to guzzle down a 16oz juice, but at the expense of not feeling entirely satiated because of the absence of fiber and insufficient amount of calories. Stomach emptying occurs much faster. Ideally slow stomach emptying is preferred in order to sustain energy throughout the day and prevent dramatic spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Dramatic spikes and crashes in blood glucose can be a serious risk for diabetics.

Low calories 

Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, the American macronutrient distribution range is 45-65% carbohydrate, 20-35% protein, and 10-35% fat. So, the breakdown should be as follows: 225-325g for carbohydrate, 44-78g of fat, and 50-175g of protein. Instead the cleanse only provides 176g carbs, 24g protein, and 22g of fat. This cleanse provides inadequate amounts of macronutrients and even total calories.

Let me put this all into prospective, just for you brain to function you need at least 130g of carbohydrates! With the lack of carbs, your body has to make glucose from other sources such as protein and fat. This is not the ideal situation because protein and fat is supposed to be used for other important functions in the body!!

Slows metabolism

Any strict dieting plan that lasts longer than 48 hours is going to affect your metabolism. Since this juice cleanse lasts 5 days, your basal metabolic rate will slow down.

Expensive

Most fad diets are expensive! Suja 5-Day cleanses is $240! You could honestly spend $75 at the grocery store for one weeks worth of healthy foods.

Read this if you skimmed the parts above

Juice cleansing can be a vicious cycle, the cleanse is supposed to serve as a way to start a healthier lifestyle but eventually after the program the poor dieting habits have the potential to surface again and the cycle continues. The best cleanse anyone can do is to nourish their bodies with real foods and exercise. There is no quick fix to a healthy lifestyle!!!!!!!!!

Do your research!

What are the claims of the diet? Is there any scientific research from credible sources? Do they have a degree in nutrition such as a PhD or a Registered Dietitian? Are they trying to sell you supplements along with the diet? Does it sound too good to be true?

You must do your own research and don’t just believe anything you hear or read.

Smoothies > Juices

Smoothies are a much better option to incorporate into your diet. It’s an easy way to get in vegetables/fruit and fiber! The fiber helps slow down stomach emptying keeps you full for longer.

Pitaya Smoothie

Ingredients

2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Pitaya pack
2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen mango
3-4 tbsp of peanut butter

Directions 

  1. 1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
    Topping options: coconut flakes, granola, sliced fruit, chia seeds (serves 2)
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