Is Juice Fasting a Healthy Detox Method?
July 15, 2013
By Sano Mag staff
Is Juice Fasting a Healthy Detox Method?
If there is one thing we are seeing everywhere at the moment, it's "juice fasting", where people only drink - you guessed it - juice.

Juice fasting has become a hugely popular method for losing weight, bodily cleansing and detoxification, largely because you don't have to starve yourself but still get similar weight loss results. You might also have heard it referred to as a juice detox or juice cleansing.

And don't those juices look fantastic! You can make your own colourful combinations at home if you're lucky enough to have your own juicer. Or you can order out at one of the numerous juice bars or cafes across Australia.

Fruit, veggies, herbs, roots, everything that's good for you in an easy to digest liquid meal. Who wouldn't be tempted by such a simple weight loss and detox method?

So… what's the catch?

Juicing Removes the Fibre

By only extracting the juice from fruits and vegetables, you are actually removing one of the most important ingredients for cleansing your body – fibre!

Fibre is an essential component for healthy bowel function. Fibre naturally cleanses the colon without the need for any unnatural cleansing methods. In fact, if you don't regularly incorporate fibre into your diet, you're not actually properly cleansing and it's likely that your digestive system is going to suffer. Your body needs good bacteria that you can only get from plant fibre, complex carbs and short-chain fatty acids in order to nourish and protect your gut.

Juice Fasting Disrupts your Metabolism

The body is designed to run on whole foods. Juices are extracts of whole foods and lack the calories, carbohydrates and protein that you need for energy.

While you might feel great during a juice fast, when you go back to whole foods, your body will take longer to digest the food, causing your metabolism to slow down and make your digestive system work even harder. This may cause you to put weight on very quickly.

You will most likely feel very weak and sluggish because during your juice fasting, while you may have lost weight, it was probably water weight, and muscle too. This is because you are only cleansing your bloodstream. You also need to cleanse your muscles, bones, tendons, nerves, ligaments and fat and this can only be done with whole foods.

If you juice fast for long periods of time or often, it may disrupt your metabolism and lead to serious nutrient deficiencies.

Many Juices are High in Sugar

Too much fructose in your diet can be very detrimental to your health, causing your insulin levels to spike. Drinking juices from fruits and vegetables that are high in fructose and drinking them all day can be very dangerous.

When we eat fruits and vegetables, the fructose is broken down slowly, giving the body time to react to the sweetener. When the body digests fructose too quickly without the accompanying fibre, that is when things get out of balance.

Eating a couple of pieces of fruit every day is great but you don't want to overload on fruits and vegetables that are high in fructose. We suggest no more than 25 grams of fructose a day. To find out just how much fructose is contained in fruit, check out this Fructose Chart.

Use Detoxing to Cut Out Processed Foods

One of the reasons you probably feel so great during a juice detox or juice fasting, or any other type of detox, is because you are removing the processed foods from your diet.

Next time you decide to go on a detox, simply remove all processed foods from your diet, as well as unhealthy fats and simple carbohydrates, and eat regular meals full of protein and fibre from fruit and vegetables.

A fresh juice is great as a treat and worlds away from the sugary alternatives but should never act as a meal replacement. If you really feel like a liquid drink, try a smoothie instead. Again, you don't want to go overboard on smoothies but they are great for keeping you full between meals and they don't cut out the all important fibre from fruits and vegetables. They are also full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.

The great thing about a detox method involving whole foods, and incorporating smoothies into your diet instead of juices, is you don't have to starve yourself to cleanse your body. But again, don't take this as a "green light" to try a "green smoothie fast" either. You won't get nearly enough calories and nutrients from drinking smoothies.
"The body is designed to run on whole foods. Juices are just extracts of whole foods and lack the calories, carbohydrates and protein that you need for energy."