Thinking about doing a juice cleanse? You may want to think again. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report about some things you should consider before trying this kind of diet.
Juice cleanses are all the rage these days, designed to rid the body of toxins. Many turn to them as a way to promote wellness and weight loss, but are they safe?
"Juicing and smoothies, they can be an easy way to add fruits and vegetables to your meal plan, but they're definitely not a substitute for the rest of the foods that belong in a well-balanced meal plan," says Georgia Giannopoulos, a registered dietitian with New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Giannopoulos says that people should consult with a physician before jumping into a juice-only cleanse. If you are going to do one, there is a lot to consider.
"You should consider what you would be drinking if you were on this cleanse, what the program is asking you to cut out, because if you're only drinking juice, there's no way that you'll get all the nutrients that you need for the day," she says. "Plain juice doesn't have enough protein or fat to sustain you."
Also, how long? She said that a day or two wouldn't be detrimental to most healthy people, but a long-term cleanse could lead to anything from to more serious complications. And she says that if you are in it for weight loss, it could have the opposite effect.
"By losing weight that quickly, it can backfire because your body is actually losing muscle mass, and therefore, your metabolism's slowing down," she says. "So when you do start eating more, your body holds on to those calories, and you'll actually gain weight quickly."
And some of the weight you lose is water weight, which you will quickly gain back as your body re-hydrates itself.
So she recommends a different type of cleanse, one that includes solid whole foods as opposed to processed foods. She says that eating an all-natural, well-balanced diet will ultimately do more for your body.
She also says that you are better off eating the whole fruit rather than just the juice because you get the added benefit of fiber.
However, if you are set on the liquid-only diet, she says to make that liquid as well-balanced as possible. For example, instead of plain juice, add some protein-rich yogurt and drink a smoothie instead.
The bottom line? Juicing is a great way to help supplement your regular meal plan, but if you jump into a juice-only cleanse, consider what it means for your body in the long run.