Juicing: Myths vs. Facts

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Healthy Tips, August 23, 2013

The juicing craze is still going strong, but many folks are still doing it for all of the wrong reasons. If you love juicing, make sure you’ve got the facts.

Myth: Juicing helps you lose weight
Fact: Although fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories and have plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, too much of anything can pack on the pounds. Each ½ cup of fruit has about 60 calories. Juicing 4 to 5 cups of fruit comes out to 480 to 600 calories in one serving. If you’re trying to lose weight while juicing, portions still matter. Furthermore, diets that advocate juicing alone aren’t balanced (where’s the protein?) and are often dangerously low in calories overall.

Myth: Juicing is a way to cleanse your body
Fact: Your liver and kidneys were created to detoxify and naturally cleanse your body. Juicing or taking special concoctions won’t do a better job and there is no scientific evidence proving otherwise.

Myth: Juicing provides more vitamins
Fact: Fruit and vegetables contain loads of vitamin C and some B-vitamins which are easily destroyed by slicing, cooking and juicing.  (In order to get the most vitamins from your juice, prepare right before drinking.) Also, the nutrient-rich skin of the fruit or vegetable is often peeled before juicing and the fiber-rich pulp is left behind.

Myth: Expensive juicing machines are best
Fact: There’s no need to invest in an expensive juicer. Many fruits can be juiced right in the blender. I recommend starting with your blender and if juicing is something you really love (and continue doing regularly), then shop around and invest in reasonably priced juicer.

Myth: Juicing is better than eating the whole fruit or vegetable
Fact: There’s nothing better than munching on the whole fruit or vegetable. Advocates of juicing say it provides much needed rest to the digestive tract, especially from fiber. However, most folks don’t come close to taking in the recommended 25 to 40 grams of fiber per day.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (29)

  1. Deborah says:

    How about an article on the benefits and pitfalls of using a vitamix or blender to make fruit and vegetable smoothies from whole fruits and vegetables with adding in either tofu, chia, hemp seed, nuts, quinoa, etc for the added protein.

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  3. healthyfoodlife says:

    This article is stating the opposite of what the juicing gurus are teaching; and none share that the vitamins in fruits and vegetables are reduced by juicing also. They always advocate juicing over blending to not reduce the nutritional value and for easier digestion. I take juicing as a way to get the most nutritious and delicious juices at home and for my family opposed to those we buy at the store, and that is all. I cannot see myself going on an all juice diet nor drinking more juices than eating the fibrous foods because there is satisfaction in eating over drinking to me.

  4. Christopher says:

    Toby Amidor, you state your article as facts and you state that there is no scientific backing to these health activists' claims, so I have to ask, where are your sources? Your article doesn't stand up against information that hundreds of thousands of people with firsthand experience (you got any?) can give offhand. Don't look for excuses to knock fruits and vegetables – it is a fools errand, never fails to embarrass, brother.

  5. JZU says:

    Most juicing programs contain a nut juice for protein and fat, are crafted to be balanced, and average 1200 calories a day. While there are points of this article that are valid (liver and kidneys DO detox), I feel the point of view sounds biased and could have benefited from more research than scoff.

  6. Jen says:

    What a waste of time reading this article. I don't think this guy knows ANYTHING about juicing.

  7. RDH says:

    sounds like someone needs to look up Dr. Gerson, he would disagree with a lot of this.

  8. Tricia says:

    How is it possible that a registered dietician asks "where is the protein" when talking about vegetables? Lost all credibility in that one line. Also, in the same paragraph, the first warning is you will gain weight if you don't watch the portions yet ends that the "diets" are dangerously low in calories. Which is it? Total waste of reading and poorly researched. Disappointed to find this on the Food Network site.

  9. Peter says:

    "Myth: Juicing is better than eating the whole fruit or vegetable"

    The one recurring theme I have ever heard from juicing movies/articles is that eating whole fruits/vegies is better than juicing. The point of juicing is to stop kidding yourself, you are not going to eat a heap of kale without equal weight of ranch, blue cheese, or whatever dressing.

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