Juicing for health not as beneficial as eating, say doctors

It can be slightly addictive. Juicing, that is. Taking a perfectly good fruit or vegetable and pushing it through a machine that turns it into something it was never meant to look like has become a popular method to consuming healthy foods. Once you healthify your kitchen by adding the latest juicing contraption, you’re all set to pretty much dehydrate anything your heart desires.

Consumers also have the option to purchase the pulverized fruit or vegetable combination of their choice. Hitting up your local coffee shop, grocery store, gym counter or online retailer is another way to hone in on the latest freaky fruit and vegetable combination. From super fruit smoothies and spinach slurpies to kale cocktails, there really is no end to what you can drink from a bottle.

Whether you’re convinced that cold-pressed is better, prefer drinking juice over eating solid foods or you’ve hopped on the latest juice cleanse craze, it’s phrases like detox, live enzymes, HPP (high pressure pascalization) combined with soulful, organic and healthful that entice consumers to spend more than $71 billion a year on juices; the same country that spends more than $22 billion each year on bottled water, the world’s most plentiful — and free — liquid.

The juicing industry is getting ready for the next surge of consumerism as it promotes juicing as a meal replacement. Already this has become a $5 billion industry, with a projected growth of 8 percent a year. Millions of people rely on juicing to eat healthier and drop unwanted pounds, but does this method work? Is it healthier to drink rather than eat?

Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D. from Mayo Clinic explains that it’s unlikely juicing is any healthier than eating the pulverized fruits and vegetables whole. The process of juicing simply extracts the juice, which will contain most of the plant chemicals, vitamins and minerals, however, when you juice instead of eat, you’re missing out on one extremely important aspect of these healthy foods. The fiber.

Less than 10 percent of Americans currently meet their daily fiber intake of 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men, and instead, are barely getting 15 g each day. As a matter of fact, fiber has become so scarce in the American diet that some dietitians consider it a ‘nutrient of concern.’

Fiber is a key factor in a healthy digestive system. It is found in whole foods that include legumes, whole grains and of course, fruits and vegetables. When you revert to juicing, you’re eliminating an enormous health benefit of eating these foods, by removing the pulp, which is the fiber.

Nelson also points out that there is no scientific evidence to support industry claims that juicing boosts the immune system, aids in digestion, reduces the risk of cancer, removes toxins from the body or aids in weight loss. She reminds consumers that many juice products can contain more sugar than they realize, which adds unwanted calories and can lead to weight gain.

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