My Interview in Washington Post on Juicing – I’m For It, with Some Caution

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Do you juice? I do. Not every day, but I try to have a fresh fruit and veggie juice once a week. My friend Wendy Jo got me into it when she made me a carrot ginger lemon juice about a year ago.

Just recently, I was interviewed by The Washington Post about my thoughts on juicing as a nutrition expert.

I thought it was a great opportunity for me to share some of my positive encouragement of juicing, but to keep perspective about the best ways for juicing to fit into a healthy eating plan. Here’s what I said:

Experts worry that people can get carried away with a juice craze. “Juicing is supplemental. It should not replace balanced meals,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietitian in the District. She says those new to juicing tend load up on fruit at the expense of vegetables.

“You want to make it taste good. But if you put too many apples, grapes or bananas in there it’s like drinking a cup of sugar. Three apples have about 90 grams of sugar. You have to watch that.”

Juicing, along with healthy eating, is delicious and and can be a convenient way to get in veggies and fruits. It takes time to juice and you really only want to keep it around 2-3 days to keep the benefits of the vitamins and minerals. You do lose out on the fiber when you juice so I encourage you to add in juicing to healthy eating plans.

Steer Clear of “Unbelievable” Cleanses and Detoxes

Some of my cautions about “juice fasts” and “cleanses” did not make the editorial cut. So thankfully I have a blog to sort it out in my own words :)

The advertisements that are out there that claim, “Drink juice for a week and flush off your belly fat!” or “Try this 10 day juice diet and lose 10 pounds!” These ads sound too good to be true, and that’s because, well—they are. This is where my concerns begin. Not only is it the empty promises, but it is a waste of your time and you end up thinking you did something wrong, when it wasn’t you at all. It was the crazy diet.

Juicing is great as an “add in” to healthy eating, but there are tons of potential concerns when people try “juice diets.” These diets can easily lead to inadequate consumption of energy, protein, fiber, and many other nutrients. There is no scientific evidence to show that a juice detox or fast results in long-term benefit.

As a dietitian I would not recommend a juice fast or cleanse to my clients. However, I definitely recommend juicing as a easy, convenient supplement to a healthy eating plan. I also support if a client wants to avoid dining out a lot and wants to build some culinary skills — great, let’s get in the kitchen and cook with herbs, spices, whole grains, and lots of veggies.

If you find yourself ordering a juice from a shop, here are a couple things to keep in mind. Find out what’s in it. How many fruits are in it? If you can, you may want to tweak it so there are two fruits – roughly each fruit can be about 30 grams of sugar. Make sure the juice has veggies too!

If you find you like a new veggie, like kale, in your juice, try eating it too. Kale ribbons served raw with baby spinach (a softer leaf) is great in salads and wraps.

I personally have felt great when I drink a fresh veggie and fruit juice. But I would not want to mislead people and imply to you that juicing is superior to healthy eating so if juicing doesn’t sound appealing to you, so be it. You can still be healthy. I promise.

Here’s the link to the full article, along with some juicing recipes to try out!

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