Juicing to Lose or Gain
How Juicing Can Lead To Weight Gain
Juicing seems to be all the rage these days mostly for the touted benefits for nutrition and energy. With the recent flood of research into the positive impacts of increasing one's plant food intake, have lead it to become a relatively indisputable health recommendation, right?
Well, that depends on your goals.
When you juice vegetables, you’re giving your body a super hit of dense nutritional value, and for many of us, the extra vitamins and minerals are truly necessary as our diets are sorely lacking in fruits and vegetables.
Conversely, if you’re already on a balanced diet to begin with, your body probably doesn’t require all of the vitamins and minerals concentrated in that cup of juice. As the old saying goes, it is possible to get too much of a good thing, and this is where juicing can become problematic. So, I'd say let "moderation" be your mantra.
Juicing and Weight Gain
When we juice vegetable and fruit, we’re concentrating all of the nutrients and minerals into one super liquid. This is all well and good, but did you know that you’re concentrating huge doses of natural fructose sugars in those fruit juices as well?
If it takes 6 apples just to make one glass full of apple juice, can you imagine just how much fructose sugar is concentrated into that one glass? Would you normally eat 6 apples in one sitting? That’s what you’re doing when you drink one glass of apple juice.
Now let's say that you juice fruit regularly and you drink it several times per day. You can begin to understand how much concentrated natural sugar you’re asking your body to digest in one hit.
This is especially problematic for those suffering from diabetes, are pre-diabetic, or are already pushing the boundaries of a healthy sugar intake. That single sugar hit can skyrocket your blood sugars and send your system into shock. It will spike your energy for a few minutes, and then your energy will crash. It just isn't a very nice thing to do to your body.
Those extra fructose sugars even can be a major contributor to undesired weight gain. A high fructose hit is different to a glucose hit because it is only metabolized in the liver. Fructose is different from other types of sugar because it has a different metabolic pathway, meaning that it is not as easily converted into energy by the body. Fructose is also lipogenic, meaning that any excess amounts of it in the body will be converted to fat. Unlike glucose, it does not cause insulin or leptin production, (which is key in regulating energy intake and expenditure) making this type of sugar act more like a fat than other sugars that act like carbohydrates.
For example, if you consume 120 calories of fructose, 40 calories of that is stored as fat. If you were to consume the same amount of glucose, less than one calorie becomes fat. If you consume juiced fruit in too high of quantities, too frequently, over time your body may become insulin resistant, (the cause of diabetes.) At the very least,if you aren't cautious these super fructose hits can quickly expand your waistline due to the storage of extra fats.
The other primary issue is that when you juice, you’re actually destroying most of the insoluble fiber content in the juicing process. After all, fiber is not microscopic in size. It’s a roughage that helps our digestive system move along foods steadily. Once it’s sliced and diced into tiny pieces, the fiber content is greatly diminished, and so your body is not gaining the benefit of fiber that would mediate that sudden rush of sugar to the blood stream. Fructose is also stored in the fiber content, so once you destroy the fiber, you are releasing high levels of fructose that are more easily and quickly absorbed by your body, leading to a fructose surge that the body has to manage.
How to Make Juicing a Healthy Choice
Despite the problems associated with juicing and weight gain, you can still juice effectively.
Juice mostly low sugar fruits, like limes, lemons, and apples.
When you can, juice in the morning for breakfast so that your body absorbs maximum nutrition. Drinking your juice on an empty stomach will help the body absorb all the nutrients.
Limit fruit in your juice at a ratio of 90% vegetables to 10% fruit. For example, if you’re going to juice apples, add one green apple with lots of vegetables, like greens, broccoli, and cucumbers.
With that said, juicing can be a easy and tasty way to get the nutrients from veggies you don't enjoy eating. Juicing has tons of benefits, you just want to be weary so you don't have any undesired consequences.
Do you need some help pairing your fruits and veggies for your desired health benefits?