To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?
Amanda Watts, MD - Baton Rouge General Physicians
Every other month there is a new food trend generating buzz online. The
latest trend getting attention is the juice cleanse. Although several
variations of cleanses exist, the general idea is to replace your normal
diet and meals with 4 - 6 liquid drinks consisting of fruits, vegetables
and dairy free nut milks. After cleansing for several days, promised health
benefits include eliminating toxins from your body, increased energy and
weight loss. The pros of cleansing sound great, but let’s talk about the cons:
Don’t do it for weight loss. A juice cleanse should not be used as a weight loss diet. Drinking liquids
for an extended period of time may kick off a few pounds, but cleansing
does not include a healthy nutritional balance of protein, fat and carbs.
It won’t eliminate toxins. Our bodies, specifically the liver and kidney, are built to manage and
remove toxins through urine and feces. There is no evidence to support
that juicing contributes to this process.
Cleanses contain sugar. The juices are notorious for having an extremely high sugar content (some
more than 130g per day) which is not recommended. This can spike your
blood sugar, upset your metabolism and be very dangerous if you have a
condition like diabetes.
Low in protein. Your body needs protein to build healthy immune cells and regenerate muscle.
Many cleanses contain little to no protein.
They have little fiber. Juicing often strips the fiber out of the fruit and vegetables leaving
you with a fiber free meal and feeling hungry.
Based on nutritional information, my advice would be to forego this trend
and speak with a professional about your health goals and lifestyle. Diets
and eating are not one size fits all and what works for one person may
not work for another. Regardless of the method you chose, you should always
consult with a doctor or dietitian beforehand.
Amanda Watts, MD
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Bella Family Medical
Phone: (225) 763-4500