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Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Juicing for Health and Weight Loss

What to know before adding fresh juice to your diet.
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Watch the Calories

How many calories are in your juice? That depends on what's in it.

"You could be taking up to four fruits, and now the calories start adding up. If you use vegetables to juice, the calories are a lot less. If they use mainly vegetables, add an apple or kiwi for flavor. Calories are a concern if it’s pure fruit juice," Villacorta says.

You can make your juice more balanced by adding protein. Some good sources are almond milk, Greek yogurt, flaxseed, and peanut butter.

Juicing for Weight Loss and Cleansing

Juicing might seem like a simple way to lose weight, but it can backfire.

On a juice-only diet, you may not get enough fiber or protein to make you full. You might rebel.

“If you’re doing a juicing diet, you’ll be so tempted to eat something like a cake or doughnut because you’ve restricted yourself,” Barr says.

Not getting enough protein could also mean you lose muscle mass.  

The bottom line: It's too extreme, and the results aren't likely to last.

What about juicing as a way to detox or cleanse your body? “I haven’t seen any research or science paper to support that cleansing is happening from juicing,” Villacorta says.

Your liver and kidneys take care of that -- whether you're juicing or not.

Other Health Claims

As for other health claims, it's true that eating a plant-based diet is linked to lower risk of heart disease or cancer. But there hasn't been a lot of research done that's specific to juicing.

There is some research on juicing and the immune system. But any immune system benefits probably come from eating fruits and vegetables, whether it's in juice or not, Barr says.

If You're Taking Prescription Drugs

Check with your doctor before doing a lot of juicing, so you can avoid any potential problems.

For instance, large amounts of foods high in vitamin K, such as kale and spinach, may change how the blood thinner warfarin works.

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Reviewed on February 25, 2014

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