I’m often asked about the health benefits of juices and smoothies, and I have a very strong opinion on this (not surprising), and here it is:
There is NOTHING healthy about juicing!!!
In no way, shape, or form is juicing part of a healthy lifestyle.
Consuming juice is nothing more than consuming sugar bomb that will spike and crash your sugar and insulin levels that lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes.
You might as well be eating a couple of donuts.
Which leads me to the next thing I’m asked:
Can I lose weight by juicing?
Answer: Nope! As mentioned, drinking juice spikes insulin and insulin is our fat storage hormone. The last thing you want to be doing is have excess insulin in your blood stream when you want to lose weight.
Here’s why juicing is so bad for you.
When we eat whole vegetables, we’re also eating fiber. Fiber is made of long chains of sugar molecules that the body needs to break down and this not only is hard to do, but it also takes a long time to do. This means you get a slow drip of sugar into the blood stream, and this is good, slow drips means no excess insulin.
Fiber is essential to a healthy lifestyle, it helps lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.
When we juice vegetables, we remove all the fiber so what’s left is pure sugar that slams into the blood stream causing spikes in both blood sugar and insulin. Over time this leads to sugar cravings, a gut microbiome with more bad (sugar craving) bacteria, diabetes and even brain fog, along with weight gain.
And, if you’re juicing fruit, it’s even worse!
Fruit is processed by the liver, but this isn’t the liver’s only job, it is also our main detoxification organ.
In and of itself, that fact that fruit is processed in the liver isn’t a terrible thing, the problem is that we consume WAY too much fruit.
We’ve come to believe that consuming fruit is healthy, and it can be if we’re not sitting there eating a pint or more at a sitting. When we eat that much fruit, it all needs to be processed by the liver, causing it to overwork, not be able to do its detox jobs, and can eventually lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
If you do eat fruit, keep it to 1/4 cup a day, and preferably in the morning so the liver clears it and gets to doing the rest of what it needs to do, and definitely don’t juice fruit, because again, fruit has fiber that takes longer to breakdown, so it doesn't all hit your liver at once.
Anyone who has any type of sugar handling issue (pre-diabetes, diabetes, insulin resistance) should NEVER consume juice.
Where juices are pure sugar, smoothies, on the other hand, while not as perfect as eating whole vegetables, are the much better option.
While blending does break down the fiber in the vegetables, at least it’s still there for your consumption.
Smoothies can be made healthier by adding healthy fats, antioxidants and fiber to help keep a slow drip sugar into the blood stream.
This is the perfect structure for a smoothie that will keep you full for hours and your sugar levels even with no spike, excess insulin, or cravings:
1 1/2 cups non-dairy, unsweetened milk
20 gms grass-fed collagen powder (check serving size, this may be 1 1/2 or 2 servings)
2 tablespoons of fiber of choice (I usually do 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds and 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds – I grind the chia in a spice grinder)
1/2 avocado or 2 tablespoons MCT oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil or raw, organic, unsweetened nut butter (not peanut butter)
1-2 big handfuls of leafy greens (try spinach, kale, parsley, basil, romaine, arugula, etc.)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to smooth.