Juicing: Stupid and Pretentious or Nourishing and Enlightening?

by | Jan 22, 2014

Photo by maebmij

I typically don’t like to get involved in religious debates, but I find the current green juice frenzy way too amusing to resist throwing in my own $0.02.

You would have to be living in a wifi-less cave to have not noticed the incredibly vocal community who believes juicing is the panacea of all that is good and healthy on earth.

These people make health claims ranging from silly, unprovable promises like “detoxifying the body” to egregious lies like “juice cures cancer.” They love their juice and get very angry if you suggest even a little bit that juicing isn’t equal to nutritional perfection. If you don’t like juice, you probably don’t like kittens or rainbows either.

On the other side of the spectrum there’s the more recent anti-juice backlash. These folks point to the hand-wavy research testimonials by juice proponents and mock the lack of solid science behind the craze.

They sit smugly on their high horse, but are not-so-secretly fuming that green juice has become a pretentious, high-priced status symbol for celebrities and wealthy, West Coast elitists. They hate that everyone else is so dumb, and wish we’d all stop talking about it already.

And let’s not forget the people who think juicing is something else entirely.

Scientists, in contrast, have been conspicuously silent on the juicing front. Though a few have come out in interviews suggesting that too much fruit juice (naturally very high in fructose) can be dangerous, they are reluctant to condemn the consumption of more vegetables.

Vegetables are good. But fads are bad. And there isn’t any real long-term data. We’ll just be quiet now.

While the devotion of green juice evangelists can certainly be comical, the lack of data is what brings the juicing debate closest to a religious one. Plausible explanations and testimonials can be found on both sides, and without any actual facts to point to it’s hard to convince anyone of anything. (Not that facts hold much status in national debates these days, but that’s a different problem.)

There isn’t much precedent for juicing vegetables the way people are doing it today. This means we don’t have a lot of information on how it will affect people long-term.

There are many other unknowns as well, including the effects of juicing different kinds vegetables and fruits (can excessive kale juice really inhibit your thyroid?), how much juice is beneficial or safe to drink, the impact of removing or adding back fiber from vegetables, how juice storage impacts nutrition, and the effect of different juicing methods. How do these things change if people are healthy, sick, underweight or obese?

Until these factors have been tested in controlled trials, any speculation on them is purely theoretical.

We know even less about subsisting exclusively on juice for various amount of time. I did a quick Pubmed search to see what science had to say about “juice cleanse.” As you can see, I didn’t come up with much.


The science of a juice cleanse

The science of a juice cleanse *chirp* *chirp*


Of course this doesn’t mean we can’t make educated guesses about the pros and cons of juicing. It just means we should be a little skeptical about everything we read until better information is available.

I’ve explained before that I personally really like the stuff. Unlike those who’ve described it as “like drinking everything bad that ever happened to me in high school,” most of the juices I’ve tried have been delicious.

My beef with juice isn’t the taste or snobbery, but all the shopping, storage and cleanup necessary to make juice at home. I happily pay an extra few dollars for the local, heirloom, organic, bespoke, artisanal, hand-crafted, and not-made-by-me juices I get from my favorite juice vendor at the farmers market.

What else would you expect from a West Coast elitist?

I even tried a juice cleanse once, since after Thanksgiving there wasn’t a single person in San Francisco not doing one. I told myself I was just doing it for research purposes, but I’ll admit I was curious what all the fuss was about. Would I feel enlightened by infusing myself with vegetable goodness for 24 hours?

No, it just made me really, really hungry.

As you can probably tell, I have trouble taking this stuff too seriously. I already love vegetables and eat really well, so I wouldn’t expect green juice to change my life. If you don’t normally eat a lot of veggies, I can see it being a great addition to your healthstyle (though I would still prefer you eat your greens).

That said, I don’t think obsessing over any part of your diet is healthy. Using juice cleanses and “detox” as an excuse to treat your body horribly on weekends, or as a veiled strategy to lose weight by starving yourself, is even worse.

In general I think green juice is a welcome addition to the American diet, and I look forward to the day when vegetable juice bars are as ubiquitous as Starbucks. I just hope we can stay sane about it.

Please share your indignation in the comments.

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101 Responses to “Juicing: Stupid and Pretentious or Nourishing and Enlightening?”

  1. Todd says:

    I couldn’t agree more. What bothers me most is the contradiction some health advocates make. They love to make statements like this: (as one example) “GMO’s are harmful because there have not been any long term studies on them”. However, then they also have no reservations with making statements like this: “Green juice detoxifies the body and is essential for health” when there is no research or long term studies to support that.

    • louise burns says:

      Hello My own experience with juicing was helping my husband cure himself from what the DRS said was an INCURABLE disease which he would DIE from, Amyloidosis (which by the way took Drs. 3 months to diagnose and only 30 mins for a Iridologist to tell him the same thing not knowing the diagnosis)We did juicing, Colon therapy, wheat grass, and herbs and hes been alive for over 15 years.
      Also Ive been a Massage therapist for over 15 years and gotten close to ALOT of people in the Health/Holistic field.I have known scores of people that have cured themselves from chronic illnesses and incurable diseases thru juicing and other natural means. As far as juicing goes its not new Dr.Norman Walker and Ann Wigmore wrote a ton of books in 1940s and 1950s right?

      • Evidence-based says:

        Was your husband also breathing air while he was sick? How do you know the juice and not the air made him recover? If I had to guess, I’d say it’s just as likely the air he breathed helped him recover, since, you know, we obviously aren’t considering things like the epidemiology of his disease or the treatments his doctors likely applied.

      • Louise burns says:

        not sure “evidenced based” will see this but I happened on this web site again and saw your comment. If you re read my comment u will notice that I said
        The DRS said was he had an INCURABLE disease which he would DIE from, Amyloidosis (which by the way took Drs. 3 months to diagnose and only 30 mins for a Iridologist to tell him the same thing not knowing the diagnosis). AND THEY TOLD HIM THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO
        Also I have met ALOT of people in the Health/Holistic field.And thru my own experiences of meeting people and thru them have known Over 20 people that have cured themselves from chronic illnesses and incurable diseases thru juicing and other natural means. How many people have you known that have been cured by “air” ? in fact there’s a good chance that many peoples illnesses are worsened by the air pollution that they live with .

        Evidence-based says:
        December 6, 2014 at 9:25 am
        Was your husband also breathing air while he was sick? How do you know the juice and not the air made him recover? If I had to guess, I’d say it’s just as likely the air he breathed helped him recover, since, you know, we obviously aren’t considering things like the epidemiology of his disease or the treatments his doctors likely applied.

      • Science says:

        While I am incredibly happy for you and your husband, there are just too many variables involved for you to make the conclusion that is was juicing. To chalk a cure up to one variable such as liquid nutrition defies all logic. There’s a reason sugar pills are often found just as (or more) effective in research studies. Put juicing through a controlled randomized study and we can begin to have a conversation.

  2. Erica says:

    Nice piece. My take on it is that anyone having difficulty losing or maintaining their weight should not drink calories, because liquids are not as satiating as solid food. For anyone else, if you like juice, go for it. Personally, I hate all juice and don’t even like smoothies. I prefer to chew my food.

  3. Annie says:

    My problem with it as a diet aid (which is what I’ve heard it touted as) is that it’s just another fad calorie restriction plan that leaves people in the same plight as before they started juicing: unable to choose a nutritious diet and unable to recognize and respond appropriately to their body’s hunger signals.

  4. Annie says:

    Also, I would see a huge difference in the potential benefits of a glass of juice you made at home (or bought from a trusted source preparing it fresh) vs. buying something that’s been in a plastic bottle in the supermarket for who knows how long.

  5. I like the idea of juicing/blending in that it can be a quick way to get fruits, vegetables (and nothing else) in an easy to deliver package – sort of a ‘keep it simple’ approach.

    A comment about the sugar content…

    I am a gastric bypass patient. As opposed to trying to ingest the ‘mass’ of fruits & veggies, I tried ‘blending’ drinks. Unfortunately, the amount of sugar concentrated in such a mixture rears its ugly head upon drinking. Us bypass patients do not do well with quick jolts of sugar (look up dumping syndrome while you are not eating).

    So… as much as I would like to, looks like I will have to stick to the old fashioned way – eating my fruits & veggies like before.

    Good article, though… Thank you.

  6. Jessica says:

    I do not juice, but I do blend! I make a smoothie out of veggies and fruit each morning. I have been doing it for two years and I do see a difference in my health. Less illness and if I do get sick, it is over quickly. I love the feeling of starting my day off with healthy, fiber-filled food. I like to blend because I can keep all parts of the vegetables and fruit instead of just the juice.

    • R. Wong says:

      Hi Jessica, thank you for sharing your personal experience. I’ve been juicing daily for seven months. Started juicing bitter melon to bring my A1c down. Bitter melon is challenging to swallow. I would take deep breaths, hold it, swallow half a cup, gargle with water and chase it with ice water. It’s that bad. After researching, I added carrots, celery, cucumbers and tomatoes. Much better. Some of the benefits that we noticed: my thinning hair grew back, A1c is lower, feel calmer, thinking seems clearer, lost 6 lbs, skin is clearer, more toned, trigger finger is gone, not hungry, legs don’t hurt, can feel texture when walking on carpet (and legos ouch), healthy regular elimination. Like you, been there, done it, got the shirt. Will continue daily. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

  7. Kate says:

    As someone who has a tendency towards all or nothing thinking, and extremism rather than moderation, especially around my weight, fasts of any kind are a big no-no for me. The few times in my life I’ve tried one, it’s just created a huge maelstrom of obsessiveness, crankiness, nighttime leg cramps, and a complete inability to actually function in any area of life.

    In addition, I well remember a dear friend attempting the 10-day Master Cleanse years ago. By day 8 or so, she ended up in my apartment one night after work because it was closer to her office — she (a healthy, slender girl then in her mid-20s) was too weak to walk the remaining distance to her own place. Plus, she confessed to being “a bit” alarmed because she had passed out in the office bathroom that day.

    Trembling, with sallow skin and dry, cracked lips, she laid down on my couch and cried while I marched into my kitchen and made her some broth with rice.

    That was the moment I realized that I, personally, do not believe in long-term fasts.

  8. Dumb Schmuck From The South East says:

    Thank God I’m just a dumb schmuck from the Southeast. I follow the real food diet. If it’s real food, just eat it ya’ll.

  9. Grow your own says:

    I got into very casual juicing after reading an article from this site and it is really funny how time changes perspective. Another funny is that I was looking for that article just now and found this one posted instead…in my mid-sized city, stores big and small, ice cream trucks, and all are selling it. I juice to avoid drinking everyone else’s juice. I REALLY like juice

  10. B. says:

    Well, this is just about the sanest take on juicing I’ve read yet. (I wouldn’t expect any less from Darya.) I don’t think pure fruit juices should really be considered a health food – but if you can get a serving of vegetables in with your juice, I think that’s a good thing.

    Personally, I’d like to see some research into the difference in phytonutrient content between whole and juiced produce, which is rarely discussed. For now, drink it if you enjoy it, but just know that juicing is NOT a panacea or miracle of any kind!

  11. Elle says:

    I read somewhere (online, of course) that one of the problem with juices is juicing vegetables that were supposed to be eaten cooked in their raw state and eating way too many green leaves as it much easier for most people to drink a pound of juiced spinach than to actually eat it.

  12. Baba says:

    Sure, it’s a silly overdone fad, but it’s probably healthier than most.

  13. How about this for a study: Group A drinks a glass of vegetable juice and Group B drinks a glass of Coke every day for a year. Guess which group tests healthier?

    It’s all about perspective.

  14. I tried juicing (which later turned into random fruit and veggie shakes) right before my sister’s wedding a little over a year ago. My wife was supposed to join me but after 8 hours she gave up. The other 10 days or so were all me:) I lost about 10 lbs, made it through the wedding and then promptly gained it all back. Never again.

    What DID work was moving to Thailand. Living in Bangkok I lost about 15 lbs partly because there was less dairy available.

  15. Miss Storm says:

    I’d have to agree with the author. Upon doing my own research, seeing friends juicing, and seeing juicing as a short-term diet, I just don’t see the TRUE benefits of it. Yeah you lost weight…then gained it back. a QUICK FIX is what it is. (No different than women using waist cinchers to get a smaller waist but not eating healthy and exercising). I couldn’t agree more with one of the comments above: you’re doing a cleanse for 7-14 days (worst if it’s a month) and it’s straight juicing OR just water and lemon. I mean come on people, really? You’ve literally taken out all the nutrition from your foods which you should be eating to drink water and lemon for 10 days? I don’t think people realize that you must chew the food to gain all those nutrients and it is absorbed in parts of your body then finally exited out the body. I’m sorry! I’d much prefer to eat healthy and work out AND juice too. Can’t stand all the quick fixes.

  16. ris says:

    While I wouldn’t follow this as a detox diet, I think it would be good to add some more vegetable-based juices to my diet once in a while. I agree with Darya that it’s messy, expensive, and time-consuming to DIY at home (I have a juicer I got as a gift that I’ve never used, because the thought of cleaning it terrifies me). That said, anyone recommend any commercial brands that are palatable and healthy for a juice newbie to try?

    • slimjim says:

      If your interested in juicing then buy the breville juice fountain compact for amazon. its only 100 bucks, its quiet and only takes 5 mins to clean. it comes with the documentary fat sick and nearly dead.

    • David Lloyd-Jones says:


      The thought of cleaning up big clunky things used to terrify me — until I stumbled on the answer: laziness.

      I moved into a place with a huge double kitchen sink, so when I’m making hummus, the big electric chopper user, I just fill one up with hot water and detergent, and throw the pieces in, top, pusher, then blade, then bowl, then all the other stuff, chopping board, knives, spatulas, and ignore them for an hour or so.

      Small positive thought while all this is happening: consider that kitchen detergent is the major bacteria killer in our world. Proctor and Gamble plus Unilever and one or two others like ’em are the best thing for humanity since Doctor Semmelweiss.

      Rinse the stuff off, and put it back together, and Bob’s yer uncle. Just laziness is all it takes.



  17. Tom says:

    Blending is better than juicing as you lose no fiber. I just bought a 2.5 hp ninja blender which is awesome and cleans very easy. Just consume the juice with healthy small meals

  18. Claudia says:

    I agree with Erica, completely unsatufying to drink your calories. I prefer to chew my food. If you juice, juice your veggies and eat your fruits to maintain all nutritional properties.

  19. Juli says:

    I have so many friends who juice! By the time I find one I like I’m inhaling too many calories…But, that said — I often go to this site to inspire me to eat my veges and today they were showing so many “other” ways that you might use fresh juice!


  20. Aaron says:

    Wow! I am in love with you website and blog. Your writing style is so simple and plain, yet very profound. I think you best summed it up when you mentioned that if you are already eating tons of veggies and healthy stuff, juicing will not drastically change anything… I mean in the end you’re eating basically the same stuff, lol! But for me that I have lived a very unhealthy lifestyle, eating fast food 3-4 times daily for nearly a year, and otherwise always protesting vegetables, juicing is great for me because otherwise I don’t even eat any veggies.

    I loved your comical view on describing both pro- and anti-juicing. I am subscribing to your blog because of your very real, down-to-earth and informed expression of your views.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    May I suggest you do a bit of research on Angiogenesis and the relation to what we eat and how food indeed stops cancer, juicing is simply just one form.

    • zaa says:

      Red meat intake has been shown to cause cancer. If red meat is a type of food, then your argument is invalid.

      • Bill Leach says:

        Even the studies claiming that red meat ’causes cancer’ have a very weak association. Processed meats of all kinds have generally shown a stronger association.

        Studies involving grass fed beef indicate the contrary. This was no surprise to the various researchers as pastured beef has a rather high level or conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) a particularly strong nutrient against cancer.

  22. Alysia says:

    I tend to be one of those people who are furious that juicing is so popular lately but this post calmed me down a bit. I can see your point about juice being a good addition, especially if people don’t eat well to begin with and totally agree with this statement: “That said, I don’t think obsessing over any part of your diet is healthy. Using juice cleanses and “detox” as an excuse to treat your body horribly on weekends, or as a veiled strategy to lose weight by starving yourself, is even worse.”

    Thanks for a great post.

  23. It’s important to consider the extraction method used by the juicer. Not a fan at all of the juicers that separate the juice from the pulp. A good juicer (I like NutriBullet and similar) doesn’t separate but rather minces and shreds the fiber and incorporates it into its juice. I often recommend adding a scoop of protein powder to a combination of leafy greens and low-sugar fruits. The protein will prevent you from being hungry again in an hour. Could not agree more that this fad is, for a lot of people, another attempt to find a shortcut to good nutrition and health.

    • Megan says:

      I add 1 TBSP of Olive Oil and 1 scoop of plant-based protein powder to at least one of my juices per day.

      I have a friend who uses the Nutribullet — more of a smoothie, but quite yummy. For those who need to regulate their sugars, very important to include all the fiber as is done with the nutribullet approach. Definitely a great way to add a punch of fresh nutrients to one’s daily dietary intake.

  24. Ed says:

    I never liked the idea of juicing because you are getting rid of the fiber, pulp, and whatever other nutrients resides in the pulp.

    I blend. Typical concoction is about half a blender of spinach, a layer of chopped carrots, then the rest with fruit and berries (about 40% of the blender). I combine this with flax seeds, psyllium husk powder for extra fiber, OJ, milk, and water.

    Lasts about 4-5 days if I drink it for breakfast.

    1. Does the fiber make up for the 40% fruit/berries in the mixture (in regards to slowing sugar intake)?
    2. When stored in the fridge, does the 5th day still contain sufficient nutrients?

    Thanks for the article,

    • Megan says:

      Most of what I’ve read indicates fresh is best, but if refrigerated should be consumed in 48-72 hours. If frozen, consumed within 10 days (thaw in fridge)

    • Jason Cooke says:

      You’ve made a milkshake Ed! 🙂 Couldn’t resist.

    • Jessica Lambert says:

      Ed – I do something very similar, make a big batch of blended smoothie goodness then pour it into these small silicon mini bar molds [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VFWWWU] and freeze them. Each morning I take out three or so and chop em a bit [usually after allowing to soften for a couple minutes on the cutting board] throw them in my blender bottle then add some juice and blend with my immersion stick blender. Easy instant morning shake with all the goods and no mess. Since they are frozen they don’t lose nutrients and create that yummy Jamba Juice type texture.

      If you don’t have the blender [Darya’s link: http://astore.amazon.com/thouforfood01-20/detail/B0006G3JRO%5D I have simply allowed them to melt and used the blender bottle ball to mix – a bit more juice than smoothie at that point but still yummy. I love them as I find it hard to get some of those nutrients otherwise and first thing in the day sets a good precedence.

  25. We interview people every week who have changed their lives for good by introducing juicing into their lives.

    Not all of them juice ‘fast’ some just drink 32oz of mainly veggie green juice a day and are able to come off their meds.

    Juicing Radio itself makes no such claim as we do not want to give people false hope. We prefer to share stories so before you call us ‘comical’ have a longer think about what we are doing.

    Drinking more veggies.

    There are no pills or expensive supplements, the message of all juicer is to drink more veggies, simple as that.

    Take Brian on our first ever episode, he lost 165 pounds and has beaten off most of his MS symptoms, it is pretty incredible and all using nature.

    You are correct that there is little science behind this..ever wondered why? I am sure you know why.

    Joe Cross, the writer, producer and start of the juicing docufilm ‘Fat Sick and Nearly Dead’ has set up a medical board to investigate and research the effects of juicing. Exciting times.

    • Darya Rose says:

      This is not a negative post about juicing, nor am I mocking people who juice. As I clearly state, I enjoy vegetable juices myself regularly.

      What I AM criticizing is jumping to conclusions and being fanatical about something with very little research behind it. Testimonials left here simply reinforce my argument.

      Oh, and thanks for sending all your minions to bombard me with comments today.

      • You are right testimonials are not research. However using the word ‘egregious’ is really overstepping the mark.

        Brian beat off his MS symptoms by juicing are you actually calling the guy a liar? How about Joe Cross who is off all his meds because of juicing, is he being economical with the truth.

        Words are very powerful and you picked the wrong. I could understand ‘unfounded’ claims and it would not have caused me to pen a blog post about your attack today.

        You seem to be very condescending to people who do not share your view. I do not have ‘minions’ we have people who listen to our show who also took exception to your post.

        Shame really as I enjoy and respect most of your other stuff.

      • Chris says:

        To Juicing Radio: you cannot claim that juicing was the reason “Brian beat off his MS…” or Joe Cross is off all his meds. That is called anecdotal evidence and does not link cause and effect.

        I read this article along with several pro-juicing and several anti-juicing. I found this article to be the least polarizing of all that I read.

        The reason I decided to read about juicing is that I find it incredibly wasteful, yet practiced by those who consider themselves earth-friendly. It seems hypocritical and selfish to waste so much vegetable and fruit matter on a fad. And yes, juicing is a fad. Anything that claims to cure so many disparate physical problems is snake oil, and therefore, a fad.

      • Jason Cooke says:

        Relax guys, and to be fair to Darya, it is her website so she can write as she see’s it.

      • Claudia Fey says:

        Hi Darya,
        Just wanted to add that juicing has been successfully used as a non-toxic treatment for cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases for many decades by some alternative therapy and healing methods (such as Gerson Therapy.)

      • zaa says:

        Juicing Radio’s argument appears to be this:

        A) Brian and Joe claim to have been ill with unrelated but debilitating and potentially fatal ailments.

        B) Brian and Joe claim to have drank juice of undisclosed fruits and vegetables for an undisclosed period of time.

        C) Brian and Joe claim they are no longer ill.

        Conclusion: Juicing (and certainly nothing but) made Brian and Joe healthy and as such, proof that juicing is panacea to cure all human physical ailments.

        Sorry. Anecdotes, no matter how heart-felt and reassuring they may be, do not carry ANY weight as scientific evidence.

        And suggesting that doubting Joe and Brian on their juicing claims amounts to calling them liars or such is well beyond the pale.

        What we can say about Juicing Radio, Joe and Brian is that they are untrained and completely alien to the scientific method and should therefore realize that making sweeping generalizing conclusions about things they cannot factually prove will get them rightly called on.

  26. Brian says:

    I am a juicer. When I started my juice fast I weighed 350 pounds and had multiple health issues due to my lifestyle choices. I also have multiple sclerosis and the MS had at that point been very active. I started a juice fast in May 2012. Over the next 10 months I lost 165 pounds. Other than MS my other health issues went away. I haven’t had a flare up of MS since. Before my juice fast I wasn’t very active. Since I have run a sub 2 hour half marathon, 15 5k races placing in all. I have run 2 10k races placing in one of the 2. I have run 2 8k races winning one overall and placing in the other. Now did juicing do this for me? The honest answer is I don’t know. What I can say for sure is that juicing changed my life for the better. Juicing retrained me on what I consumed. It changed my cravings. Through the process of my juicing I have become more aware of what I fuel my body with. As a result of my success with juicing I have inspired others around me to make lifestyle changes. My mother has stopped smoking and has started her own exercise routine. My daughters are healthier due to the fact that I now make better food choices for them and I am being a better role model for them. Many people in my community are now meeting with me to do group runs. My stepfather has juiced almost a year and lost over 120 pounds so far. Last month he spent sometime in the hospital and had to have surgery. The surgeon said that his juicing had him at a safer weight to do surgery and his oncologist said that the juicing saved his life. Now again I am not an expert just a person that has juiced long term and changed his life and the lives of the people around him. I know it isn’t for everyone. I think that anything that improves your health is a good thing. It doesn’t matter how you get there just that you get there.

    • Brian says:

      And for the people that say this is a short term thing and you gain the weight back. Not this guy. I have gained 10 pounds back. Some of that could be muscle from all the running, close to 7000 miles since September 2012, sure you can gain weight back if you looked at your juice fast as a diet. No diet works because diets are not long term. The only thing that works long term is lifestyle change. Juicing was my bridge to lifestyle change.
      I am one of the success stories interviewed by JuicingRadio.com and I am not a lier.

    • Shiv says:

      I don’t doubt that a lot of medical diseases “disappear away” when you go into juicing….if it helped promote weight loss.

      1) LOSS OF VISCERAL FAT is one of the leading reasons why diet and exercise are so important. Point #2 explains why…

      2) Visceral or “inner” fat can cause bad hormone changes and other negatives. The role of fat in regulating our cells is not fully known, but studies do show that certain fats (EPA and DHA from fish or krill oil, for instance) can create beneficial effects.

      There is not much beneficial about visceral fat, and losing it is the key to reducing symptoms like diabetes.

      3) Visceral fat is the “first to go” in diet and exercise regimes. Hence, weight loss for obese folk is beneficial for this reason.

      4) A loss of a few pounds will produce disproportionate benefits for diabetics. This has been studied by medical professionals. Quite often, weight loss is the only “cure”….more insulin or metformin will just produce more resistance to these meds.

      Juicing and taking raw juice, or better yet going for cold pressed raw juice may provide nutrition but you also have to watch out for the oxidation.

      Moreover it’s better to juice veggies low in sugar than fruits because fruits may cause blood sugar spikes in juiced form (since the “walls” that contain sugar are broken down, they are absorbed fast).

      For sick folk – whose digestion is largely underperforming due to toxins and lack of good bacteria and enzymes (which means most of us) – juicing is a partial cure as it allows nutrients to be absorbed better. If you are healthy, you ought to try eating your foods more than juice them.

  27. Kitten says:

    Wow , all I can say is … You believe seriously that trying something for 24 hrs will do anything ? I am sorry but most researchers and scientists do more research than just 24 hrs. What I have to say take it or leave it . What I do know is Juicing saved my Diabetic fathers life and my life. My father lost 90 pounds and is now off all his medication for Diabetes , high blood pressure , High cholesterol and gout . The meds the Doctor gave him could not get his levels under 200. Once he juiced it cleared it up. As for me I have dropped 250 pounds and am no longer needing crutches to walk and my health issues gone. We don’t live off juice , we learned when juicing the importance of real nutrition and that you get that from plants. Not meat or dairy. We learned the dangers of processed foods,changed our eating lifestyle and have kept the weight off and stayed medication free. Go ahead call us liars but we know it saved our lives . People need to unlearn what they have been taught and really do their research before writing articles like this. It really discredits your credibility. [link removed]

    • Shiv says:

      It’s weight loss – loss of viscreal or inner fat – and not juicing that helps in getting rid of diseases.

      Juicing also helps if you take the right stuff…for instance ginger (try in moderation, like under 5 grams per day) or bitter melon for diabetes, etc.

      It really helps more over eating foods when you have digestive disorders like most folk do, because that means that your body may not absorb a lot of the nutrition it chews.

      For truly healthy digestive systems, chewing food (including both raw and cooked kinds) is more beneficial in some ways. Juicing appears to be natural intelligence helping sick folk absorb some nutrition…

      There are also pitfalls – it may cause sugar spikes since cell walls are destroyed and sugars come out fast, as with the other nutrition. So juicing veggies or fruit with low sugar may be helpful.

      And of course there are issues with oxidation (so gulp that juice down real fast…), if the juice is heated (like most shelf-based juices) then you lose nutrients, and you also lost fiber as well as some of the other nutrients due to juicing methods.

  28. Cheri says:

    I saw comments on here that were great supporting juicing . Now they are gone . Are you deleting supportive comments against the lack of research you have done ? Sad

  29. Fran says:

    Know your facts before you start telling people this and that is not true.
    Try REAL juicing for 30 days without cheating and then give the results. By REAL juicing I mean, quality juice from a quality juicer not the store bottled crap available for a few bucks. It has to be real juice from an actual juicer from real produce.
    You are calling hundreds of people lairs who have benefited from TRUE juicing.
    It’s a shame you are discouraging people who may benefit from real juicing from even trying it for themselves. Juicing is not a ‘fad’, research how much protein is in spinach and kale plus other nutrients you get out of other vegetables.
    Juicing allows for your body to uptake nutrients in their purest form, it takes a lot of produce to make juice. You could not consume that much at one time by eating it, juicing allows for optimal nutrition.
    Juicing has help some people where nothing else could. Again, research and talk to people it has actually helped. Watch Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead and Forks over Knives.
    If you have no clue about true nutrition and where and what you can get from juicing you sure shouldn’t be talking about it PERIOD!

  30. Megan says:

    To open your article by equating juicing to a “religious debate” is demeaning to those for whom juicing has helped regain their lives; mentioning off handedly that you actually like juice or reminding us in your closing that you are glad green juices are available does nothing to negate that. I don’t know who you’ve been around that has managed to turn you off on juicing to such a point, but feel compelled to throw my comments in the ring.

    I will definitely agree with you that one should stay sane (and I’ve seen some folks jump on the juicing bandwagon without proper research / information … that is its own type of insanity), and I truly do understand the skeptisism from those whose lives have not been changed by integrating juicing into their eating habits, but I’m concerned that your take on juicing and the barely veiled cynicism that dominates the article will discourage some from trying juicing who would be benefited by adding juicing to their lifestyle.

    Why do I even care to comment? Well, I’m one of “those people” whose life has been so drastically impacted by integrating juicing that it’s impossible for ME to keep quiet … so here’s my own $.02.

    I’ve been ill since I was in my 30’s with an unknown malady that was diagnosed as “likely an auto-immune condition” and have been medicated off and on over the years for the symptoms, but nothing worked. I stopped trying to find a medical solution and just lived with it, making adjustments to my lifestyle to accomodate what had become growing limitations. I regularly needed between 600 and 1000 mg of ibuprofen to get going in the mornings. As a result of decreased activity (and probably just feeling glum and doing more eating than I should have given my lack of activity), the pounds slowly started piling on. I was overweight, but not morbidly obese, but enough so that I was uncomfortable with my body changes.

    In early January, I happened to stumble across the Joe Cross documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”, watched it and thought, “what have I got to lose — I’ll give this a try.” At the risk of sounding like some paid infomercial, I feel compelled to tell yout hat I followed his plan, and within a week, I felt better than I had in 20 years. As a bonus, I lost over 30 lbs. I accomplished this with a combination of juice-fasting and then “clean eating” with juicing. I am eating now, but continue to include my home-made juices as part of my daily diet. I’ve lost an additional few pounds, and will continue to include juicing and Joe’s “reboot” suggestions as part of my on-going lifestyle choices.

    I realize that to the uninformed, going on a 30-day juice fast seems extreme. I get that, I truly do. I actually started with the intent to do 5 days of combination juicing, smoothies, and plant-based eating, followed by 5 days of juice only, followed by another 5 days of transition eating/juicing. On impulse, I changed my mind and decided to start off with a 3 day juice only to see how things went. I felt so much better, I decided to extend that for a full week, and the rest is history. Except for a couple of partial servings of baked squash, I wound up juice fasting for 30 full days and transitioning back into healthy eating+juicing. While the experience is different for everyone, I can honestly say I did not crave or feel deprived throughout the 30 day ‘fasting’ portion of my transition. I did miss popcorn and white baked potatoes during that time period, 😉 and was happy to have some popcorn after my fasting phase concluded and I’d transitioned back into eating.

    Today, March 14, I’m 39 lbs lighter than I was on January 1. I look healthier. I feel healthier. I am healthier. I’m not a fanatic, I’m living proof that integrating fresh fruit/vegetable juices into my daily diet helped to reboot my body, my habits, and my dietary choices. Since I began juicing, I’ve only needed ibuprofen one day. One day in the past 3 months when I previously needed it daily to even move and function in the morning. So yep, it makes me pretty excited about what juicing can do for some folks.

    You admit you are already healthy, taht you already eat healthy, and that you “tried” juicing for 24 hours without any noticable impact except hunger. I would imagine that 24 hours of anything would be required for any noticable impact, especially if you’re already so fit and healthy. If you were hungry (true hunger, not cravings), then you were not drinking enough juice or enough juice variety. Your body was looking for what was missing. If you were doing nothing but green juices, I’d recommend taking a more varied approach to ensure a greater balance and variety of plant based nutrients.

    Bottom line … Juicing is not for everyone. I get that. Each individual needs to find a healthy method for eating and living that works for them. However, if a healthy approach to eating can be kick started with a healthy approach to juicing, then I think we should send kudos to those who can make it work for them.

    I know that I will personally be forever grateful to Joe Cross for filming his journey and inspiring me to give it a go. I started the juicing journey in hopes of feeling healthier — the weight loss was an added benefit. For the first time in 20 years, I feel like myself again. It’s probably impossible to understand if you haven’t been through it. All I ask is that you accept it, or at least tolerate it with out taking a condescending attitude.

    For me, I’ll continue to eat healthy, #juiceon, and look forward to this time next year (if not sooner) when I fully expect to have reached my goal weight as a side benefit to having adopted this healthy way of eating and drinking. And felt compelled to comment in case your story happened to discourage anyone who truly needs it or would benefit from it from trying juicing; if so, I hope my story will inspire them to continue researching beyond your opinion and consider juicing…perhaps they could go into it as I did. What can it possibly hurt to give it a try? For those who are interested in learning more, I strongly encourage you to visit http://fatsickandnearlydead.com or http://rebootwithjoe.com. Do NOT go into juicing uninformed. The purpose of the process is to flood your body with the nutrients it needs — far too many of the uninformed go into it hoping for a quick fix and do not take a healthy approach. #juicon. 😉

    • Darya Rose says:

      “However, if a healthy approach to eating can be kick started with a healthy approach to juicing, then I think we should send kudos to those who can make it work for them.”

      Totally agree. That philosophy is part of the basis of this blog. Not that you’ve ever been here before.

      • Megan says:

        Actually, I have, and in generally find your information to be informative, witty, and helpful. I have just never felt compelled to comment before.

  31. My wife definitely had thyroid problems from eating raw kale. This is a huge bummer, but not as bad as how weird she was feeling for a couple months (peeling finger nails, bloating, stomach pains). The minute she stopped eating raw kale daily it went away. Some cooked kale is okay, but that’s it. Meanwhile I still drink glasses of juiced kale daily.

  32. Dan Miller Elisabeth Rae says:

    I was considering buying your new Foodist book based on your interview with Alex Jamieson at SuperSize Me conference, but not after reading this blog. Although there has not been a lot of peer-reviewed scientific research done on juicing, there are oodles of case studies that Vegetable Juicing is in fact incredibly healing, cleanses the palate, helps to overcome food addictions, powerpacks Real Food nutrition into one glass, overcomes obesity, diabetes, cancer and other degenerative diseases. Look at The Gerson Institute, The Hippocrates Institute, The Tree of Life Foundation, The True North Health Center and/or other long time juicers like Jay Kordich, Jason Vale, Dr. Norman Walker, Dr. Paavo Airola, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Reboot With Joe.com & Dana Farber Cancer Institute Nutritionist Stacy Kennedy. Maybe you should have dug a little deeper before slamming fresh pressed vegetable juicing, which incidentally is as ‘Real a Food’ as you can get….particularly as a tool to encourage eating more plants and gain optimum health. Are you just upset because Joe Crosses Juice Diet book is higher on the bestseller list?

  33. Kari says:

    Wow, guys, chill, willya? I’m really not sure how an article that basically says “juice is yummy but we don’t know much about it” instills such ire.

    Anyway I don’t “juice” exactly, but the first time I ran across a green smoothie I tried it just because I love weird stuff. I thought it tasted like a tree, and was therefore in favor of it. I walk three miles each way to work, and sometimes I am so hungry at day’s end that I just need some calories NOW, and can’t wait to get home. Health food store with juice-having deli to the rescue because otherwise it would be tacos. It really perks me up and while I’m sure at least some of that is the sugar blast, it really hits the spot, and I will not argue with feeling good.

    I do suggest juice to people I know who never touch veggies, because you’ve gotta start somewhere.

  34. Trace Justice says:

    You tried for 24 hrs? Hahaha. That’s like saying you went to the gym ONCE and didn’t notice any change. Seriously?

    I guess the thousands of people in our Facebook group “Juicing for Dummies” who magically cured chronic life threatening illnesses, including myself, are all liars and made it all up. Hahaha.

    Poorly written and researched. You get an F.

  35. Garrick Dee says:

    Hello Darya,

    I love your health articles and recipes in your site but this one is a bit off and it struck a cord in me that I had to write a response. It’s long, more than a thousand words long so I just wrote it in my blog…

    [link removed]

    Anyway, cheers.

  36. Jason says:

    Interesting article, I stumbled on this topic because I myself have started juicing due to the amazing story in “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead”. I originally thought about fasting, but then I craved myself a hamburger, so I bought one. I too have an obsessive indulgent personality, which is why I told myself that if I wanted some beef, chicken, or fish, then I wasn’t going to make an issue about it. I would say my eating habits previous to my discovery, have been contrary to what I choose now. Very few times in the morning would I eat breakfast, and quite often would I skip lunch, until my belly let me have it with a huge GROAN!

    Anyway, I think for me, like Brian stated, it perhaps is a gateway, or a bridge, to a healthier lifestyle. I gotta say, after the first few mornings of drinking my leafy greens, or root veggies like beets, I feel great. That being said, I do believe that everything in balance is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. I now recognize that my old eating habits were not satisfactory nor sustainable, and I have the experience, to now compare and contrast between the two paradigms.

    I think it’s important to ask questions, and be skeptical, and I believe you raise some interesting points here. I have a couple of questions. First, Should I be concerned about the increased sugar in the juicing process? Do we lose important vitamins and minerals in the process? And finally, If I am going to continue juicing (as it appears to suit my lifestyle) What are some ways I can balance the supposed excess amount of sugar?

  37. A fellow PhDork says:

    I stumbled across this blog topic after reading one of your other topics, Darya, and have to say that I’m really impressed how you’ve handled the entire situation. I’m also in the health sciences, and the testimonials/”suppressed studies” vs. published peer-reviewed research concept is alive and well in multiple fields. I think that we all have such a strong emotional reaction when it comes to food, though, so perhaps that issue is much more fraught (as you’ve clearly demonstrated here!) In any case, thanks for the product review, and for stepping into the fray… more than once.

  38. Levy says:

    True! Everything we read are not always true. Deeper research, better understanding and thorough balance in the both parties are important. For me I like juicing but I am also considering the news about it. I’m just keeping the balance.

  39. Mike says:

    To me juicing is in a family of industrial practices that process nature into products that are no longer good for you. I constantly find random fruit juices as the sugar in various Trader Joe’s products trying to pretend theyre healthy. Maybe I’m wrong but the whole point of fruits and vegetables seems to be their complex structure and components. Over millions years our ancestral dna was balancing how to make best use of these when chewed and ingested or lightly prepared and perhaps for a reasonable legth of time cooking as well. There appear to be few truly modern food inventions that have improved health. Seems better than soda of course.

  40. I have used juicing to help me lose weight and it is really helping me. I have tried all sorts and recently (being over 45) no amount of eating less plus exercise was helping.

    Vegetable juicing has finally helped push me back towards the “healthy” range. Still a while to go. I am still classed as obese. But I see the light at the end of a very long (weight loss frustration) tunnel.

    As for the hunger. Well that goes when you give it time. I am not a 60 or 90 day juicing evangelist or anything like that. I simply swapped breakfast and sometimes breakfast and lunch. I am working towards engaging in a 3-5 day juice cleanse once a month and will give myself time (even if it takes years) to get there.

    Trying something for just one day is not a testimonial for anything really, although I wish I could give up on exercise for that reason!

    For those who can afford to buy juices, lucky them, for me the chopping, mess and cleaning up is a welcome part of the process. I do the same thing when I cook a meal so why not when I juice.

  41. Bradley says:

    I like your article. Whilst I feel you could have done a weeks testing I still like it. It’s great that people are loosing wait and getting rid of problems, which makes sense to me, but sometimes I feel that the internet is bad because you can’t read someones tone and I’m seeing quite a few negative comments directed at this person. Which isn’t that nice. I can understand why people will give those comments but I think sometimes we need to think about what we write.

    I personally am going to buy a masticating juicer in a couple of weeks.

    I’ve read a lot about juicing and really feel it could help me.

    I’m blind, so it won’t help with vision. What it can do, according to my research is help me get rid of my acni, and hopefully lesson or get rid of most oils in my skin to.

    I don’t think trying something for 24 hours is a good way to test a thing. I might try playing piano for 24 hours, I’d have pretty sore hands after, but if I was a beginner may think it’s not for me, and stop, then miss out on a great opportunity.

    I’m not a scientist, but honestly? I don’t need to be to enjoy what feels good to me.

    one thing I cannot agree on though, is you removing links from your post. There was one link to a blog comment and another one that I can’t remember at the moment, but my question is this; If you want people to make there own choices,why remove links that could lead people to do just that? Now if it was spam I could totally understand, but then the question is, how could a spammer be that intelligent?

    Keep living life to the best you can. I hope you’re having a nice day,

    • Darya Rose says:

      Removing links from posts is part of my comment policy on all posts, since 99% of the time they are self-promotional (not necessarily spam, but not necessarily unselfish either). I’ve been blogging here for years, and I have certain rules to keep the tone open but not hostile.

      There is still no rigorous science on long-term juicing, but here’s a post about how I cleared up my skin if you’re interested: http://summertomato.com/how-i-finally-cleared-my-skin-of-acne/

  42. Dee says:

    My 2 cents:
    1/I consider juice a refreshment , not real food
    So I’m into eating real food so I don’t juice.

    2/It can be convenient at times to find a juice bar if I’m on the go and had my fill of black coffee/ water/ hunger

    3/ I can see juices having an positive effect on people because of the high concentrations / MEDICINAL doses of nutrients (some taste like medicine)

  43. Jen G says:

    Hi folks,
    we have been having a fresh made juice almost every day at lunchtime for a couple of years now. This together with being on our feet for work and a daily evening walk has been great for our general health. When we sold our business we were not so active and while the juicing is still good I realised we need to keep being active and watch our food intake, particularly portion control. So, yes, I do believe juicing is good for nutrition but it is better in combination with other factors that keep us healthy. cheers, Jen G

  44. Michael Delizia says:

    I realize wisecracks aren’t research, either, but I loved the answer Fran Lebowitz gave when asked if she would ever do a juice cleanse: “I don’t believe in magic.”

  45. Bill Leach says:

    I agree that this is the most refreshing article on juicing that I have read to date. I also fell in love the Darya’s method of expression.

    To a few of the commenters that blasted her for her article, she did NOT say that the anticdotal evidence is a “bunch of bunk!” She was pointing out that there is a dearth of scientific evidence about the subject… either pro or against.

    She also did not, in my opinion, try to convince anyone not to “juice.”

    I will add that while there may not be much (or any) scientific evidence against “juicing,” there is such evidence that some vegetables must be cooked to reduce some unhealthy effects from eating those vegetables… though I presume that juicing such vegetables after cooking is probably effective.

    Thanks, and BTW this article convinced me to buy the book, unlike some other posters.

  46. Deborah says:

    Did you only search pubmed using “juice cleanse”? I put in “juicing” and got 26 results. I see a number of these are about pesticides- not what I want to know about. So, I tried “juicing fruits and vegetables” and got 7 results.

    I found this website touting published research on juicing.
    Some of the research is done at US universities, although likely funded by JuicePlus and then the subjects took a pill instead of real juice (bummer).

    Do you know of any other resources to find real research on it?

  47. elizabeth says:

    Very interesting article! Gotta admit it made me think about my idea of what a green smoothie should be in my diet…

  48. Pawla says:

    I’ve been juicing for years now and I don’t feel sick or have any crazy health issues. I guess I am a weirdo because I juice for fun and enjoy mixing different veggies and coming up with interesting combinations. I also use the juice pulp to make veggie broth and veggie “burger” patties, so nothing goes to waste.

    However, it is totally wrong to convince people that juicing or detox is the cure-all for everything without scientific study. Everyone’s bodies are different on some level and while juicing may be good for some people, it could also be harmful to others. You and only you knows what works for you. I would only wish that people would stop saying that juicing is a fad and castigate others for juicing because from what I understand, juicing has been around for several decades, possibly longer. And now it’s a “fad” like Kombucha (yuck) is a fad? Whatever.

  49. James Young says:

    Juicing has several connotations. Just the liquid and all body removed. Body run through a screen retaining most. Plus the added issues regarding raw or cooked.

    My experiments indicate that cooked in every case is an improvement over raw.

    My basic method is choose any plant food, cut into small pieces, cook until soft, hand blend into a slurry, run through an hand mill of about 2mm mesh, run this residue through a Champion Juicer to collect any nutrients in the gross fiber. Mix all together.Store in liter jars Pressure can at 15 PSI for 15 minutes. I mix and drink about a liter per day as my typical daily liquid.This “Juice” may be stored literally indefinitely at room temperature.I can around 500 liters of all and sundry each year. Here is an example today.
    [link removed] August 2015 Cucumber Collards Juice
    Fifteen liters of cucumber collards juice was made, since both are readily available from the garden. Some garlic, onions, basil, and tomatoes were incorporated. The onions and garlic was blended with water prior to adding to the cooking pot. The cooked material was blended into a slurry, strained and placed in liter jars for pressure canning at 15 PSI for 15 minutes for long germ storage.Pictures depict the process.

    My Garden Journal has many other examples.[link removed]

  50. Anon says:

    Cliche but true, everything in moderation. Although more real healthy food is bound to work wonders on your body & immune system. Don’t expect overnight miracles. No mention of the Gerson therapy?

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