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What’s Up With Juicing?

We’ve all been conditioned since childhood by those breakfast commercials starring a big glass of OJ. But is it really good for you? And what about those juice “cleanses” that have weaseled their way into the public consciousness with promises of “detoxing, cleansing, and alkalizing” the blood and body?

Juicing can be a TERRIBLE idea.

Why? Hella sugar, bro. Release of fruit sugar from the whole fruit (especially if you remove the pulp and hence most of the fiber) can lead to a huge rapid sugar absorption hit: bad for your insulin levels, and possibly weight, hunger, and energy levels.

You may as well drink a sugary Coke.

Most juices have a ton of fruit juice in them (if not added sugar), even vegetable-based juices (unless you avoid adding fruit and sugar, in which case ewwwww). Also, folks tend to consume a butt-ton more calories in juice form compared with whole food (which has fiber and increases satiety faster).

Moral of the story: try not to drink your calories. Eat your veggies, fruits, and kale chips whole whenever possible, y’all. Comment and share this with your friends that are always bragging about their juice cleanse, and let them know what’s really up. Check out the free podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Okay, for decades, we’ve been fed this image of a healthy breakfast as a bunch of stuff and a big, tall glass of orange juice. And this idea that juicing fruits and vegetables can somehow be part of a really healthy lifestyle has pervaded all popular culture. To the point where you’re getting people sending you on social media their juice cleanse, and all kinds of ideas of how to juice. And there’s machines, and a multi-million dollar industry dedicated to juicing fruits and vegetables. I am gonna tell you why this is a terrible idea. And that, the healthy way to consume fruits and vegetables is as nature intended them, in their original packaging.

Okay, here’s the deal. When you have a apple, it contains fiber, it has a peel, it contains vitamins, and it contains fruit sugar, and water. The fruit sugar is called fructose. It turns out, if you wanna talk about toxins, fructose can technically be considered a toxin. Because the body doesn’t handle it very naturally. It has to pass through the liver, like other toxins. And that’s fine if you don’t overwhelm the liver with a bunch of fructose at the same time. That’s why people freak out about high-fructose corn syrup. But look at an apple. The same fructose is in there as is in honey, and high-fructose corn syrup, and those kind of simple sugars.

But here’s the difference. When nature makes a toxin, it often wraps it in the antidote. So, an apple has fiber that when you digest it in your natural juicing process, you chew on it, it gets into the gut, the fiber’s still kinda wrapped-around the nutrients and the fructose. It slowly gets absorbed through the digestive tract instead of just hitting you like a hammer. And it gets to the small intestine fairly quickly so you feel full, so you don’t eat like 20 apples at once. That’s the way we were intended to eat fruits and vegetables. It fills you up. It slows the absorption of sugar.

Now what happens when we juice? So people think, well, if fruits and vegetables are natural and good, a bunch of ’em ground up in a palatable format where I can drink it, must be better. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. And here’s why. When you grind up a fruit, you release the fructose in that sugar from the matrix of the fiber. Many juicing approaches take the pulp and the fiber away. Even if they don’t, it’s still really not helpful to break it up in the way that juicing does and release so much of the sugar. So, immediately, you’re gonna be hit with this huge sugar load which is not good for your insulin levels, it’s not good for your body, and it’s not good for weight, because it’s a ton of calories absorbed quickly before you can get the feeling that you’re actually full. In fact, a good rule of thumb is never drink your calories if you can avoid it, because of this idea that you don’t get full fast enough and you’ll take too many calories.

The other thing about juicing is you can grind-up a bunch of fruits and vegetables in a way that you would never eat that many in real life. So the caloric load is really, really high. The third problem is, in commercial establishments, they add all kinds of things. Sugar, you know, dairy products, other things that make it vastly more caloric, and less healthy, and higher in unhealthy sugars.

Now, people who do these juice cleanses are doing themselves a disservice, because they’re taking these huge shots of what is effectively Coca-Cola, huge amounts of sugar. And that’s all they’re eating intermittently, and they’re subjecting their body to these insulin swings, these sugar swings, and that’s very, very, very bad.

So, the bottom line is this. If you’re not getting any vegetables and fruit in your life, an occasional juice might get you some vitamins and things like that. But really going overboard and thinking that you’re being healthy by doing it to the exclusion of eating healthy in other ways is a terrible, terrible lie that you’re telling yourself.

The second thing is, look, if you wanna grind up kale and vegetables and add no sugar, and not any salt and all that, and drink it, that’s probably an okay way to consume vegetables. Good luck with the flavor of that. A basic rule of thumb is, if it tastes terrible, it probably is good for you. And most people aren’t gonna enjoy their vegetables like that. My approach? Take some damn kale, bake it in an oven with some olive oil, a little bit of salt. And it tastes delicious. And you get that leafy green without the nasty glah. And you don’t have to add fruit juice to sweeten it. You don’t have to add a whole bunch of salt. It’s the way it was intended.

So, the bottom line, if you want a juice for an occasional, fun treat, that’s fine. If you’re juicing to be healthy, bad idea and wrong. And just eat more vegetables, eat more fruit, and try to stay away from this stuff. ‘Cause this is unequivocally bad. That’s all I gotta say. Share it with a bro who’s got hella vocal fry who’s tellin’ you to juice. And we out.

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