Juicing is without a doubt one of the biggest health food trends in recent years. But is it really all that good for you? Some people credit their fit bodies to daily juices, but depending on both the type and amount of juice you’re sipping, your healthy habit could backfire. Keep reading to find out what juicing could be doing to your body!
When you’re juicing, you’re loading your body with sugar—primarily fructose (a kind of sugar). Fructose turns to fat faster than any other form of carbohydrate. How? When it’s metabolized in the liver, fructose converts to glycerol (a sugar alcohol) that’s directly used to turn free fatty acids into fat. Huh? Basically, the more fructose you consume, the more fat you store.
The other issue is fructose is 100 percent metabolized in the liver. (For reference, only 80 percent of alcohol and 20 percent of glucose is metabolized in the liver.) As part of the metabolic process, the fructose also replaces liver glycogen (which serves as energy storage). When you juice, you’re excessively replacing liver glycogen, building up more fructose than you need. All the excess will be stored as—you guessed it—fat.
The metabolism of fructose also results in waste products and toxins, which can drive up blood pressure and lead to gout. What’s more, fructose undergoes a chemical reaction that can result in liver inflammation, just like alcohol. Long-term excess fructose consumption has been linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.
Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at University of California San Franciso, recently wrote a paper titled “Fructose: It’s Alcohol Without the Buzz,” in which he describes some of the effects fructose can have on human health. From insulin resistance to fatty liver disease, Dr. Lustig explains how the fatty acids created during fructose metabolism can accumulate in your liver and muscle tissues, wreaking havoc on your system.
Glucose, another sugar found in fruits and vegetables, can be used by every cell in your body and supports the balance of hunger hormones. When you consume glucose, it suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which helps keep your appetite in check. Sadly, fructose has no affect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, often resulting in overeating.
At beWELL, we encourage our clients to enjoy green juices—but not in excess—and to avoid high fructose juices (like ones with lots of fruit on the ingredient list). It’s important that you enrich your diet with fibrous vegetables to feed healthy gut bacteria and provide the slow release of glucose for energy. Just remember, sugar comes in many forms. Be aware of what you are eating and limit your sugar intake. When in doubt, read the ingredients and do your research. Los Angeles residents, L.A. Juice ($75 for 6 juices) gets the stamp of approval.
Are you a juice lover? Will you still drink your green juice? Tell us below!
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