• By Elizabeth Coots, Extension Agent

Family and Consumer Sciences - The truth about “juicing” as a cleanse diet

A common New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier. Many people turn to juicing fruits and vegetables as a way to “detox,” cleanse, or add more nutrients to their diet. It’s always a great decision to add more fruits and vegetables, but research is starting to show us that how we consume fruits and vegetables may be just as important.

First, fruits and vegetables lose their fiber and all the nutrients bound to fiber like phytochemicals when juiced. The nutrients we lose in juicing may play an important role in managing blood sugar and other body processes like inflammation. Studies have shown consuming whole fruits is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, while fruit juice consumption is associated with an increased risk.

Second, many people tend to include more fruits than vegetables in their juices due to the sugar content and preferred taste. As a result, a highly concentrated sugar beverage is created with little nutritional value added from veggies.

Third, many healthy foods are found outside the fruit and vegetable groups, such as lean protein and whole grains. It is important to make sure to consume a well-balanced diet while juicing to get the variety of nutrients the body needs to function properly.

As a result, it may be better to consume fruits and vegetables in their whole form to receive all nutritional benefits. Smoothies may be a better option than juicing if the preference is to drink fruits and vegetables.

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