The juicing trend

There are more fad diets out there than ever before, but not all are to be trusted. One new fad that’s more than a diet is picking up in popularity: the raw juice diet. 

Raw juicing is a process in which the fruits and vegetables are juiced for their vitamins and minerals. The healthy mix is made into a juice and, when used for dieting, is the only thing the dieter will consume for several days.

“Basically, all the diet consists of are fruits and vegetables that are raw,” said student Kelsey Shiflett, whose goal of her 14-day juice fast was to clear up skin problems she suffered.

Advocates of raw juice diets say the diet allowed them to lose weight and gave them a whole new perspective towards the food industry and what we consume.

“The first three days were brutal,” Shiflett said, “I felt awful.  I was hungry all the time, I had a headache and just wanted to sleep.  But after the first week, I’d lost almost 10 pounds and felt energized.”

After her two week fast, Shiflett returned to eating solid foods, but stuck to fruits, vegetables, tofu and cheese.

However, Dr. Vijay Ganji of Georgia State’s Nutrition department argues against raw juice diets for several reasons.

“When you create such a huge deficit of calories, the body tends to gain more weight because it notices the deficit and becomes more efficient,” Ganji said.

He also said that protein, fats and legumes are necessary for a healthy diet, but are not available in fruit and vegetable juices.

And while practicing the raw juice diet for a few weeks is OK, dieting for months can be very dangerous, as the lack of these sorts of foods can lead to liver, skin and hair problems. Sticking to a raw juice diet for a long period of time is also detrimental to your teeth, jaw and intestines.

“Your intestines don’t work very hard with liquids,” Ganji said. “Hard materials give your intestines exercise.”

Ganji also described the quick weight loss/weight gain as a yo-yo diet, in which a lot of weight is lost in a short amount of time, but then gained back just as quickly.

“Weight fluctuation like that is very unhealthy, so there is definitely a catch to this,” Shiflett said. “It truly is a lifestyle change if you indeed want to be healthy and do it the right way.”

Ultimately, Ganji does not approve of raw juice diets.

“Too much of a good thing is always bad—you need a balance of all the food groups. Create lots of color,” Ganji said.

You may find more juicing recipes here.