Juicing: Really healthy or just hype?

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by Mia Gradney / KHOU 11 News

kvue.com

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 11 at 1:15 PM

HOUSTON—Juicing is a growing fad among weight-conscious women, but is it as healthy as everyone raves?

Joy Finnegan believes in a healthy balance between diet and exercise.
“I definitely work out and I try to do cardio as well. Whenever I don’t have the time, I do weights,” says Finnegan. “And I keep a healthy diet always.”
She started juicing two years ago for the supposed health benefits.
“One of my friend’s fathers was sick, so they started juicing to clean out his body,” adds Finnegan, “So I picked up on it after I realized it helped him quite a bit.” 
Not long after starting, Joy, a busy real estate agent with a regular workout routine, found she couldn’t sustain on just juice alone. 
“I just have a large appetite and I’m very active so I’ve never gone on an “only juice” diet for an extended period of time. Not more than two days at least,” shares Joy. 
Two days of juicing and she was starved. She needed food immediately on the third day.
Imagine if Joy would have juiced for seven days straight. Sounds nearly impossible. Wouldn’t one lack energy and possibly collapse? 
Hordes of women have been willing to risk their health; forgoing food for a bottle of greens, carrots or blueberries in order to lose weight. 
Dr. Yana Finkelshteyn, M.D., a family medicine physician with Methodist Sugar Land Hospital believes women should be leery of an all juice diet.
“As far as weight loss, juice diets are low in calories. They are absolutely effective for weight loss. People may feel great because they lost 10 pounds in one week,” she said, cautioning that what they lost – will return. “Absolutely just like any low calorie super diet, once you start eating the weight’s going to jump right back on you.” 
However, Dr. Finkelshteyn believes juicing does have its benefits. It’s acceptable in moderate amounts, mostly as a supplement or a single meal replacement, but not as a cleanse or detox.
“I think it’s a gimmick personally,” say the doctor. “There’s nothing about fruit or vegetable juice that’s going to detox your body. Your liver and kidneys do that and there’s nothing about consuming juice that’s going to speed up that process.”
The popular healthy meals eatery, Snap Kitchen located at Kirby and Richmond in Houston does not subscribe to detoxing either; although, it carries an entire line of juice blends Snap describes as liquid nutrition.  
“Our super greens juice is a pound and a half of nutrient rich green vegetables,” says Stephanie Hoban, a licensed dietitian with Snap Kitchen.
Unlike most store shelf brands Snap’s own juice blend is cold pressed and designed by the kitchen’s dietitians for maximum nutrition and overall health. Snap encourages customers to use it as a one day clean start in preparation for a healthy eating program.
“After holidays especially, like the fourth of July just happened, maybe you didn’t eat the best. It kind of gives you a chance to pause and give yourself a lot of nutrition. That’s the biggest benefit of it. You can get a lot of nutrition, a lot of vitamins, a lot of antioxidants that you maybe normally wouldn’t get in your diet,” Hoban explained.
Joy Finnegan is now a frequent customer at Snap Kitchen.
“It’s just one of those things,” said Joy.   “Unless you try it, you don’t realize the benefits of it, and how much better you feel once in a while.”
 

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