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Are Juice Cleanses And Juicing Safe?

April 24, 2014, 6:19 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Are Juice Cleanses And Juicing Safe?

Check Facebook and Pinterest. Chances are your friends are juicing or doing juice cleanse.

Millions of people are trying to lose weight and improve their health by gulping down pounds of produce.

But is it healthy?

40-year-old Andria Wood has tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle for years, but last fall she wasn't feeling well.

"I'd been off and on ill for about three months, and nothing was working," Wood said.

That's when Wood decided to take up juicing. She used her juicer to create drinks from various fruits and vegetables.

For two weeks she drank two or three of her meals every day, instead of eating other foods. Since then, she's continued to incorporate a juice into her diet almost every day.

"My skin was completely different. My health was completely different. I felt so much energy and so much better," Wood said.

"It's a good way to get in the antioxidants from fruits and vegetables," Sanford Registered Dietitian Jocelyn Johnson said.

But Registered Dietitian Jocelyn Johnson says you should not rely just on juicing for all your meals.

"Most people who do them aren't getting enough calories or protein, so they feel really tired and moody and be kind of shaky--that's type of thing," Johnson said.

Johnson says people who do so-called juice cleanses miss out on important nutrients from other foods. You should also continue to eat whole fruits and vegetables.

"Most juicers take out the pulp, so you are not getting any of the good fiber you would if you just ate the whole fruit or vegetable," Johnson said.

Johnson also says you won't necessarily lose weight through juicing.

"When we drink things, we don't really register that it's calories, and it doesn't make us feel full as if we ate it," Johnson said.

But by simply incorporating juices into your diet, instead of using them to replace your meals, you could improve your health.

"The average American doesn't get enough fruits and vegetables. We all know that," Wood said. "I can't tell you how nice it is to know that I got it covered."

You also should pay attention to what's in your juices. If you buy a drink at a store, it may contain added sugar or syrup.

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