Due to the influx of celebrity fad diets, juice cleansing has fast become one of the latest crazes in weight loss, but are they really that good for you?
Marketed as a body detox, juice cleansing is about purifying your body and giving it a rest from the daily slog of life.
Celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow are veg juice devotees while countless women credit juicing with achieving dramatic weight loss. However some professionals have warned juicing cleanses could actually be wreaking all sorts of havoc on your health.
Made simply from a large number of fruits and vegetables, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that juicing is good for you – filling your diet with lots of extra vitamins and minerals can only be good, right?
Well, according to Natalie Jones, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, not in all cases. ‘Vitamin C is, of course, good for you, but beyond a certain point, more isn’t any better for you. And, if you’re only drinking veg and fruit juices, you’re missing out on a lot of other nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamin D, essential fats and so on’.
With detox retreats becoming more and more popular – companies often promise a weight loss of at least 7lbs in just one week – and women willing to pay up to £40 a day to have juices delivered to their door, Miss Jones visits the question of what happens when you get back to the real world. ‘Juice fasts are simply not sustainable,’ she says.
'Any weight you lose, you’ll put straight back on again, possibly with extra because short-term, low-calorie crash diets like this mess around with your metabolism’
‘So if you’re doing it for health reasons, there’s simply no point. Any weight you lose, you’ll put straight back on again, possibly with extra because short-term, low-calorie crash diets like this mess around with your metabolism.’
But it’s not just your weight that could be affected. Bad oral health, hair loss and bad skin are also amongst the side effects professionals are warning us about. Dr Uchenna Okoye of London Smiling points out that excessive amounts of fruit and veg could affect your teeth by ‘damaging the enamel in exactly the same way that a fizzy drink does.’
‘We consider the acids in fruit and vegetables to be “good,”’ he says,
‘But that’s only in the context of eating the whole thing, not when you’re drinking a super-concentrated juice.’
While suffering from hairloss and skin problems may only occur in extreme cases, cosmetic professionals are warning women about the long-term affects juicing can have on your health. ‘It’s quite simple, if your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs, it powers down the processes that it considers as being not essential to life’ says trichologist Philip Kingsley.
‘By all means have a juice as one of your five a day,’ says dietician Natalie Jones. ‘But any more than that simply won’t give you extra benefits, and could actually end up doing you more harm than good.’
Closer's Kelby McNally took part in a week-long detox in the summer of last year. Despite losing 6lbs and feeling on top of the world when she came home, the unsustainability of it soon shone through and she put the weight back on in a couple of months. Unless you can honestly dedicate yourself to an organised way of living and eating, the juice cleanse is simply another quick-fix fad.