Short version: Because nature didn’t make a mistake.
Honestly, I think it’s a little bit shameful how The Health and Wellness Industry (TM) has pushed the idea of juicing as a vital action for healthy living.
I get it: Juicing is simple, tasty, easy and portable.
Two problems: Juicing is wasteful AND it spikes your blood sugar. Nature put all those components together for a reason.
the waste issue
If you’ve ever made veggie or fruit juices at home, you’ll know how produce intensive it is.
I did a quick search to see how many carrots you need to make one cup of carrot juice. The answers I found range from three carrots to 11 of them. That’s a lot of carrots! That’s not a lot of juice!
You know I’m all about adding more veggies to our food world. So the problem I have is not with the 3 to 11 carrots. Eating a big bunch of carrots is great. But when you juice those carrots, you’re tossing out fiber and other components that are vital for health. And in exchange, you get a sugar bomb.
the sugar issue
Whole foods contain a balance of compounds that work synergistically. So carrots have sugar, but the built-in fiber helps slow assimilation of that sugar. And that’s what we want: a slow and steady energy supply rather than a huge rush and ensuing crash.
Even juice fasting, when done correctly, involves adding fiber. The idea is to rest the digestive tract with the easy-to-assimilate juice, but fiber is still necessary to scour the system of remaining toxic gunk.
But a rush and crash is what you get with juices. That can lead to mood symptoms and eventually insulin resistance and even diabetes.
BTW, did you know that any juices, even “healthy“ ones, count toward your daily limit of added sugar? Not so for a whole carrot, or an apple, or an orange. Those just count as food.
One cup of regular soda has 10 grams of added sugar, and 1 cup of carrot juice has 9 grams. In fairness, fruit and veggie juices will have nutrients that soda will not. But the blood sugar effects remain.
nature got it right
So that’s my problem with juicing: It turns healthy, whole foods into the blood-sugar equivalent of soda pop. Nature knew better, which is why whole veggies and fruits are better for us.
That’s why I prefer eating whole foods instead. Why harm our health while wasting the fiber the veggies have naturally?
If you really want to drink your veggies, opt instead for a smoothie. You’ll make better use of your produce, and do more to support your health.