What should one consider before deciding to try an all-juice diet?
SS: Ask yourself why you’re doing an all-juice diet. Is it for a reset? To detoxify? To lose weight? Remember, the body is designed to naturally detoxify itself with the help of the liver, skin, through sweating, kidneys, and through breathing. A three-, five-, or seven-day juice cleanse is not the answer to rid your body of toxins, especially if you go right back to the toxic exposures and habits you were engaging in before a cleanse, such as overconsumption of fast or fried foods, refined sugars, and artificial ingredients. The answer is to fuel your body daily with the key nutrients that support proper detoxification, like antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber, high-quality proteins, and herbs and spices that have anti-inflammatory properties. A fruit/vegetable juice can be a part of this healthy diet. You will reap far more health and weight benefits long term by partaking in eating and lifestyle habits that aid natural detoxification versus a juice cleanse.
Shira Sussi, MS, RD, CDN, is a clinical nutritionist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She works at the Charles B. Rangel Community Health Center, part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network, and the Outpatient Nutrition Practice at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. She primarily works with pediatric patients, pregnant women, and adults living with obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and heart disease.
Helen Mullen, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, is a clinical nutrition supervisor at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital. She works primarily with cardiac patients and recently received her master’s in nutritional science.