Archive for the tag - juicing

Is Cold-Pressed Juice Better?

efa019113854f004077736beca4a59ecThese days, everyone is juicing. And I’m not talking steroids. Juices, juice bars and even juice cleanses (which are a bad idea) are all the rage.

If you’re into juicing, you’ve probably noticed a trend toward cold-pressed juices. But what does cold-pressed mean? And are cold-pressed juices really a better option?

Let’s break it down.

Traditional juicers are called centrifugal juicers; they work by spinning a metal blade against a mesh strainer that separates the juice from the fruit or vegetable flesh. This is what you’ll commonly see at kitchen supply stores, and they’re usually fairly inexpensive.

Cold press juicers work by pressing and crushing fruits, vegetables and even nuts to extract as much juice as possible. The process results in a higher juice yield than centrifugal juicers.

Often times, cold press enthusiasts will note that the fast-spinning blade found in traditional juicers generates heat, and thus destroys some of the nutrients in the process. The authenticity of this claim is doubtful; the force and friction of cold pressing also generates heat. The real advantage of cold pressing is that, because so much liquid is extracted, the resulting juice is more flavorful, abundant and colorful. And you can press things (like nuts or wheatgrass) that would otherwise be difficult or impossible with a centrifugal juicer.

On the downside, cold pressed juice and juicers are more expensive – so there’s a bit of a tradeoff. And remember, cold-pressed or otherwise, juicing fruits and vegetables leaves all that good fiber behind in the pulp. It’s not necessarily as healthy as you might imagine. Juice, even when it’s rich in nutrients, tends to be very calorie dense, especially when it’s made from fruit.

So everything in moderation! Even those fancy, overpriced cold-pressed juices.

Is Juicing Healthy?

Dear Davey,

What is your take on juice fasting? Is it a good option for those wishing to lose weight?

Sincerely,
Julio

155352030Dear Julio,

The long and short of it is that juicing to lose weight is a fad diet. It’s not sustainable long term – and it’s not something that I’d recommend.

There are a few issues with juicing.

For one, the act of juicing strips the fruit or vegetable of its fiber content. Most of us don’t get enough fiber as it is, and juicing doesn’t help. Without the fiber-rich skin that the juicer leaves behind, juice acts a lot like soda. Stripped of fiber, juice can result in unhealthy blood sugar spikes. And fiber also helps you feel full longer.

Many juice diets also lack protein. Much like fiber, protein helps you feel full; without it, you’ll can be subject to extreme hunger pangs that may sabotage your diet. Moreover, inadequate protein intake can cause reductions in muscle mass during weight loss. Protein performs many other important functions – like helping to control blood glucose and providing a boost to your metabolic rate.

Extreme dieting and radical calorie restrictions may result in initial weight loss. But keep in mind that the body is very resilient – and if it goes into starvation mode, it will fight like hell to preserve any fat stores. Starvation diets result in large decreases in the body’s metabolism – and are thus are generally associated with equally large increases in weight once food consumption resumes.

Juicing fans claim a number of benefits including decreased cancer risk, lower risk of heart disease and a boost to the body’s immune system. They also espouse the detoxifying properties of juicing. Though I’ve yet to see any scientifically valid evidence supporting the detox claim (your liver and kidney detoxify your body with or without juicing), the other benefits likely have more to do with eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables rather than juicing. Indeed, plant-based diets to lower the risk of many cancers and diseases – but it has nothing to do with juicing.

In moderation, consuming fruit or vegetable juices can be perfectly healthy and part of a balanced diet. Many of the juices are rich in nutrients – but juicing isn’t a weight loss or diet program in and of itself. Moreover, nothing beats eating the whole fruit or vegetable – skin and all.