Why A Glass Of Wine is Healthier than A Juice Cleanse

Did you know a 3-day juice cleanse may actually be metabolically worse for you than a glass or two of wine at dinner.

Actually I’m 100% convinced it’s worse for you.

*on average

*on average

After maybe one too many pineapple tarts this CNY, you may be tempted to try and reverse the damage with a juice cleanse. Please allow me 2 minutes to explain why you should never waste your money on another $8 cold-pressed, fancy-schmancy health juice again.

At the end, I’ll share some fat-burning, blood sugar balancing tools to try instead.


 The facts:

  • Unless it’s purely green vegetables like spinach and kale in your juice, it’s basically sugar water packed with fructose (the primary sugar found in fruit). I googled juice cleanses in Singapore and I’m shocked. Some of these cold-pressed detox juices pack up 30 grams of sugar per juice and have the audacity to call them liver-cleansing!!! Please do not let health-trendy names like “energizer” or ingredients like beets and carrots fool you. It is essentially sugar water with no fiber, and variable, most likely negligible amounts of phytonutrients.

  • Excess fructose is 100% metabolized in the liver which triggers lipogenesis - aka new fat creation.

  • Fructose converts to fat faster than any other carbohydrate.

  • When you juice you miss out on the natural fiber from the fruit so there’s nothing to slow down the absorption of glycerol making new fat creation happen even faster.

  • You might lose weight on a juice cleanse initially because you’re restricting calories, but the moment you start eating solid food again your body will signal to your cells to store this energy as fat in order to prepare for the next period of calorie deprivation. In other words, juicing is a surefire way to slow your metabolism and gain weight post cleanse.

  • Studies have linked long term excess fructose consumption with metabolic diseases such as insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver disease, inflammation and obesity.

  • Ever wonder why you’re constantly starving during a juice cleanse? Fructose blocks leptin, the hormone responsible for telling your brain to stop eating. At the same time, juicing doesn’t calm down ghrelin, the hunger hormone responsible for appetite. These hormones work together tirelessly during a juice fast, screaming at you to eat and forcing you to rely solely on willpower to stick out your juice cleanse.

  • But…what about the vitamins and phytonutrients in juice, you say? Here’s the thing - most juice cleanses aren’t farm to table fresh. They typically give you three days’ worth of juices at a time or you buy from a shop where it’s been shipped and sitting on a shelf for days. After harvest, vegetable and fruits go through something called respiration, which means they're eating their own nutrients to try and stay alive – providing us with less and less nutrients the further you get from pick date. This is why it’s important to eat vegetables and fruits as close after harvest as possible. It’s also an argument for buying local produce versus something that had to be shipped.


 If you’re looking to burn a little fat and get back on your health kick after CNY, give these fat burning, blood sugar balancing tools a shot:

  • Try a fasted workout in the morning. When we’re in a fasted state human growth hormone increases, which promotes greater fat loss and muscle gain, when compared to a non-fasted workout. Sweating is also one of the best ways our bodies naturally detoxify.

  • Eat three meals a day that include a protein (4-6 oz), healthy fat (2 tablespoons or ½ an avocado), plus lots of fiber from fresh or cooked low carbohydrate veggies and seeds. This will help combat inevitable sugar cravings after the holidays!

  • If you do want to incorporate a juice, make it a green juice with fresh green vegetables. Don’t make a batch to last the entire week, as the phytochemicals decrease every day and may be hardly existent 6 or 7 days later.

  • If you want fruit add it to a smoothie or eat it in its whole form so you benefit from the fiber content. Fruit in its natural form is wrapped in fiber, which slows the down the absorption of glycerol, resulting in less fat storage. Keep fruit consumption to 1 serving a day to avoid sending your liver into overdrive. I also recommend adding some fat to your fruit b/c vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble meaning the body only absorbs them if you have a fat with your meals. *Think* almond butter with a small apple, or MCT oil and ½  a banana in a smoothie recipe.

If you really love juice, enjoy it every once in a while and think of it more as a treat.

I hope by this point I’ve convinced you that those “healthy” juice cleanses are not actually healthy.

Calorie restricting and forcing yourself to ingest 100’s of grams of fructose every day is a disservice to your body, and honestly, from a biological standpoint, not much different than binge drinking.

At the end of the day, my goal is for my clients to be informed and not fall trap to these silly food marketing tactics. I’d much rather my clients have the energy to move their bodies, sweat it out, prepare nutrient dense meals and be able to pick their moments when they want to enjoy a little sugar.


Dr. Robert H Lustig says, “fructose is alcohol without the buzz.” And I couldn’t agree more.

What do you all think about the juice cleanse trend?

Ref:

 https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/4/2/226/4591631

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/86/4/895/4649668

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12425705


Katie Feltch