Health & Medical Food & Drink

The Hazards of Juicing

    Foodborne Illness

    • Homemade juice can make you sick. Commercially-available juices are pasteurized to kill any harmful bacteria, reports FoodSafety.gov. You can cut your risk of foodborne illness by thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables before you put them through your juicer. Wash inedible peels too, so bacteria won't transfer from the peel to your hands and then to the flesh of the fruit. Use special care when serving homemade juice to expectant moms, young children, the elderly, or anyone with immune system problems.

    Injury

    • Not only can the juices produced at home be dangerous, the machines used to produce them can be too. The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that some juicers have been recalled because they flew apart during use, spraying sharp pieces of metal into the air. Even a good-quality juicer can be dangerous if not used correctly. Read and follow all manufacturer instructions and do not operate a juicer without safety features such as hand-guards or food tubes that keep your fingers away from the blades.

    Inadequate Fiber Consumption

    • Fruit and vegetable juices can help you get the nutrients your body needs, but you shouldn't use them as a replacement for whole fruits and vegetables. Mayo Clinic registered dietitian Katherine Zeratsky reports juices have significantly less fiber than whole foods, and inadequate fiber consumption can put you at risk for weight gain, high blood sugar, and heart problems. To prevent this, make whole fruits and vegetables a regular part of your meals.

    Health Problems Related to Juicing for Weight Loss

    • Fruit and vegetable juices have their place in a balanced diet, but your body needs more than that, even if you're trying to lose weight. AARP defines so-called "cleansing" diets as crash, or starvation diets, and warns readers against them. Crash dieting puts strain on your heart, according to AARP-affiliated cardiologist Isadore Rosenfeld. The AARP also reports that juice diets slow your metabolism, increasing the likelihood that you gain back the weight lost on such diets. If you need to shed pounds, do so by eating healthy and exercising, not existing on juice for days or weeks on end.



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