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The Benefits and Downsides of Liquid Diets

Most of us know someone on a ‘liquid diet’ or have tried some form of liquid cleanse ourselves. You have likely heard that the benefits of going on a liquid cleanse include weight loss and improvement in mental clarity, but are liquid diets really that beneficial to your health, or do they negatively impact the body?  

So what are some of benefits of a juice cleanse? Decreasing your caloric intake, which will then help you to lose weight is the main benefit of a juice cleanse.  A juice cleanse also increased intake of vegetables and cuts out junk food.  These are all positives, but there are some downsides to liquid diets that you should be aware of.

A juice cleanse usually involves involves putting fruit and vegetables through a juicer and stripping them of their natural fiber. This fiber has many valuable and important functions such as removing LDL (low-density lipoprotein, aka the bad cholesterol) from your bloodstream, which helps in preventing high cholesterol, as well as aiding in digestion and preventing constipation. When you go on a strict, long term fruit and vegetable juice diet you are robbing your body of protein and healthy fat.  Consuming a lot of fruit also will increase your sugar intake.  Even though this is natural sugar, overconsumption of fruit combined with a lack of protein can actually lead to weight gain.  Depriving your body of protein and fat can also lead to a decrease in your immune function, muscle loss, and increased fatigue.  Furthermore, your body can go into starvation mode at the lack of healthy fat intake and will begin to store anything and everything you take in as body fat.

While there are some benefits to liquid diets, it is important to be conscious of the amount of time you stay on such a plan as it is not a long term nutrition solution.  It is also important to talk to your doctor to make sure you are not putting your body in a potentially harmful situation.  There is no single diet however is going to be good for every person.  Some people can function well on liquid diets, while others may experience unwanted side effects. It is important to listen to both your body and your doctor in order to find what is right for you.

If you want to learn more about nutrition and healthy living, contact the SCNM Medical Center.