The Slim Truth on a Hot diet trend: Juice Cleanses

How they work: 

You order vegetable and fruit beverages from a ubiquitous juice-cleanse company and you're likely to hear from FB posts and friends, you drink these beverages only for three to five days. If you must eat, some companies allow for certain foods; mostly raw vegetables. 

Do they work and are they safe?

You might shed weight, but it will be mostly water weight. Once you go back to normal eating, the lost weight will return; unfortunately. "Nobody should do a juice fast for more than three days," cautions Pamela Peeke, MD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland and author of The Hunger Fix.  No matter how many vitamins the juices have, the lack of fat means some of them won't be properly absorbed.  If you do repeated cleanses, continues Dr. peek, the periods of calorie deprivation could cause a temporary metabolism slowdown.  

Steer clear if you're pregnant or have diabetes.  Be aware that you could even gain weight if you overdo it with fruit juices, adds Frank Lipman, MD, an integrative medicine specialist in New York City.  Even the healthiest fruit juice packs (natural occurring) sugar.  Case in point: Organic Avenue Gracious grapefruit juice has 37 grams.  

If you want to try one...

A three day juice fast before a big event should be fine, Dr. Peeke says, but check with your doctor first.  You also need to know that these diets can clean you out in more ways than one. If you are purchasing a known company's product, they can cost up to $75.00 a day.


Susan Arruda