DENVER - Juicing is one of the hottest food trends. Many people swear it has helped them lose weight, but is it healthy?
For that answer, 9NEWS decided to consult a registered dietitian at University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. Kim Gorman said juicing can help you lose weight or supplement your diet, especially if you don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. But, she cautioned there are many pitfalls.
One of her biggest concerns was that many people simply drink too much.
"There is no visual/volume clue as to the amount of food that you are drinking," said Gorman.
9Health Reporter Dr. John Torres agreed.
"Many smoothies contain all of the servings of fruits and vegetables in which you should be consuming daily, yet people are drinking them as a substitute for a single meal," Dr. Torres said.
Instead, Gorman advised making one smoothie a day and drinking part of it at each meal.
She also advised against pre-packaged smoothies. Instead, she advocated for making them yourself and from scratch. This way, Gorman said you know exactly what you are eating and how much.
If you are making your own smoothies, Gorman recommended using water as your base, not juice. She says using juice simply adds more sugar. For protein, use plain, non-fat Greek yogurt or skim milk. Use no more than one cup of fruit. Next, add four cups of vegetables. That will give you a total of five cups of fresh produce. Gorman says the key is using less fruit and more vegetables. While sugar from fruit can give you a huge rush at the beginning, Gorman said you will crash later. Dr. John also advises against using protein powder.
"While it is okay to use every now and then, you shouldn't use it every day," said Dr. John.
Finally, Gorman suggested meeting with a dietician, if you are considering juicing. That person can look at your diet as a whole and help you determine if juicing is a good idea for you.