Juicing Removes More Than Just the Fiber
Those making the transition to a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet typically begin drinking freshly made fruit juice in the attempt to provide additional nutrients to their diet. If you have been considering purchasing a juicer, you may want to save your money and eat your fruits and vegetables whole instead.
Numerous studies have shown that eating whole fruits and vegetables lowers cholesterol and is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes whereas consuming juice results in elevated triglycerides/cholesterol and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Could the benefits and risks be due to the presence or absence of fiber found in these foods or are other factors involved? Dr. Michael Greger's above video demonstrates that juicing removes more than just the fiber - it removes the polyphenols as well.
Fiber not only provides the bulk of the stool (which maintains bowel regularity) it also plays a vital role in the prevention and reversal of disease. (See the links below for more information.)
Fiber, which is the thread-like structure found only in plants, has always been thought of as being indigestible. Yet Dr. Greger's research has let him to believe that "technically, fiber is digestible." Fiber (including resistant starch) undergoes a complex fermentation process in the bowel which enhances short-chain fatty acid production. As intestinal bacteria break it down, short chain fatty acids are formed such as acetate, butyrate and propionate. These fatty acids have a number of health promoting effects. They not only inhibit the production of cholesterol and the growth of bad bacteria, they help us to eat less by maintaining satiety and may "regulate the generation of new fat cells, resulting in an overall anti-obesity effect." They also have been associated with reduced risk of irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Furthermore, butyrate and propionate also increases absorption of minerals, reduces PH, and provides the fuel that promotes the colonization of the friendly bacteria in the colon.
Equally important, removing the fiber through juicing removes the polyphenols (a class of phytonutrients) that are attached to the fiber. These polyphenols play an extremely important role in the prevention and reversal of disease. It is worth noting that many of the benefits which come from eating a plant-based diet are attributable to the fiber AND the polyphenols which are bound to the fiber.
As always, it's best to eat whole, intact, "food as grown," with the least amount of processing. For those who are young, active, are at their ideal weight, and not reversing an illness, drinking an occasional juice most likely will not affect their overall health, however it's important to remember that juice is a highly refined food. Ideally, it should be used very sparingly, such as an occasional condiment for extra flavor. See our Starch-Smart System for more details.
For additional information, click on the following links:
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