Juicing can be healthy, if done safely

September 27, 2013 2:45:42 PM PDT
Juicing, what was once a trend, is now a way of life.

Sarah Siciliano drinks green juice daily.

"It's something I do every day now, it's part of my lifestyle," Siciliano said.

At the Juice Generation in Midtown Manhattan, the green juice never stops flowing.

"It went from being a niche business to just exploding," said Emily Parr, of Juice Generation.

And it's evolving, for better and worse. Nutritionist Beth McDonald says juices now contain more vegetables.

"I think they can be a great influx of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients," McDonald said.

McDonald says a short juice cleanse may cut cravings, and jumpstart healthier eating habits.

But some people are becoming addicted to juicing, so called "juicerexics," who go on extended juice cleanses, substituting juice for food for long periods of time. That can lead to eating disorders and deplete the body of essential nutrients.

If you're going to do it, do it safely. McDonald recommends no more than three days max of just juice.

Five to seven juices a day with vegetable and fruit, but two to three of those should also have some almond, cashew or coconut milk, for protein and fat.

"By having protein and fat, that really helps to stabilize the sugar throughout the day," McDonald said.

But beware, many juices are high in sugar, especially concerning for diabetics.

And there's a difference between juicing and blending. When you're blending, you have the fruit, the fiber and all that good stuff stays in there. Patricia Geremia blends her own green juice.

"I just feel like it gives your organs a break. I feel like all my organs are going ahhh, thank you so much!" Geremia said.

She drinks green juice daily, but only for breakfast or a snack, she still eats real food the rest of the day.