Health Alert: Does juicing live up to the hype?

Health Alert: Does juicing live up to the hype?
Juicing has its pros and cons, but research shows it might not be for everyone. (Source: WOIO)

(WOIO) - Juice cleansing is a growing fad in the world of health. Even in Cleveland you see new juicing businesses popping up. That brings up the question: Does it live up to its promises?

Now would certainly be one of those key times people would want to experiment with a juice cleanse after cleaning out the Easter basket.

It's estimated 20 percent of U.S. adults concerned about their weight have tried a juice cleanse and men are edging out women. It's reportedly a $200 million industry each year, which is enough to get researchers, like The Huffington Post and Consumer Reports, to take a closer look at it.

Some people do it often, like Susan Williams, who started using juice cleanses a couple years ago.

"I will do a cleanse if I've eaten too much or drank too much, if I've had too much sugar. I feel like it resets my system," said Williams.

By replacing solid foods with juices made from fruits, vegetables, even nut milks, some cleanses claim to jump start a healthier you.

Consumer Reports nutritionist Amy Keating looked at a few three-day programs from some top-selling brands, including Blueprint Renovation Cleanse, Pressed Juicery Cleanse 1, and Suja's Original Fresh Start. They promised to do things like rest your digestive system, rejuvenate your body, increase energy and eliminate toxins.

"We just didn't see evidence that back some of the claims they made," said Keating.

None promise you'll d rop pounds, but you probably will in the short term because most are relatively low on calories.

The juices Consumer Reports reviewed also tended to be too low in fiber and protein, and too high in sugars, not to mention they're pricey. Three days of juices can cost as much as $200.

"If you're healthy and you do a cleanse for one, two, or three days, it's probably not harmful, but any longer than that just really isn't smart, because they just don't contain all the nutrients your body needs," Keating explained.

For truly sustainable changes, Consumer Reports reminds us that healthy eating is a better way to go.

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