The SkepDoc: juicing for health or torture

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Author: Harriet Hall
Date: June 22, 2017
From: Skeptic (Altadena, CA)(Vol. 22, Issue 3.)
Publisher: Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,607 words
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WE ARE INGENIOUS AT FINDING NEW ways to complicate our lives and torture ourselves. One of those ways is adopting fad diets in the quest for health. Juicing is a big fad today. I find that hard to comprehend. I recently endured two interminable months on a liquid/pureed diet while my fractured jaw healed. It was miserable. If I were a prisoner being interrogated, the promise of solid food might have tempted me to tell all. It was hard to maintain a nutritious diet and find foods that could survive being blenderized and still tempt the appetite. The only "health benefit" was the loss of a few pounds that I really didn't need to lose; it brought me down to a BMI of 18.8, close to the "underweight" range of 18.5 or less. Since that experience, I cherish the pleasures of being able to chew. We have teeth for a reason. The idea of systematically taking delicious solid fruits and vegetables and reducing them to liquid strikes me as a truly revolting idea. I don't object to the occasional fruit juice, but celery without the crunch? No thank you.

Health Claims for Juicing: Detoxification

People juice for various reasons. One is "detoxification," a buzzword that is a+ red flag for pseudoscience. My liver and kidneys do an excellent job of removing toxins from my body, thank you very much. They don't need any help, except in the case of acute poisoning with lead or other heavy metals. And juices are useless in acute poisoning. Several companies will sell you juices for detoxification. Some examples:

Juice Served Here tells us "everyday life contributes to the congestion and build-up of harmful toxins in the body from processed foods, pollutants and stress." They offer a Soft Cleanse, a Semi Cleanse, and a Hard Cleanse: 25% off; originally $55 a day! When a customer asked Juice Served Here to specify the toxins he'd be flushing from his system, the company answered with this lame copout: "Unfortunately, due to regulations by the FDA we are unable to specify exact health claims for our products." Naturally.

Paleta offers a PURIFY Cleanse that will "cleanse the toxins right out of your system so you can experience a more joyful and healthful life." Benefits? Lose weight, kick the caffeine habit, reduce or stop smoking, detoxify your liver, boost your metabolism, refresh your mind and body, curb sugar cravings, increase...

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Source Citation

Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
Hall, Harriet. "The SkepDoc: juicing for health or torture." Skeptic [Altadena, CA], vol. 22, no. 3, 2017, p. 4+. Gale Academic Onefile, Accessed 16 Sept. 2019.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A509015180