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That 5-2 juicing cleanse could be counterproductive according to research

Juicing could be counterproductive to a healthy diet/ Photo by Polina Tankilevitch via Pexels
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Intermittent fasting and other diets are all over social media these days. While many are proving successful for weight loss, could they be not as healthy as we believe or could be?

The Freelance Informer looked into the latest 5-2 juice cleanse craze seen often on platforms like Instagram to see what the nutritionists and health scientists had to say about just how healthy they are. We came across something called ‘free sugars’ and it is interesting to find that some sugar isn’t all that bad until you do something to it first. Here’s what we found about why juice cleanses could be counterproductive.

What are free sugars and how can you avoid them?

The sugars found in fruit, vegetables and milk don’t seem to have a negative effect on our health, and they come with extra nutrients, such as fibre, according to the British Heart Foundation. However, when fruit, for example, is turned into fruit juice, the sugars come out of their cells and become “free sugars”.

Free sugar is considered any sugar added to a food or drink, but it can also be the sugar that is already in honey, syrup and fruit juice. These are free because they’re not inside the cells of the food we eat. 

This means when you juice your fruit instead of eating it whole the fibre is lost and it’s easier to consume extra sugar without realising. The BHF reminds us that it would be highly uncommon to eat four oranges in a row but that’s what you are doing when you drink one glass of orange juice without feeling full.

How much free sugar should I be having?

The government recommends that free sugars make up no more than 5% of our daily calories. But right now the average UK adult is eating twice as much. Most of that comes from soft drinks and fruit juices, sugars that we add to food and drink, including jams and chocolate spread, biscuits, pastries and cakes.

That’s why if you are on a 5-2 juice cleanse you may want to rethink taking in your fruit and veg differently, meaning not breaking it down through blending, but rather eating it whole instead. Of course, 5-2 food plans that are delivered to your home are for convenience. Still, there is an additional cost to pay for that convenience that many people did not realise: unnecessary “free sugar” intake.

Adults and children aged over 11 should eat no more than around 30g of free sugars a day. A standard chocolate bar equals 25g of free sugar, 150ml of fruit juice equals 12g of free sugar and a 330ml can of cola equals 35g of free sugar.

So, in other words, consider looking for recipes with unblended fruit and veg or at the very least cut down on blending your meals. Taking out fibre in our diet and inadvertently increasing sugar levels will counteract the health benefits we are looking for with the potential to also increase inflammation levels.

The 5-2 diet v. other fasting methods

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