The Dangers of Juicing

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • The sudden death of 25-year-old Peaches Geldorf, daughter of famed musician Bob Geldof, has everyone asking: was this death by juicing?  While news outlets covering her death call it sudden and unexplained, she had a past history drug abuse and anorexia.  She has been quoted as saying that she could easily stay on a vegetable juice fast for a month to drop significant weight quickly.  Her compulsion was fueled by the pressure she felt to be thin.  Despite her rail thin body, she shared in a recent interview that she would have many days of “waking up and feeling fat.”  Right now this is speculation. An autopsy may ultimately reveal if her death was associated with her latest anorexic juice foray.

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    I’m not the first nutritionist or health professional to roll my eyes when a client tells me that he or she wants to lose weight quickly with a juice fast.  Usually they say that they specifically want a juice fast to “get healthy?”  Really??  As far as I can tell juice fasts typically have too few calories, not enough muscle-preserving protein, and in some plans have you throwing out the best parts of fruits and vegetables. 


    Most clients who do juice fasts do not have the energy to exercise, though they will claim that they are gaining mental clarity. 


    You want mental clarity? Stop eating when you aren’t hungry, eat foods you actually recognize in sensible portion sizes, drink lots of water, and get enough sleep. 


    You want a lean body?  Stop eating large amounts of processed foods and liquid calories (especially energy drinks you consume in the name of health) and start exercising, almost every day. 


    You want to clean out your body?  Follow the food rules I just suggested and add in a focus on high-fiber fruits, vegetables, whole grains and ancient grains.  You do not need a juice cleanse to clean out, and you do not need a juice cleanse to lose weight.  Want to get healthy?  Let Olympians guide you.


    I recently read a study that suggests that consumer don’t want more information, they want easy. The behavioral nutritionist suggested that we need to “shape the world so that it’s easier for people to make healthier decisions.”  As long as there are celebrities driving the juice craze or the latest unhealthy food trend--with their unattainable svelte bodies as proof that these plans work--I’m not sure that we can intercept the juice craze mentality.  Not even with the death of a person, who clearly did not have the wherewithal to avoid the allure of quick weight loss. 


    Amy Hendel is a Physician Assistant and Health Coach with over 20 years of experience.  Noted author, journalist and lifestyle expert, she brings extensive expertise to her monthly shareposts.  Her most recent book, The 4 Habits of Healthy Families is available for purchase online, and you can watch her in action on her shows Food Rescue and What's for Lunch?  Sign up for her daily health tweets or catch her daily news report at



Published On: April 09, 2014

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