The dangers of a juice-detox diet

Consider these unwelcome side effects before embarking on any rigorous juice diet.

Love your tea or coffee? You may have to brave caffeine withdrawal, warns Longfield. Cutting back on caffeine isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but do so suddenly, and you may initially suffer from distressing side effects, such as dizziness, lethargy or headaches.

Juice-diet advocates often claim that light-headedness is simply a sign that your body is purging itself of toxic substances. However, if you’re drinking more fruit than vegetables, such dizzy spells are probably due to the juices’ low kilojoule count and high sugar load. Sipping excess sugar can leave your blood-sugar levels in a state of rapid flux, so you’ll experience energy surges that are fast followed by slumps.

Unstable blood-sugar levels
These fluctuations are unlikely to harm someone who’s in good overall health; however, see-sawing levels of blood glucose can trigger adverse effects in people who have an underlying health condition, such as type 2 diabetes.

Changes in metabolism
Juice is low in protein, so you’ll be losing muscle (not fat), which can slow your metabolism.

“If you’re thinking of going on an extreme diet, make sure you see an Accredited Practising Dietitian,” says Longfield. “He or she can help you make sensible dietary changes that don’t involve potentially dangerous fasts.”
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