WILL PINKSTON | The Sun
Ian Grinn of Paducah pours a glass of homemade vegetable juice that includes kale, green apples, pineapple, lemons and limes at a supermarket Thursday. Grinn and his family choose to drink the healthy juice as a substitute for snacks, fast-food or some meals.
Labeled as extreme by some, radical by others and life-changing by proponents, vegetable juice diets are catching like wildfire in the health food world for their dietary benefits.
Definitely not for everyone — especially those who never could clear their plates of veggies at dinner — a juice diet is simple in practice and effective in treatment, according to advocates.
By substituting entire meals with freshly juiced vegetables and water, the diet seeks to fill the stomach with a large quantity of nutrient-rich vegetables, while conversely displacing the desire to eat unhealthier alternatives.
Essentially a detoxification of the body that cleans the digestive system of unnecessary toxins, the juice diet emphasizes high nutrient intake over low caloric intake, said Dr. Jason Brame of Lone Oak Chiropractic. Coupled with exercise, the lack of calories from a vegetable juice fast can lead to substantial weight loss.
“When you look at nutrition, people get caught up between macro and micro nutrients, fats and carbs, and they lose track of things like vitamins and minerals,” he said. “When you look at the cellular components, these micro nutrients are very valuable components.”
While health professionals continue to offer mixed reviews over taking such diets to the extreme and fasting for days upon end — which could upset blood sugar levels and sodium levels, and shouldn’t be tried by diabetics or pregnant women — there are noticeable benefits to substituting meals in moderation.
Ian Grinn and his family took to the juice diet as a catalyst to spur their way into a healthier lifestyle. Aiming to replace two to three meals and snacks each week with the juice, Grinn said the diet also plays a mental role in attaining a healthier diet.
“I can’t see myself sitting down with a plate full of celery and broccoli,” he said. “It’s much easier to just grab a candy bar or popcorn, but to have this ready and available, I can just pour it out. It’s sweet enough that it takes care of the sweet craving and it fills you up because there’s a lot of vegetables — a couple plates full — in one cup.”
Settling into a sweet spot after a few tries, Grinn’s go-to juice consists of kale, green apples, pineapple, lemon and lime. Even Grinn’s 2- and 4-year-old children drink the juice.
“Some people make this a full lifestyle, and they do juice a lot, but for us, we’ve incorporated this into trying to become healthier overall,” he said. “If I’m able to replace a McDonald’s run with one of these, even once a week, that’s having a little bit of an impact on my overall health.”
Call Will Pinkston, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.