Campus Life, News

Squeezing truth from trend

In a city embossed with a culture asking everyone to feel good and look even better, diet fads and weight loss trends always come and go – the South Beach, Atkins and Paleo diets all held their moment in the spotlight. So while the latest method isn’t extraordinarily new, a slew of recently opened shops and businesses seem to have reintroduced Miami to juicing.

Like its name suggests, juicing is basically the process of digesting “nutrient-rich” foods not typically consumed in an average American diet (like kale, celery and other green vegetables) in liquid rather than solid form. Regular adopters of this lifestyle often replace one or two meals a day, several times a week, with a 12- or 16-ounce bottled juice. Others undergo seasonal juice cleanses which involve replacing all solid foods with juices for up to seven days. But what purpose does juicing serve?

“Most students juice because they want to lose weight,” said Lisa Dorfman, director of the master’s degree in nutrition for health and human performance program in the department of kinesiology and sport sciences. “Because of fruits and added sugars, juicing may actually add considerable calories to your diet. You may also lose the valuable nutrients found in the skin of foods, like fibers, phytonutrients, antioxidants, anticarcinogens and antimicrobial agents.”

According to Dorfman, however, college students could benefit from juicing, primarily because it allows the body to absorb a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables not typically consumed. It would also help anyone who regularly skips a meal to add calories to their diet.

Despite these possible benefits, Melissa Kaplan, a clinical dietician at the Miller School of Medicine and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, encourages students to exercise responsibility while juicing.

“Because there’s no evidence showing that juicing is at all beneficial, it’s not recommended to do it for any long duration,” Kaplan said. “Our body has the ability to detox itself through the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin.”

Both Dorfman and Kaplan noted that it’s important to understand the difference between a juice cleanse and juicing. The former is performed seasonally and involves only digesting liquid foods for a set schedule. It is designed to cleanse the system of toxins; doing this for longer than two or three days can cause nutrient deficiencies, nausea, constipation and dizziness, Dorfman and Kaplan warned. The latter, however, can fit into anyone’s daily diet and can prove to be part of a healthy diet regimen.

Dorfman and Kaplan agreed that students could benefit from the extra vegetables and fruits that juicing adds to anyone’s diet, but they warned of the health risks associated with both juicing and juice cleanses. Juicing doesn’t necessarily equate to weight loss, they said. In fact, continued calorie restriction can slow metabolism and can lead to weight gain.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding juicing, juice cleanse and detox companies are major advocates of this lifestyle.

“If a college student incorporated one green juice into their life on a daily basis, I believe their academic performance would increase,” said Kiki Fries, a certified holistic health counselor and studio account manager at Cold Pressed Raw, a juice cleanse company established last June. “I think that their physical and mental stamina would increase. I think it would be an excellent practice.”

Companies like Cold Pressed Raw use organic produce for their juices, which, according to them, contain enough natural sugars, nutrients and calories to sustain a person each day. Like Dorfman and Kaplan, they also warn their clients of associated health risks.

“Cleansing is really meant to be done seasonally, to stay out of the doctor’s office,” said Matthew Sherman, owner of Jugo Fresh, another juicing company based in Miami Beach. “There’s an effectiveness to it, but there’s a danger when you’re using it to answer an imbalance.”

After graduating in 2011, UM alumna Brittany Bomnin tried juicing.

“By the time I graduated, I realized I had let myself and my carefree relationship with food get the best of me,” Bomnin said.

She said she’s experienced significant weight loss since then and also has a new outlook on nutrition.

“I was eager for knowledge, and I find I learn by doing,” she said. “I now encourage others who are interested in adopting similar habits to join me on my next cleanse, which I plan on keeping up at least twice a year for good housekeeping.”

February 10, 2013

Reporters

Jonathan Borge

Assistant News Editor


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Squeezing truth from trend”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

They’ve earned their first 10-win season since 2003. Now all they need are two more victories for a ...

It became very clear, as soon as University of Miami coaches began recruiting Lonnie Walker IV, that ...

A six-pack of UM football notes: ▪ After UM’s 44-28 victory against Virginia on Saturday, Cavaliers ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game, featuring the Coastal Division champion Miami Hurri ...

As Miami fans await the newest College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night — the Hurricanes c ...

The 41st annual conference on the Caribbean and Central America held a special program at the Univer ...

The Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation gift will establish the Business Plan Competition Endowed Fund. ...

C. David Naylor, a UM Presidential Scholar and public health policy expert, provided insight into he ...

A cohort of five religious leaders from Miami, including a rabbi and imam from the University of Mia ...

Hollywood actress and star of the hit BET series Being Mary Jane gets real about gender, race and co ...

Erykah Davenport scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, as the Miami women's b ...

Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was selected as one of 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award ...

Former Miami football players Ronnie Walker and Todd Stanish are grateful to be able to celebrate an ...

The neutral-site game is a homecoming for freshman guard Lonnie Walker IV. ...

The University of Miami volleyball team will travel to Georgia Tech and Clemson this week for the fi ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.