Our dietary fiber intake has a great impact on our gut function and health. The reason this has been such an interesting sub-topic of carbohydrates, is that I have several clients who inquire about long term juice cleanses. Here are five facts to consider before starting a juice cleanse (Hint: Don't do it.)
1. Insoluble fiber is not digested by humans and helps to increase stool size and decrease gastrointestinal transit time.
2. Soluble fiber also slows gastrointestinal transit time but it also helps to bind to cholesterol and minerals.
3. By drinking only juice for a week or two weeks, you are increasing the vitamins and nutrients you previously consumed daily but at the price of removing fiber from your diet.
4. If you cut out fiber from your diet then you will be damaging the microvilli, the tubules that increase surface area and play a role in nutrient absorption, in your gut. It does not take long to do so.
5. Any 'weight' lost from cleanses is not true weight loss. It is temporary and not sustainable. You can make yourself very sick by cutting out major food groups.
I never recommend cutting out any nutrient in the diet to any of my clients, unless an allergy is present. However, the question of juice cleanses, and removing fiber, continues to come up in the media-driven and weight-loss-obsessed America that we live in.