‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Juicing: Healthy Habit or Half-Witted Hypothesis?

Let's talk about a fabulous (or is it?) trend that has people squawking and gobbling all over the place: Juicing. So, when I hear someone say, in a very pretentious voice: 'oh I'm juicing', I can't help but think of Violet Beauregarde from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory... Because she was sent to the juicer... C'mon, you know what I'm talking about! Let's centrifuge out the facts, (pulp) fiction and watered down claims.

Juicing is the act of extracting liquid (juice) from plant tissues using a juicer. This article discusses the act of juicing, next week's article "Juicing: Healthy Habit or Half-Witted Hypothesis? Pt II" will discuss smoothie-ing (yes, there is a difference).

Juicing became popular back in the 90s, when proponents professed it could reverse everything from aging to chronic diseases.

It has since evolved in our polar society where some of us are health obsessed and others are, well, the complete opposite. People and companies with their finger on the juicer button shout similar claims from their atop their soap, or in this case, juice boxes.

Here are some common claims, and here's why they're not worth they juicer they leaked out of:

Claim 1: Your body absorbs nutrients better from juice
Theory: Fiber is 'taxing' on your digestive system and it impairs digestion of nutrients from fruit and veg
Why it's rubbish: Our bodies evolved eating whole fruit and veg because that's what existed in nature. Your digestive system is not only equipped and designed to deal with fiber (hence why we have gut bacteria), but high fiber diets are implicated in better intestinal health and lower cancer risk. After all, caveman didn't run around with juicers.

Claim 2: Juice clears 'toxins' from the body
Theory: I've no idea...
Why it's rubbish: There's no scientific evidence to support that claim. But if that isn't enough, try this: Your kidneys and liver are very capable organs that evolved to eliminate body toxins.

Claim 3: Juice aids with weight loss
Theory: Not sure, perhaps an extrapolation of the fact that fruit and veg are low in calories, therefore drinking them help with weight loss?
Why it's Rubbish: Weight loss is largely dependent of the amount and quality of calories taken in. But there are a couple of other reasons this claim is rubbish, follow the logic:
A fun fact about insulin: It prevents lipolysis (fat breakdown), not such a great thing for weight loss...

Here are some other things to think about:
  • How many oranges does it take to make 1 cup of OJ?
    • The answer is ~4, each orange yields about 1/4 cup of juice (not much bang for your buck there)
    • Would you sit and eat 4 oranges in one sitting?
  • Piggybacking on that thought, if you were to eat 4 oranges at once, would you stay fuller for longer compared with drinking 1 cup of OJ?
    • Yes
    • Why? Because 4 oranges have 12.5g of fiber compared with the stingy 0g in 1 cup of OJ
    • Also, juice is liquid (duh), and liquids pass through your stomach much faster than a solid meal
  • What about protein and fat?
    • Juices have minimal protein and little to no fat, that's good, right? Wrong! Protein and fat take longer to digest, thus meals containing them keep you fuller for longer
The take home message:
Juice can be a useful way to increase your nutrient intake, but remember you're discarding the skin and fiber which are loaded with antioxidants and other goodies important for digestive health. Juice is fine every now and then, but come on... Put a real meal in your pie hole.


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