What’s the hottest new diet-and-health trend? Juicing. Fans say it’s easy – and fun – to squash piles of fruits and vegetables to make drinks. But is juicing healthy? Nutritionists say you’re better off just adding extra servings of whole fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Let’s look at the facts:

  • Juicing eliminates a lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. When you juice, you squeeze the liquid out of whole produce, and toss the leftover skin and pulp. That means, juice contains hardly any fiber. So, your body is basically absorbing fructose sugar, which flies through your system, and can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. Also, juicers create heat, which can eliminate even more vitamins. You’re much better off eating whole produce. Or using a blender to make fresh fruit-and-vegetable smoothies that include the skin, pulp, and seeds.

  • Is it smart to do a juice detox "cleanse" where all you consume are liquids? No. Countless scientists say your body doesn’t need to be detoxified because your liver and kidneys do it every day. And there’s zero scientific evidence that juicing helps the process.

  • It’s not a magic weight-loss bullet. In fact, it could make you gain weight. How can that be? Well, consider this: An orange contains 62 calories. But a cup of orange juice has almost double that many. Also, liquid calories don't register fullness like solid calories, which makes you more likely to overeat.

  • Juice fasts can make it harder for you to lose weight – for life! If you cut back too far on calories – say, less than 1200 a day for most women – your body assumes you’re starving, and lowers your metabolism to help you survive a food shortage. And if you repeatedly go on juice fasts, it can lower your metabolism permanently, making it harder to lose weight – and keep it off – for the rest of your life.