Pure Carrot Juice:

Why I Say NO to Pure Carrot Juice

by Chet Day

An H&B reader asked me the other day why I no longer recommended drinking straight carrot juice. This is an important question so let me share what I currently see as the problems associated with drinking 100% carrot juice.

Just as I've come to understand the dangers of restrictive vegan diets for expectant mothers, nursing mothers, babies, children, and teenagers (as well as long-term for most adults), I've also come to understand that freshly extracted carrot juice by itself may harm many people.

You see, modern carrots have been crossbred for generations to increase sweetness. As a consequence of all the tinkering to improve on nature, today's carrots are quite high on the glycemic index and consequently can play havoc with blood sugar levels.

As explained so well by Rick Mendosa at http://www.mendosa.com/gi.htm , "the Glycemic Index (G.I.) is a numerical system of measuring how fast a carbohydrate triggers a rise in circulating blood sugar -- the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a low G.I. food will cause a small rise, while a high G.I. food will trigger a dramatic spike." A Mars Twix candy bar, for example, has a G.I. of 62. Carrots have a G.I. of 70. The G.I. of orange juice, which many health gurus say should be avoided because it's too high in sugar, is 74.

I would add that folks with candida or other yeast problems also need to be wary of straight carrot juice.

Personally, when I juice these days I never use more than 20-25% carrot as base. Instead of getting that big ole sugar rush I used to enjoy so much from a delicious eight or sixteen-ounce glass of carrot juice, now I much prefer a healthier juice composed of leafy greens, celery, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, and any other veggie from the bin (including a little jalapeno pepper on occasion -- whoa, good!). Oh yes, adding kale is also very nice, though it's strong-tasting, so don't use too much.

Once you try a multi-veggie drink, I think you'll agree that it tastes a lot healthier, and you won't get the sugar high you probably experience with straight carrot juice. Another important benefit lies with the fact that by using a variety of veggies rather than only carrots, you'll also get a greater infusion of minerals and vitamins.

At first, you probably won't enjoy the taste of multi-veggie juice as much as you enjoyed the flavor of straight carrot juice, but, hey, that was true back when you switched from Dr. Pepper to carrot juice too, wasn't it?

Just experiment and listen to your body until you develop the juicing combinations that you enjoy.

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