Ask a Derm
“I’m tempted to start a juice cleanse to lose my holiday belly. A friend told me cleanses are good for your skin too, is this so?” – Tina in Albany, NY.
Diet cleanses often consist of several days or weeks of juices. They’re supposed to “detox” your body, but in fact, many juices are high in sugar, which is, in my honest opinion, the MOST toxic food when it comes to your skin and overall health. While fruits and veggies are healthy and low-cal, juicing pre-digests these foods and removes the fiber. This means that your blood sugar and insulin levels rise quickly, leading to inflammation. Many juices are also high in fruit sugar because they include apple, orange, grape, or pear juices to improve flavor. Spikes in blood sugar are associated with acne breakouts and skin rashes, as well as wrinkles (sugar molecules attack your skin’s collagen). High blood sugar and insulin can also promote fat storage. So if you want to drop pounds and”detox” your body after the holidays, stay away from juice cleanses. Instead, I suggest eating unprocessed, whole foods: eggs and fruit for breakfast; fish and other lean protein and veggies for lunch and dinner, and fruit and nuts for snacks.
About the Expert Jessica Wu, MD is a board certified dermatologist practicing in Los Angeles, CA. She is the author of Feed Your Face. Visit her site at www.drjessicawu.com and follow her on Twitter @drjessicawu