Peterson’s chief issue is that juicing drains your diet of protein and fiber, which changes the composition of your body. “When you go purely on a liquid diet for an extended period of time, you’ll lose not only weight but also fat and muscle, and your metabolism slows down,” she says. Then, you’ll inevitably tire of juicing and go back to your regular diet—and thanks to your newly slowed metabolism, it’s much easier to gain weight. But it’s not just weight gain that’s at stake.
Russell Marx, M.D., chief science officer of the National Eating Disorders Association, says juicing also means dealing with a potentially dangerous lack of balance among your macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. If you’re restricting your diet for an extended period of time, he explains, your body simply adapts to it. Abruptly resuming your normal diet at this point can cause your phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium levels to dip—and that imbalance can lead to heart failure since your heart kicks into overdrive to try to fix it. It’s a scary disorder called refeeding syndrome that’s often seen in the treatment of anorexia patients. All of which is to say that, while we have no idea if juicing played a role in Peaches’ death, it could be fatal for someone who takes juicing to an extreme and then tries to resume their normal diet without easing back into it.
Both Peterson and Marx emphasize that juicing for more than a couple days at a time is not sustainable…or healthy.
“Any kind of restrictive diet can lead to an eating disorder or be the consequence of an eating disorder,” says Marx. “It’s important to have balance and to be aware of the dangers.”
PUBLISHED: APRIL 11, 2014 | BY KATY LINDENMUTH