Dietitian Fast Facts: Juicing

The term “juicing” refers to juice extraction from fruits and vegetables. Juice itself is good for you, but not all juices are created equal. Consider cocktail juices or juice blends. They may contain one or more fruit juices, but much of the sugar comes from added sugars. This type of juice doesn’t offer as much nutrition as 100% juice, which would contain only water and the liquid from a given fruit or veggie.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 have established that 100% juice contributes to our total fruit (two cups) and vegetable (two and a half cups) daily goals and offers vitamins, minerals and a more optimal sugar source (fructose). Unfortunately, many times “juices” are thinned or filtered, so they don’t contain the same nutrition found in whole fruits and vegetables (think no orange pulp, no strawberry seeds, and no apple skins). Instead, consider making smoothies, which pulverize the whole fruit or vegetable and can be combined with other foods such as dairy or nondairy milk, nuts, seeds or certain protein powders. This not only keeps the plant fiber, but also the flavor!

Keep in mind that drinking your fruits and vegetables is a convenient way to reach your produce goals, but sitting down to a snack of whole fruits and veggies will likely leave you more satisfied.

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