Are you a juicer? Health claims of fighting off cancer and improving digestive health have helped juicing grow in popularity, but what is the real truth on juicing?
“Most people aren’t aware that juicing is not as healthy as it is made out to be,” said Mercy dietitian Jade Manczuk RD, LD. “Juicing fruits means the juice is extracted, leaving behind the skin and pulp, which contain fiber.”
Fiber is an important component of whole fruits and vegetables. It not only keeps you feeling fuller and more satisfied, it also provides other health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and controlling blood glucose levels.
“Fruit juice contains calories and sugar that can rack up in no time, especially if you’re drinking it throughout the day,” added Manczuk. “While juicing non-starchy vegetables provides fewer calories than fruit, fiber is still lost in that process, too.”
If you don’t get the recommended 5-9 daily servings of fruit and vegetables a day, juicing can provide the much-needed vitamins and minerals. A healthy alternative would be blending the entire fruit or vegetable so that some of the fiber is still retained. A fruit smoothie with whole fruit, Greek yogurt and low-fat milk would not only provide the health benefits from the fruit, but also provide a good amount of protein.
“The bottom line is whole fresh fruits and vegetables are a better option than juicing,” said Manczuk. “If you want to juice, just monitor your portion sizes and incorporate it into a healthy diet along with whole fresh fruits and vegetables to provide the needed fiber to keep you feeling more satisfied.”