Food Note

Squeez­ing out the pros and cons of juic­ing.

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Juic­ing: Its pros and cons

There’s noth­ing like a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice to make a break­fast feel com­plete. Juic­ing – ex­tract­ing the juice from fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles – is pop­u­lar with many. But is it as healthy as pro­claimed?

Nov­elty And Nu­tri­tion

Juic­ing can be a fun and por­ta­ble way to add nu­tri­tion to your diet. If you strug­gle to eat the rec­om­mended five to nine serv­ings of fruits and veg­eta­bles each day, juic­ing can help you get there.

The good news is that the juice con­tains most of the vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and plant chem­i­cals (phy­tonu­tri­ents) found in the whole fruit. Juic­ing may also help you in­cor­po­rate a broader va­ri­ety of fruits and veg­eta­bles in your diet, such as kale, spinach or trop­i­cal fruits.

Not Equal to Whole Foods

How­ever, juic­ing shouldn’t be the only way to get these nu­tri­ents. Whole fruits and veg­eta­bles also con­tain healthy fi­bre, much of which is lost dur­ing juic­ing – es­pe­cially if the skin and pulp are re­moved. Di­etary fi­bre not only aids in di­ges­tion, but also may help im­prove blood cholesterol lev­els and lower the risk of heart dis­ease. Fi­bre also helps you feel full, which can help with weight con­trol. Some pro­mote juic­ing as a quick way to lose weight. How­ever, a diet con­tain­ing only fruits and veg­eta­bles isn’t bal­anced. Be sure you’re also meet­ing your needs for fi­bre, pro­tein, cal­cium, iron and healthy fats. You can do this by in­cor­po­rat­ing juic­ing into a healthy-eat­ing plan that in­cludes a va­ri­ety of whole grains, low-fat dairy prod­ucts, lean pro­tein sources, and whole fruits and veg­eta­bles.

Is It Right For You?

While juic­ing in mod­er­a­tion is gen­er­ally healthy, cer­tain types of juice may not be ap­pro­pri­ate for every­one. A juice made of mostly fruits can be high in car­bo­hy­drates and sug­ars, which can in­flu­ence blood su­gar lev­els. For peo­ple with kid­ney dis­ease, fruits that are high in potas­sium – such as mel­ons and ba­nanas – can cause com­pli­ca­tions and may need to be avoided. Juic­ing can also be a sig­nif­i­cant source of calo­ries, depend­ing on the con­tents and the por­tion size you con­sume. But with­out the fi­bre to keep you feel­ing full, you may find that you’re hun­gry sooner. Add these up and you have a recipe for po­ten­tial weight gain if not kept in check. If you’re not sure whether juic­ing is a healthy op­tion for you, talk to your doc­tor or a di­eti­cian.

Juic­ing can also be a sig­nif­i­cant source of calo­ries, depend­ing on the con­tents and the por­tion size you con­sume.

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