Whole fruits and vegetables are low in calories and provide dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which are often left behind in the juicing process. Fiber keeps us feeling full longer and helps to control blood glucose levels from spiking. Without fiber, the combination of juices from several fruits and starchy vegetables can add extra sugar to your diet, decrease your satiety and lead to unintentional weight gain. Additionally, a serving of juice is 4 oz. and most recipes produce 3-5x this serving amount, increasing the amount of sugar and calories you consume. Therefore, extracting juice from raw fruits and vegetables isn’t a bad idea, it just shouldn’t be the sole source of your 5-a-day fruit and vegetable intake.
For the best health benefits follow these JUICE tips and remember to aim for 5 servings of whole fruits and vegetables each day.
Just add vegetables. To lower calories, use mostly non-starchy vegetables and add a small amount of fruit for flavoring.
Use the whole food. Skins and pulp of fruits and vegetables contain fiber that aids in digestion, keeps you feeling full longer and controls your blood sugar levels.
Include protein. Protein takes longer for your body to digest; therefore, when combined with carbohydrates, protein slows the rise of our blood sugar levels and keeps us feeling full longer.
Control portions. Limit the ingredients to small quantities that you would normally eat at one sitting to prevent consuming extra calories that may lead to weight gain.
Enjoy variety. Choose a colorful assortment of raw or cooked fruits and vegetables to increase the variety of nutrients you receive.
Brittany Lawrance, RD, CNSC, LDN, Community Dietitian