Recently, juice varieties have increased in popularity. With so many options for juice beverages available in the grocery store these days, we are often left wondering how healthy these beverages actually are. It is important to keep in mind that juice is not healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables.
Juice cannot entirely replace whole fruits and vegetables in your diet. Eating at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables each day can help prevent chronic diseases. Juicing requires the removal of the skin of fruits and vegetables, which means you are missing out on healthy fiber and other nutrients. However, juices can add nutritional value to an already healthy diet.
When selecting a juice, make sure to check the nutrition label: juices that contain 100% fruit or vegetables with no added sugars do count towards your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. People who do not enjoy many fruits and vegetables may find that juice helps them to consume a wider variety.
A great way to cut out the added sugars and make sure you know what goes into your juice is to make it yourself. A few common fruits and vegetables that are used in juicing include cucumber, celery, apple, orange, and lemon. To avoid missing out on healthy fibers, try blending whole fruits and veggies into a smoothie.
- Limit consumption. Downing multiple glasses of juice per day can quickly add up in sugar and calories. If you choose to drink juice, try to limit yourself to one glass per day.
- Check the nutrition label! Some fruits and vegetables contain higher sugar levels, which if consumed in large quantities can lead to weight gain.
- Add veggies. Juices with more vegetables contain more nutrients and less sugar than fruit-only juices.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, Food Network, USDA. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.