You won’t find ME drinking juice. You might catch me drinking a ginger/green smoothie, cold pressed almond milk, fresh kombucha, green tea with apple cider vinegar, or black coffee, but never juice. When I found out the ice cold truth about juices, I decided to let her go for good.
As a (soon-to-be) Dietitian, I wanted to let ya’ll in on a little JUICY secret, it’s not all that it’s SQUEEZED out to be. My foodie generation is ever so obsessed with juice, we never cease to find a new and innovative juice joint. Our generation thinks we are so healthy after just one sipping pose with a juice in our instagram photos. As if the world needs to know you had juice for lunch. Okay fine, I will put myself into this category as well, I took a juice posed picture for this post, just for y’all.
I get it. Believe me. I think juices are cool too. The colors, the taste, the amazing coolness of the drink rushing down your esophagus. What is not so cool is the ratio of sugar : nutrients contained in a single glass of juice. Let’s talk about what’s really going on in those juices and why I would never suggest a juice cleanse to any one of my current or future clients.
Sugar in Juice- Google it!
The top google searches that come up when “sugar in juice” is searched, include..
- Fruit Juice is Just as Unhealthy as a Sugary Drink
- Juices with the Highest Sugar Content
- The 10 Fruit Juices with More Sugar Than Coca-Cola
- Hooked on Juice
- The #1 Reason to Avoid Orange Juice
- Fruit Juice versus Soda?
It’s eye opening to see the amount of people catching on to the nutrition facts of juice, they are starting to see the sugar-coated villain behind the tasty treat. The juice craze won’t last forever, friends.
So why do we automatically exclude fresh fruit juice from the forbidden sugary drink category? Is it because it is from a natural source that we should ignore the warning signs and keep chugging the fruit juice anyways? The warning signs of excessive soda consumption finally took hold and we stopped, but should we be re-thinking our fruit juice consumption as well?
The following nutrition chart was taken from a local juice joint. The watermelon juice they offer contains about 37grams of sugar in just 2 cups (16oz). Although just two cups of juice doesn’t sound like much, the sugar content is equal to about 9 teaspoons of sugar! Talk about dumping the sugar bowl into your drink. To put this into perspective, that’s also equal to about 2.5 carbohydrate exchanges. When we consume our calories in a beverage/drink form, we unknowingly consume 3-4x more calories because of the lessened sensitivity to hunger cues. We can easily drink 4-6 oranges worth of juice but when we try to peel and eat 6 large oranges, we wouldn’t get too far.
So, if you’ve heard about the benefits of giving up sweet tea, soda or excessive amounts of sugar in your cereal, why would you drink a juice that contains just as much sugar?
Watermelon Juice: 100% Fresh Squeezed Juice
If I had to guess the motive for the latest craze of drinking juices and posting the proof on our social media pages, it would be because we think they are “healthy”. Well, I am here to tell you, friends that everything is good in moderation and sometimes things in excess can be quite the opposite. Even overdoing the “healthy” food can be somewhat harmful to our health. Fruit is good for us, this we know, but when we extract only the juice and leave the fruit carcass for waste, what nutrients are we really consuming?
Cold pressed, fresh juices have squeezed out all the tasty liquid and left the fiber from the fruit/ vegetable behind. When we consume fruits and vegetables, the pectin and fiber content is so important as well. The fiber helps our body to regulate blood sugars, increase our metabolism, and decrease our cholesterol levels. However, when we consume the fruit in the form of a smoothie, we are consuming the fiber, protein, and iron sources as well. Just like juices though, smoothies can be loaded with sugar and carbohydrates.
If I still haven’t convinced you, check out my post about Fruit Juice that goes into detail about how our body metabolizes sugar and why we become addicted to it when we regularly consume it.
Be careful not to overdue these drinks, when we consume too many carbohydrates, our bodies rapidly start storing them into fat. Again, everything in moderation is just easier said than done but let’s start by taking the step towards healthier living.
Until next time, friends..
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email me at StephanieRackley@thehealthychew.org
**All photos were taken by and for The Healthy Chew – all rights reserved.
** Disclaimer: I am drinking a Green Smoothie with spinach, kale, ginger, peaches, mangos and almond milk- NOT juice!