I often get asked about juicing, or drinking juices in general. Is it a good idea? I would generally caution people against drinking too much fruit juice because of the sugar content. Think of it this way, it takes about 4 oranges to make a cup of orange juice. Let’s say you have 2-3 cups of juice in a given day, that’s 8-12 oranges. You’d never eat 8-12 oranges in a day, but, by having the juice, you’ve just consumed a dozen oranges worth of sugar without any of the fiber. So, when it comes to store bought juices, the general guideline is to limit it to 1/2 to 1 cup (you can cut it with water) of unsweetened, not from concentrate, ideally organic juice, with only one ingredient (that would be the fruit juice itself). Juicing at home is a bit of a different story. Juicing can be a great way to get a couple of extra servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet in a nutrient dense and delicious way, as long as you keep a few things in mind! Here are some important tips to remember to keep it healthy:
- Juicing should not be used as a replacement for eating whole fruits and vegetables but can be used to supplement your 5 to 10 daily servings.
- Choose the freshest produce available. In season, local, organic is your best bet. Think farmer’s market!
- Consider combinations that include a variety of fruits AND vegetables to get a full complement of nutrients.
- When choosing fruits for juicing, consider fruits with a lower glycemic index (these won’t raise your blood sugar as quickly) but also keep in mind that by juicing, a fruit’s glycemic index will rise naturally as the fiber content is mostly removed from the fruit.
- Juicing removes most of the fiber found in fruits and vegetables so you should make sure you are getting enough fiber in the rest of your diet. Don’t let that fiber-rich pulp go to waste! Click here for some ideas on how to make use of the pulp.
- Some juices can be higher in sugars than others so it’s a good idea to juice in moderation (still keep in mind the guidelines mentioned above) and to balance out your snack with healthy proteins (e.g. nuts and seeds) and fats (e.g. avocado).
Click on the links below or visit the “Recipes” page for recipes for some delicious juices as well as ideas for using up the pulp that is left behind, don’t let all that fiber go to waste!