Hello! I’m Emily, one of your newest Supermarket Registered Dietitians here at Coborn’s! I’m a self-proclaimed foodie and love breaking down the facts for you on the latest nutrition trends. This month’s topic: to juice or not to juice. While juicing is gaining popularity among foodies and health enthusiasts alike, as a Registered Dietitian, I’m leery about recommending this health trend. What can be so wrong with eating your days’ worth of fruits and veggies in one sitting? It encourages consumption of these nutrient powerhouses, right? This is true, however, there’s one important thing missing here: fiber.
When a food changes form, most of the time so does its fiber content. For example, an apple with the peel has about 4.5 grams of fiber compared to about 2 grams in an apple with the peel removed. When an apple is juiced, there is only about a half a gram of fiber in 1 cup of juice due to the peel and the pulp being removed. To put this in perspective, women need about 25 grams per day, while men need about 38 grams. The average adult only eats about 15 grams per day…
- Improve blood sugar control
- Relieve constipation
- Aid in satiety
- Help promote a healthy weight
- Lower cholesterol
Need I say more? As a Registered Dietitian, I am the first to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption, because I truly believe the average American does not get enough fruits and veggies in their diet! There’s even studies to back me up. According to one study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in every ten Americans eats enough fruits and veggies. One in ten! Now that just won’t do. So let’s talk about a few ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet!
There’s nothing better than a crisp fall apple or juicy tomato from the garden. However, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of all fresh fruits and veggies. To be sure I get in my five-a-day (that’s keyword for 5 servings of fruits and/or veggies per day!), I like to mix things up. If you’re bored with the same old veggies, try steaming, baking, roasting, or boiling those veggies-I also love to dip mine in hummus or a yogurt-based salad dressing (Bolthouse farms is one of my favorites). For fruits, I love to throw them into my oatmeal, eat with nut butter, or throw on top of my salad. Don’t forget fresh, frozen and canned all provide the same nutritious benefits!
Blend ‘em in:
In order to get all of the benefits of fiber, try blending up those fruits and veggies into a smoothie. When you don’t remove the skin or the pulp before blending, you maintain all of the fiber from your produce. I recommend throwing in 1-2 cups of your favorite fruits or veggies (or give ones you don’t like a try!) and adding skim milk or Greek yogurt for protein, along with ground flax or chia seeds for some healthy fats and Omega-3’s! Who said you can’t have it all!?
As you may have noticed, this post revolved around a variety of ways to add fruits, veggies AND fiber to your diet. I’m going to be honest with you and say that juicing and juices (even if they are 100%) are not my first choice to add nutrition to my diet. I much prefer whole forms (prepared in a variety of ways) with fiber. That being said, juices can be a tasty addition to a breakfast or an afternoon snack. The key is moderation. Like I have said over and over in this post, juice lacks fiber. So when we are drinking juice it is important to watch your portions. No, a 20-ounce bottle is not one serving. Think more along the lines of 4 ounces… yup, you read that right. An actual serving (not just what’s on the nutrition facts label) of juice is 4 measly ounces. Wouldn’t you rather have something you can bite into?
Emily Parent, RD, LD