Be Careful With Juice
By Rachel Carver
Juice has been a part of breakfast and other meals for many of us. Who doesn't enjoy a tall glass of orange juice during brunch or with cereal? However, doctors and nutritionists now view this sugary drink as something that should be consumed in moderation.
Here's what you might not know about juice:
- Many fruit juices give you almost as many calories as soda
- Harvard research suggests our bodies metabolize the natural sugar found in juice in the same way as the added sugar in soda
- Added sugar increases your risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes
- 100 percent juice gives you essential vitamins, while sugary beverages that taste like juice have no health benefits
The Truth About Juice
Fruit juices are a very concentrated sugar source. This means it only takes a small amount to reach the recommended daily sugar intake. For example, three apples give you 1 cup of juice. It is not difficult to drink 1 cup of juice, but you would most likely not eat three apples at once.
The process of turning fruits and vegetables into juice strips them of their fiber. Fiber improves digestion, keeps us full, and promotes gut health and immunity. Substituting whole fruits and vegetables with juice deprives our body of this beneficial fiber. A lack of fiber can cause our blood sugar to quickly crash, causing us to reach for more sugar.
Fill your glass with fresh juice instead of what you can find at the store. Packaged juices also contain added sugar in addition to the natural sugars found in fruit. Drink juices high in vegetables to cut down on the overall sugar.
Juice can satisfy your sweet tooth. But there are ways to avoid drinking your calories.
Eat fruit whole so you get all of the important vitamins and minerals. Blend whole fruits and vegetables to make a tasty smoothie.
Water is also very important, so make sure you are staying hydrated. The body can sometimes mix up hunger and thirst signals.
The Bottom Line
Juice does not have to be completely off-limits. But you should view it in the same way as soda or other sugary items. Read labels before you buy juice. And think about ways you can reduce the amount of juice you drink, such as incorporating more whole fruits into your diet. Your body will thank you.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.