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Why I never buy juice…

Author: Nutritionist Deborah Enos, The One Minute Wellness Coach
Deborah Enos, The One Minute Wellness Coach

When I first meet with a client, I find that they usually have a pretty good idea of what “healthy eating” really means. They know that they should eat more fruits and vegetables and let go of the junk. But, one thing they’re often confused about is fruit juice. Most of my clients are surprised when I tell them go for the whole fruit and veggies first, before depending on fruit and veggie juices for their only source.

I get why they’re confused, which is why I’m happy to explain why I never buy juice (and why I don’t recommend that they do either)…

The problem with juices (and other sweet drinks) is that the sugar quickly enters your blood stream and spikes your blood sugar levels.

So, why is juice so bad for your blood sugar? It doesn’t have any speed bumps…

What’s a speed bump? It’s something in your food that will slow down your digestion. This means that the sugar doesn’t just get dumped into your bloodstream. Instead, the speed bump allows the sugar to be released slowly.

Juice lacks fiber, which acts as a speed bump.

I find that this is usually a good time to talk about the importance of fiber in a healthy diet. Not only does it act as a speed bump, but fiber also helps you feel full, keeps you regular and helps clean out your colon.

The best way to get more fiber in your diet is to eat high-fiber fruits and veggies in their whole form (not juiced). For a daily surge of healthy fiber, add some prunes into the daily food plan. One cup of pitted prunes has nearly half of your recommended daily allowance of fiber! For a fruit, the prune also has a relatively low GI Index, so the speed bump doesn’t have to counteract an excessively high sugar load, and it’s a great source of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin K!).

If your clients still can’t fathom the thought of going an entire day without juice, here are some healthier ways to incorporate it into their diets:

  1. If they have juicers at home, they can make their own fruit and veggie juices. Homemade juice still lacks the fiber speed bump, but if you don’t add extra sugar, it’s a little healthier.
  2. Consider making smoothies at home – all they need is a blender! When you use a blender instead of a juicer, the fiber remains intact. Prunes are a great example of a healthy fruit.
  3. If they still want to enjoy their daily juice, they must learn to READ LABELS! They should look for juices that have less than 10 grams of sugar per serving and without artificial sweeteners.

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