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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why It Might Be Time to Give Up Juices & Smoothies

While I have been fascinated by the continued growth of juice and smoothie sales across America, I haven't been 100% on board with it. Not that it isn't convenient and yes, I'm sure you can pack in an enormous amount of vitamins/minerals with all of the natural added ingredients, but it still does not completely substitute for the "real deal". What is the real deal? As nature intended it to be -- biting into a real apple, sinking your teeth into a slice of cool and refreshing watermelon, or maybe even just adding fresh berries to your morning oatmeal.

Do I believe that juicing/smoothies are certainly a welcome alternative to processed fast foods --YES! No doubt! But, in having juices/smoothies on a daily basis and in substituting for a real meal -- I'm not sure that is the best use of adding to your nutritional health.

As this article points out, juices/smoothies remove a great deal of fiber from fruits and vegetables. As we all know (or should know) fiber is extremely important for our whole process of digestion, and that means from the moment the food enters your mouth to the point in time it leaves the body.

Fiber is essentially the part of the plant that can't be digested by our bodies and there are two types of fiber -- insoluble and soluble. Soluble fiber naturally slows down our digestion and with that it also slows down the absorption of all of the naturally containing nutrients that give our bodies the right amount of energy to progress through our busy days. The insoluble fiber on the other hand is the part of the plant that doesn't dissolve in water, but instead help in pushing food through our all-important gut. Upon juicing and drinking smoothies, this fiber is removed. Hence, there is a reason why fruit and vegetables should be eaten whole whenever possible. As far as juicing goes -- why not -- from time to time, but to do it all the time? Not optimal. If you don't believe me, read up on what Dr. Robert Lustig has to say about it in his book called, "Fat Chance".

A few other points made in this article, juices/smoothies give your body a sugar spike. It is well known and scientifically proven that carbohydrates (sugars) that enter the body are absorbed quickly; hence, giving a sugar spike and this could prove to be dangerous for individuals who suffer from hyperglycemia -- which is a definite sign of diabetes. Something else to think about is the fact that there is no real substitute from eating a meal as opposed to drinking it -- how satisfied are you really if given a refreshing smoothie to drink as opposed to a healthy meal? And, if you did have a substitute smoothie drink as opposed to a meal, would that mean that you can or should double your calories at the next meal because you deserve it?

Lastly, think about the cost of juicing/smoothie drinking? It can add up quickly! And again, think about the part of the pulp/fiber that is thrown away after juicing -- it could be used as composting in your garden, but is it still making the most of sustainable efforts?

Which is better -- juice form or the real deal?

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