Friday, May 10, 2013

Stop the Juicing- EAT your food!

Lots of people are into “juicing” these days, and almost on a daily basis someone tells me they bought a VitaMix or are thinking about buying one. While I do like the idea of making homemade smoothies as a substitute for something unhealthy like ice cream, I find the idea of juicing completely unnecessary. It is always better to eat your fruits and vegetables instead of blending them together and gulping it down. If you actually use a juicer (appliance), you will be missing out on a lot of the fibers that are so important for disease prevention and weight management. Furthermore, by eating the actual fruits and vegetables, you will most likely consume fewer calories throughout the day because they take longer to eat, and will be more filling in solid form rather than liquid (many studies show that the calories in beverages are not registered the same in the brain in terms of satiety compared to real food).

My Recommendation: I only recommend juicing for those people that absolutely refuse to eat vegetables. However, if you like spinach and broccoli, eat them, don’t juice them. Solid vegetables add a lot of bulk and volume to meals, which aids in feeling more satisfied at meals- both visually (mentally) and physically. Some juices can also be quite calorie dense, since you can fit an entire pear, bunch of spinach, banana, and avocado in such a small volume of liquid. If you were to actually eat all of those separately I guarantee you would be super full and probably not able to do it. If you are using juices as meal replacements, you will also be missing out on many key vitamins and minerals that come from other food groups like grains, dairy, and the meat and beans groups. The goal for most people should be to eat over 2 cups of solid non-starchy vegetables (as many as you’d like!) and 1 ½ cups of fruit each day.
Appliance Recommendation: Even though I don't recommend juicing, and would prefer you eat food than drink it, I do recommend that my clients do invest in something like the "Magic Bullet." These are great for blending frozen bananas as an alternative to ice cream, for making soups, chopping vegetables, nuts, etc. And if you are going to have a dessert, blending up a smoothie with frozen mango, almond milk, and yogurt is not a bad way to go ;-)

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