When you are looking to improve your lifestyle and diet you want to make sure you are consuming the right types of foods. Many fad diets will promote the ideas of juice fasts or daily smoothies for quick weight loss. But what are the pros and cons of these options.
Let’s start with the easiest option. Grocery store shelves are lined with a wide variety of fruit juices with labels stating 100% fruit juice, natural fruit juice, or even heart healthy. These commercial fruit juices can contain as much or more sugar than a soda. Research has found that on average fruit juices contain approximately 45.5 grams of fructose per liter. They also could contain additional ingredients so make sure you read the ingredient label.
Not everyone wants to take on the task of home juicing, but it can provide you with the opportunity to make some custom juice blends. When you juice any fruit or vegetable you will have a more concentrated number of vitamins and nutrients available.
For some individuals this will provide easier absorption of the nutrients they may be lacking. Advocates of juicing suggest that giving your body a break from digesting the fiber and allowing enhanced absorption of vitamins and minerals.
If you are starting a new healthy eating routine creating custom juices can be a way of adding vegetables or herbs to your routine to slowly introduce the new tastes.
It is important to realize that fruit doesn’t contain that much juice. As an example, one orange contains only 1/4 to 1/3 ounce of juice. So, drinking an 8-ounce glass of juice will be equivalent to several servings of fruits or vegetables.
The downside of juicing is that it lacks fiber which is essential for healthy digestion. Fiber is also needed to help control blood sugar and helps lower the risk of heart disease. Due to the lack of fiber juice tends to be empty calories, which can cause challenges for maintaining your ideal weight.
Here at Ideal Weights, we encourage people to stay away from juices. When you are looking for a quick meal option it is better to create a smoothie.
When you blend fruits and vegetables, they retain all their fiber. Fiber is required for healthy digestion and can relieve constipation. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, peas, green beans, and citrus fruits contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and slows down digestion which helps manage your blood sugar.
Insoluble fiber is found in vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, and dark leafy greens. The insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and stimulates your intestines into action for elimination.
A smoothie blend that I enjoy which includes things you may not always consume is:
4 carrots including the green tops.
½ a cucumber
1 beet including the greens.
This is a great blend for cleansing the whole body. Blend all the ingredients and drink within 15 minutes. Drink this blend for 7 days and you will feel great.
When making a blended smoothie you are also leaving the fibrous parts of fruits and vegetables. This will help to fill you up and contains important antioxidants. Antioxidant compounds have potential anti-cancer properties.
Smoothie blends break down the cell walls of all the ingredients allowing for easier digesting. Similar to, creating a juice you need to pay attention to the amount of ingredients you put in a blend. You could consume more calories than intended.
With both juicing and blending there are still concerns with consuming higher amounts of natural sugars. It is important to pay attention to your serving sizes to limit the amount of sugar you are taking in each day.
If you are drinking blended fruit and vegetable smoothies, you will feel full quicker due to the added fiber which will reduce the amount of sugar intake. Some additional ways to minimize the sugar in blended beverages is to increase the fiber, protein, or fat. If you add an avocado, chia seeds or protein powders your smoothie becomes a complete fulfilling meal.
If you are at the beginning of a diet and lifestyle change utilizing juices or smoothies can help you add a variety of ingredients to increase your healthy options. Making small changes each day will help you live your ideal life.