nutrition

Juices: How Good are They for you?

Are you one of those who gulp down a packet of juice as soon as you get it from the supermarket? Well, if your answer is yes, then you should remember that packet fruit juice once considered wholesome and healthy may not be what you thought so. It might give you an instant lift if you are tired and parched.  But studies have revealed that most packet juices lack the fibre and protein, which are considered to be healthy; thereby letting you miss on the good nutrients.

The fruit juice that you get outside are loaded with sugar as other sugary drinks. It gets absorbed very fast sans the fibre and protein, which are needed to help slow your digestion process. So, having a whole fruit instead of taking a glass of orange juice is always healthier.

Fresh juice

What’s the bad news?

There are people who opt for purely liquid diets. But the bad news is that they are not great for weight loss because you are getting rid of the fibre. However, enjoying a juice with a meal or a snack can help you downsize, particularly if you are swapping those higher calorific snack with a glass of juice, as the water and nutrient benefits are still in the juice.

US scientists, who had earlier cautioned about the high-fructose corn syrup content in fizzy drinks, are today focusing on juice and how it is affecting us because of its high sugar content. A study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that people who consume packet fruit juice regularly are more at risk of type 2 diabetes. These juices are basically all fructose and have almost the same quantity of sugar content as in fizzy drinks.

Suggestive Reading: Hydration Smarts: Do’s and Don’ts of Proper Drinking

What type of juice should you opt for?

Blender juices

The labels on the packets of fruit juices may claim that they are “100% pure” and packed with all good nutrients, but don’t go by the claim. However, ‘pure’ they may claim to be, they are after all processed and all the nutrients are lost in the process.

Smoothies or blender juices are the most recommended. Adding all your healthy fruits and vegetables into a blender will keep the fibre, vitamins and minerals intact. Remember to opt for more veggies than fruits, as it will help keep the fructose and calorie count down; thereby helping you to lose weight.

Tips: Add an apple instead of sugar to sweeten your juice. You can also add natural yogurt, especially to bananas and berries to make a healthier satisfying dessert. Banana or avocado are great additives to make your juice or smoothie creamier. If it gets too thick, add some water to your juice. Once you make your juice, it’s always best to drink it immediately.

A word of caution:

As always you should watch your portion size. Having 150 ml glass of packet juice once a week is acceptable. However, watch out for the sugar.  You might get your vitamin C and fluid from the juice, but there’s no fibre or good nutrients. So, a simple way to put it is: Have a whole fruit instead of the juice. This way you will end up consuming lesser calories, as well as all the good nutrients.

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