Juicing: the pros and cons

Make sure you're not falling into some common, less-healthy traps with juices.

Whether you’re making your own or buying them at trendy juice bars, juicing has become a permanent fixture on our foodscape. A great way of boosting our intake of fresh fruit and veggies, juices can be a zesty, nutrient-packed way to start the day. However, weighing up the facts of what you’re sipping is key to maintaining a balance and not overloading on sugar and kilojoules.

Benefits of juices

For those struggling to meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines’ recommended intake of two fruits and five vegetables each day, juices can go some way to help boost the quota. While no match in fibre or feelings of satiety to eating the real thing, they are a convenient and quick option.

Refreshing inclusions like fresh herbs, squeezes of zesty citrus fruits and pomegranate or beetroot juice provide flavour hits from ingredients you may not normally enjoy on their own and it’s great fun to experiment with your concoctions.

Things to keep in mind

As with smoothies, monitoring your intake of fruit is important for managing your sugar levels as it’s much easier and quicker to sip down large quantities of fruit than it is to chew through in its natural state. Keeping the ratio favouring vegetables over fruit in juices is a simple way to keep this in check.

Another thing to consider is juicing with a blender that doesn’t separate juice from pulp. This helps maintain the high fibre levels in the skin and pulp of fruits and vegetables that gets lost in traditional juicers.

 

Recommended reading - Issue Eight Winter 2014

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