Should I drink juice to lose weight? The hidden problems with juicing

I do not drink juice. In fact, I am afraid of juice. In general, I do not like to drink my calories, therefore I avoid milky coffees, milkshakes, smoothies and juices. Wine – I drink – but I factor the calories into my daily calorie allowance. Despite the hype, drinking wine does not add too many calories. A standard glass of white wine (150 mL) gives you only 124 calories – about the same as a large banana.

There is a trend towards juicing at the moment. I hate juices. I prefer to eat my fruits and vegetables whole. This gives me the nutrition I need in the way it was designed to be delivered.

“A cup of pineapple, for instance, is about 83 calories,” says this great article from CNN, “but a cup of pineapple juice is 120 calories. An 8-ounce glass of orange juice may contain as many as four medium oranges.”

“Would a person actually sit down and eat four oranges in one sitting?” asks the nutritionist quoted in the article. “But you can down that glass of orange juice in fewer than 5 minutes,” she says.

The problems with juice

Too many calories

A large juice has lots of calories and unless you work them into your daily allowance, you will go over your limit. If you plan to drink 3 juices a day, you may need to cut back your meals. For example, one large juice can contain up to 500 calories, particularly if you use energy dense fruits like avocado and banana.

No satisfaction

The other problem with juicing is that you may feel less satisfied. In the example above, sitting down and eating 4 oranges in a row would be difficult and probably quite unpleasant. The first one would be nice, the second one ok, the third would be a strain to finish and the fourth would be a real struggle to get down. The reason? Does your body really need 4 oranges today? Or would it be cool with just the one?

Less fibre

Juicing your fruit means that your body has to do less work to digest it. “Fruits and vegetables have the nutrients and fibre that the body needs and can utilize. However, juice is only part of a whole food that has been processed (or separated) using a machine, so it cannot be considered a whole food,” says Insider Tracker.

Lots of sugar

Yep – fruit has lots of sugar and therefore, so does juice. Let’s face it – no one likes drinking vegetable juices that are not sweetened with some sort of fruit – if you do, that’s great – but most of us add something else like a banana or apple. If you are concerned with your sugar intake (I’m not) then you should avoid or control your juice intake.

The cost

It’s expensive. Really, it is. Particularly if you’re going the whole hog and buying organic fruit and vegetables. Also – all juice should be made fresh, you shouldn’t freeze it or refrigerate it – because it loses some of its vital nutrients that way. If you’re as rich as Rockefeller, go for it – if you’re not – this could be a downside to juice.

What do you think of juicing? Did it work for you? What problems with it have you encountered? Please tell me!


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