Juicing - Fruits or Vegetables?Last Updated: October 24, 2020
Health fads and diet advice are a dime a dozen these days, and unfortunately that makes it hard to find the best methods of getting healthy and losing weight. To make matters worse, marketers have perfected the art of making people think things are healthy and good for you, while being anything but!
Snacks like yogurt is one of the most well known offenders for those trying to lose weight: a Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt has a whole 26 grams of sugar in it: that's your entire daily serving , and takes 20 minutes of jogging to burn off! But fruit juice and smoothies are what we're going to examine today.
What's wrong with fruit juice?
Nothing, most of the time! Fruit juice is definitely a healthier alternative than drinking soda or energy drinks, and can be a great way to get some vitamins your regular diet misses out on.
The issue here is again one of sugar. Most apples are naturally sweet, so people drink apple juice and think it's "healthy" sweetness. But like we said in our science of weightloss article, a calorie is a calorie, and a gram of sugar is a gram of sugar. The healthy part of eating apples isn't the sugar: it's all the nutrients and fiber in the skin and flesh. When we squeeze the juice out of it and only drink that, we're getting a fraction of the health benefits, and a whopping dose of sugar!
And that goes for most other juices. Pomegranates have a delicious and unique flavor, but "sweetness" is not the presiding one. And yet most commercially sold pomegranate juice, like POM Wonderful have 34 grams of sugar per 8 fl. oz. serving! 150 calories per glass adds up very quickly, is not the kind of thing someone who's looking to lose weight should drink. And at least that's pure, 100% fruit juice! Don't get us started on the concoction fruit drinks or smoothies!
So what should I drink instead?
The main thing to remember is that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. If all you want to know is how to lose weight, then things that have as few calories as possible, or better yet burn more calories to digest than they add, are the way to go. But if you want to get healthy at the same time, vegetable juices are your best bet.
Unlike fruits, vegetables have very low sugar counts, and juicing them does not eliminate nearly as many of the vitamins and nutrients that make eating them so important. If the juice is pulpy, all the better!
As for drinks that appear to be good for dieting, like diet soda's proudly claimed "0 calories," that's a mixed bag. Technically yes, there are no calories in diet soft drinks: the problem is the way they make it tasty anyway. Things like aspartame taste sweet in their own way, but you're not only fooling your tongue: you're also fooling your stomach and mind, and they don't react well to that. Studies have shown that drinking diet soda actually increases your craving for sweets, because now your body thinks it's deficient in the sugar that you fooled it into thinking it was getting!
So remember: eat your fruits and juice your vegetables. We're not saying fruits aren't good for you: they're definitely among the healthiest ways to get sugar. But sugar is still sugar, and if your goal is weight loss, then without the fiber and nutrients of the fruit itself you might as well be drinking sugar water. Stick to water or vegetable juice.