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Juicing versus eating whole foods

We like juicing because it is often a way for people to increase their vegetable and fruit consumption well above the existing level. However, we dislike it because too much of the whole food gets extracted and discarded in the pulp. At the World’s Healthiest Foods, the whole, natural form of food is one aspect of food we try to preserve as much as possible. For some nutrients, almost 100% of the original nutrient quantity ends up in the pulp. You could add some pulp back in to help offset this nutrient loss, but few people would be willing to add all of the pulp back into the final juice. In general, the juice contains well under half of all original nutrients, and the majority wind up in the pulp, which does not get consumed.

Many juices that people make would also qualify as high in sugar, with carrot and beet being two of the vegetables that can result in a fairly high-sugar juice. We generally wouldn’t recommend overdoing it with either of these vegetables. Fruit juices or juices high in sugar are not good choices for diabetics because too much of the whole food fiber and related nutrients have been removed, which concentrates the sugar.

Since more fruits and vegetables go into the juice making process than would otherwise be eaten in whole form, food quality becomes especially important pulp and the juice. When you drink the juice, you are getting that portion of the residue. We always recommend purchase of organic fruits and vegetables, but even more so in the case of fruit and vegetable juicing because of the increased fruit and vegetable consumption.

So is the trade-off between more fruits and vegetables but loss of original nutrients a good one? If you would just not eat many vegetables and fruits otherwise, then yes. But we would also suggest experimenting with other ways of making whole foods more to your liking. While we believe juicing can have a routine place in a healthy meal plan, we strongly encourage you to stick with whole foods as your top priority when deciding what to eat, and not let juicing take over too much of your intake of fresh vegetables in their whole, solid form.

Blending versus juicing

Blending, however, is somewhat different. We assume that when foods are blended that all of the fruits or vegetables remains in the blender. In this case you are getting virtually all of the nutrients in the food – as well as the fiber- and therefore will not have such an impact on blood sugar levels. There may be a little but of loss from exposure to air and from the mechanical processing, but if you are not heating the foods or discarding any of its components, you are losing very little here - especially in comparison with juicing.

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