Smoothies vs Juice

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‘Tis the season for new years resolutions! For many, that means detoxing from a season of indulgence with a juice fast. But is juicing the healthiest way to load up on antioxidants?

When cutting back on soda, some people use juice as a “healthier” way to satisfy their cravings for sweet beverages, as well as a tasty way to sneak in some extra vegetables. While juice is a natural source of many vitamins and minerals, and definitely a step up from soda, it is not a necessary part of a healthy diet, and in fact, is less healthy than eating the fruits and vegetables themselves.

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By discarding the pulp and solids (the difference between juicing and making a smoothie), you are missing out on the fiber and some of the micronutrients. This is one reason that I am not a huge proponent of “juice fasts”. If you are looking to consume a diet high in fiber and antioxidants, don’t just sip nature’s sugar water; eat the whole fruit! Additionally, do not be fooled into thinking that juice is a low calorie or no calorie beverage. Many juices pack just as much sugar and calories per cup as soda.

Smoothies, on the other hand, contain the whole fruit, rather than just the sugary juice. And contrary to popular opinion, blending fruits and greens up in a blender does not make the fiber disappear. The tip to keeping a smoothie healthy is to keep the ingredients healthy: whole fruits (berries, bananas, mango, etc), greens (kale, spinach), and optional healthy extras (organic, plain yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, organic cottage cheese, chia seeds, ground flaxseed). Don’t add juice or sweetened yogurt to your smoothie, as that defeats the purpose. With all of these solid ingredients, a heavy duty blender (such as a Vitamix) works best. However, I make smoothies in my knock-off magic bullet, and it works just fine.

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Looking for healthy smoothie recipes to get you started?

And for those of you that would still like to give juicing a try, these six fruit and veggie combos look delicious!

- Kelly

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Smoothies vs Juice

  1. Good points, though I was abit confused by the sentences: ‘Additionally, do not be fooled into thinking that juice is a low calorie or no calorie beverage. Many juices pack just as much sugar and calories per cup as soda.’ Are you referring to natural fats that are soluable in the body and necessary for body or added and perhaps unhealthy fats added to juices? Also do you mean naturally alkalizing and soluable fruit glucose ‘sugar’ as the same as refined White table sugar in commerical fizzy drinks, or to table sugar/other controversial sweeteners added to juice?

    I agree that smoothies are preferable in comparison to filtered versions to make fruit juices (like off the shelve cartons of juice) and contain more nourishment. Though my impression of ‘juice detoxing’ was that the whole fruit/veg/plant is fully liquidized i.e. blended further than a smoothie so still contains everything and is easier to drink for some and not as filling.

    x

    http://fashionthatpays.wordpress.com

    • Great questions! To answer your first question, I am not referring to fats at all, I am referring to calories. Calories can come from carbohydrates, protein, fat, and alcohol, but in juice, nearly all calories come from carbohydrates, with very little fat to speak of. And while the sugars present in 100% juice are indeed natural fruit sugars, they are very concentrated (as opposed to eating the whole fruit) and therefore are quickly absorbed (spiking blood sugar, rather than slowly raising it). In juice detoxing, many commercial juicers don’t blend further than a smoothie, but rather leave pulp and fibers discarded, leaving the consumer with just the juice (hence, juicing). Hope this helps!

      • Ah thank you, very interesting to know just how far people take ‘detoxing’ to the point where even unrefined (hopefully non-gm) gluten free plant carbs are considered undesirable even though many people stay away from carbs because of gluten (mixing up the notion of where gluten comes from and so use the word ‘carb’ and ‘gluten’ interchangeably like mixing up ‘sodium’ with ‘salt’) and the fear of them turning into non-soluble fat i.e. weight rather than being used for bodily processes. It’s no wonder then if people who’ve been juicing via discarding the bulk of the plant look and feel lighter/more mobile but the health benefits tend to show physically in the body yet not reach the face. The faces, though more youthful/radiant than before juicing, still don’t look as refreshed, the tiredness and age doesn’t quite reach the revitalized achievement of the rest of the body i.e. weight loss/improved digestion.

        It’s a shame, the body needs saline solution for the most essential functioning so it’s sad that those who have to worry about blood sugar levels who really want something sweet have little choice from natural alternatives to refined White sugar.

  2. Nice blog girl! It made me want to make a smoothie!

  3. Herbal and Ayurvedic Product

    Great Blog!! That was amazing. Your thought processing is wonderful. The way you tell the thing is awesome.

    herbalhills

  4. Pingback: 10 Healthy Breakfasts in Under 10 Minutes | Kelly Toups, RD, LDN

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