With just a few more days left of Spring Break(fast), I wanted to clear up some of what you may or may not know about JUICE. Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? Should you feed it to your kids? Well, the answer to all of these questions is: it depends.
See, juice comes in quite a few varieties, and the way juice is made is what determines if it’s healthy or not. Most of the time, there will be so much added sugar to juice that we don’t really consider it healthy anyway, but there are always some exceptions. Let me start off by saying that if your juice is “from concentrate,” which it says on the front of the bottle if it is, you’re not actually drinking any healthy fruits at all. Rather, you’re drinking tons of fruit that has been processed into plain old SUGAR. Drinking juice from concentrate makes your insulin superheroes have to work really hard, because you are dumping sugar into your body with no fiber to counteract it! A step up from this kind of juice would be fruit juice that is not from concentrate. You can read the ingredients on the back of your juice bottle to see if any of the ingredients are from concentrate. If the ingredients come from natural fruit products, that’s definitely healthier than fruits simply processed into sugar. Unfortunately, these products generally have a lot of sugar added to them, and still don’t have a lot of fiber if you buy pulp-free, so you’re still putting a huge sugar stress on your body! A lot of juices have more sugar than some soda brands do, so it’s important that you check the label for sugar content before buying a juice. By far, the best juice you can drink is juice that is freshly squeezed out of a whole fruit. If you go to a juice bar (like the one at Whole Foods Market), you are likely to get some freshly squeezed juice. Be aware, though, if you don’t ask for extra pulp, you won’t get it, and the fiber in pulp is going to work wonders to help you digest the sugars that naturally occur in fruit.
If you have small children, a lot of their juice boxes are filled with juice from concentrate, which is basically just liquid sugar. This can take its toll on their bodies, so make sure to check your juice label to see just how good it is before buying!