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Is it time to ditch the juice?

In recent years ‘juicing’, ‘juice cleanses’ and the seemingly never-ending stream of juice shops on the high street have become almost inescapable. This goes alongside the increases in variety and quantity of fruit juices available at local supermarkets, vending machines and in local eateries. The issue is, the case against drinking juice as a health trend is stronger than ever.

Juices are undeniably high in sugar and very low in dietary fibre. Recent research from the American College of Cardiology, experts scrutinised juices — and wrote that “whole food consumption is preferred” over a liquid diet. This is because whole food contains a large amount of dietary fibre which helps you stay full longer – avoiding cravings – but also helping your body digest the sugar that you have taken in. In Time Magazine, dietitian Cynthia Sass states “While your body likes the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (in juice), juices lack fibre and don’t require chewing, so they’re less satiating than whole produce,”.

To use this concept in context, when you eat an apple or an orange the fibre in the fruit helps slow the absorption of the sugars into the blood. This prevents spikes in blood sugars. However, if you drink a juice, there is no fibre to slow the digestive process and thus the absorption of sugar is instantaneous. This in turn can lead to fluctuating energy levels and insulin spikes. Further down the line, insulin spikes can contribute towards weight gain and type 2 diabetes.

If you are partial to a juice however it is important to remember to take them in moderation. Furthermore, substituting some fruit for fresh vegetables can help reduce the sheer quantity of sugar within the juice. Likewise, having a smoothie instead of a juice can be more beneficial due to the increased dietary fibre within the drink.

This being said, at Healthy Nibbles we recommend staying hydrated and drinking water as part of a balanced diet. Similarly, if you need some variety or have that occasional juice craving, we offer a range of flavoured teas and waters that will quench your thirst without the high quantities of sugar found in high street juices.