Monday, January 16, 2012

Sip Your Way Skinny: Day 4- The Low Down on Juice

So what is the deal with fruit juice? Is anyone else confused about it?
Is it good for you? Bad?  Packed with nutrients? Contains too much sugar?
First it was good. Then it turned bad.... So which is it?

Well since it's Sip Your Way Skinny month here, I thought it's the perfect time to settle this. So I did some research and thought I'd share the cliff notes in case some of you are like me (spending time wondering about fruit juice...).

Here's what I found:

Top 7 Healthiest Juices:

1. Pomegranate Juice--People are really excited about this one and it's becoming increasingly popular. It has more antioxidants (known to help reduce risk of diseases, anywhere from altitude sickness to cancer) than green tea, and contains potassium and Vitamin C.

2. Blueberry Juice-- Not only is it delicious, it's very high in antioxidants, high in fiber, high in Vitamin C, low in calories, and is good for digestion.



3. Cranberry Juice--This one probably isn't a surprise. The rumors you've heard are true. This guy is high in antioxidants, high in Vitamin C, and the research does show that it can help reduce the risk and frequency of urinary tract infections. It can be very high in sugar though, because it's so tart, so be sure to read the label. Or if you're brave, try the no sugar added kind.

4. Cherry Juice--Again, high in antioxidants, (sorry if you're sick of reading that one, but it's one of the biggest factors used to determine how healthy a juice is), and it is also great to diminish exercise induced muscle injuries! (who knew?)


5. (Red) Grape Juice-- Studies have found that RED grape juice (not white) is good for your heart, has been shown to lower blood pressure, and contains potassium.

6. Tomato Juice--It's a great source of Vitamins A & C, high in antioxidants, it's also been found to strenghten your immune system, to help lower cholesterol, to be high in fiber, and to help prevent heart disease. But watch the labels here again, tomato juice is also known for being high in sodium.

7. Orange Juice--This one seems to be the most controversial. Some sites don't list is as one of the healthiest because it typically is so high in sugar, but on the others say, if it's fortified, and contains pulp, it really is a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, calcium, and omega 3s (linked to helping increase circulation and lower blood pressure, among other things).

Know how to read your labels:
Perhaps some of our confusion about the health benefits comes from the fact that a juice can be labeled as a fruit juice as long as it has 1% of actual fruit juice. Scary huh?

So when your shopping for juices, look for these things:

1. Avoid words like "Nectar", "Cockatil", "Beverage" "Concentrate", or "Drink", usually they're the ones that have a much lower percentage of real fruit juice
2. Try to find labels that say 100% fruit juice
3. Avoid "additives" when possible. The label will call them "addatives" or "flavors" in the ingredients.
4. Go for juices that DO contain pulp or puree. Usually, these juices keep more nutrients in preparation because things aren't being strained out.


According to our findings, fruit juice is still okay for you ! (YES!) Though it's better for you to eat the actual thing, juice is great for convenience and practicality.

But be very conscious of what you're buying and how much you're consuming. It's still true that most fruit juice contains a lot of sugar so either keep it to an 8oz glass per day, or add water or club soda to dilute it just a bit.

Hope this was helpful!
There's lots more reading if this sparks something.
(See our links below for where we got our research.) 

Done any research on this yourselves? What did you find? We'd love to hear!

Resources: Benefits of Tomato Juice, Nutrition Info for Juice from Real Simple, Info on Cherry Juice, Info on Fruit Juice, Label info 


1 comment:

  1. Gosh I wish I read this before I stood in the juice aisle for far too long last night...everything was so high in sugar even in the organic section!