Cold-pressed juice stores have been popping up across the nation, and with A-list celebrities like Beyoncé backing up the craze, it is estimated that it has become a $3 to $5 billion dollar industry1 . But is a $10 bottle of juice really the cure for everything from weight loss to detoxification as many claim it to be? Read on to find out!

The benefits:

  • Juicing is an easy way to consume a large amounts of vegetables and fruit in a small volume
  • If you hate the bitter taste of kale, blending it up with some pineapple and strawberries means you have found a way to trick your taste buds but still get all of the nutrients from the bitter green
  • It’s a good way to use up produce that would otherwise go to waste

Well, what is cold-pressed juicing? Cold-pressed juicing is the process of squeezing the juice from the fruit or vegetable while eliminating the fibrous pulp. Special machines are used to slowly extract the juices without heat2 Juice found at the grocery store is often pasteurized, which means that it is heated to kill any harmful bacteria that might be hiding in the juice, such as Salmonella, E. coli and parasites3 This gives the juice a longer shelf life, while protecting the public’s safety. People have claimed that cold-press juicing is better for two main reasons: the lack of heat preserves all the good enzymes and nutrients normally found in juice and the lack of fibre helps the body absorb these nutrients a lot faster2. However

Juicing Unveiled. Currently there is no scientifically-sound evidence to show that the preserved enzymes and nutrients have this effect. There is some research on juicing and the immune system but many of the benefits are associated with the fact that you’re eating fruits and vegetables, whether it’s in a juice or not. However, with a lack of fibre, all the nutrients in the juice, including the sugar, will be absorbed by the body a lot faster4 . In fact, the sugar content in juice may be the reason you feel energized at first. Depending on what’s in your juice, the sugar content can lead to spikes in blood sugar, which, in the short term, may leave you feeling hungrier faster. Unlike sugar, fibre makes you feel a lot more full, which is why eating the actual fruit or vegetables is a lot more filling than drinking it in liquid form6 . Since juicing machines extract the “pulp” of the fruit, rather than wasting all the fibre add it back to your juice to get the extra benefits. If you don’t like the taste you can add it to your cooking- to a muffin batter, soup, rice, or pasta.  

More doesn’t necessarily mean better. Although juicing is a quick and easy way to get in your daily fruit and vegetable needs, it isn’t necessarily a better alternative to its whole fruit or vegetable counterpart. Too much juice can lead to diarrhea, cavities, gas, bloating, abdominal pain and other unpleasant side effects7. Despite the claims of having additional enzymes and nutrients, cold-pressed juice hasn’t been shown to be better than regular juice. Even if there are additional nutrients, there isn’t enough proof to show that it is significant enough to miraculously cure cancer or illness. When juicing many of the nutritious fibres are strained out of the juice, so for this reason think about trying smoothies as well – you get to consume the whole fruit this way and thus reap more nutritional benefits!

Juice responsibly. Cold-pressed juices may be an easy way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, but it’s also a pricey way of doing so. Juice is also a fairly concentrated source of calories. For example, a cup of fresh pineapple may contain about 85 calories, versus a cup of pineapple juice which contains upwards of 120 calories. A cup of pomegranate has about 12g of sugar which is quite reasonable, but its juice counterpart can have tripled that with a staggering 37g of sugar because it’s so concentrated. Bottom line- the occasional glass of juice is fine, but to maintain a healthy diet, your best bet is to choose the whole fruit or vegetable instead. Juice wisely!

Jane Skapinker

Registered Dietitian

References

  1. Cold-pressed juice: Convenient and superior nutrition or a fad? (2015, June 23). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://globalnews.ca/news/2071480/cold-pressed-juice-convenient-and-superior-nutrition-or-a-fad/
  2. Juicers – Which one is right for you? (2013, November 6). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from https://thebigcarrot.ca/nc/departments/juice-bar/juice-bar-single/bc/d/c/juicers-which-one-is-right-for-you/
  3. Unpasteurized juice and cider. (2013, January 9). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/safety-salubrite/fruits-vegetables-legumes-fruits/unpasteurized-pasteurises-eng.php
  4. Juicing 3.0: Cold-pressed juice takes over Toronto | Toronto Star. (2015, May 28). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine/2015/05/28/juicing-30-cold-pressed-juice-takes-over-toronto.html
  5. Muraki, I., Imamura, F., Manson, J., Hu, F., Willett, W., Dam, R., & Sun, Q. (2013). Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: Results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ, 2013(347), F5001-F5001. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5001
  6. Food Sources of Soluble Fibre. (2014, July 27). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Fibre/Food-Sources-of-Fibre.aspx
  7. Iannelli, V. (2014, December 16). How Much Juice Is Too Much ? – Pediatric Nutrition. Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/fruit_juice.htm

Monday, January 8, 2018 in
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