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Sep/Oct 2011
14
ASK THE EXPERT
JUICING:
WHAT ARE THE
HEALTH
BENEFITS?
Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.
Is juicing healthier than eating whole
fruits or vegetables?
Juicing probably is not any healthier
than eating whole fruits and vegetables.
Juicing extracts the juice from fresh
fruits or vegetables. The resulting liquid
contains most of the vitamins, minerals
and plant chemicals (phytonutrients)
found in the whole fruit. However, whole
fruits and vegetables also have healthy
fber, which is lost during most juicing.
Proponents say that juicing is better
for you than is eating whole fruits and
vegetables because your body can absorb
the nutrients better and it gives your
digestive system a rest from working on
fber. They say that juicing can reduce
your risk of cancer, boost your immune
system, help you remove toxins from your
body, aid digestion, and help you lose
weight.
But there’s no sound scientifc evidence
that extracted juices are healthier than
the juice you get by eating the fruit or
vegetable itself. On the other hand, if
you don’t enjoy eating fresh fruits and
vegetables, juicing may be a fun way to
add them to your diet or to try fruits and
vegetables you normally wouldn’t eat. You
can fnd many juicing recipes online or
mix up your own combinations of fruits
and vegetables to suit your taste.
If you do try juicing, make only as much
juice as you can drink at one time because
fresh squeezed juice can quickly develop
harmful bacteria. And when juicing, try
to keep some of the pulp. Not only does it
have healthy fber, but it can help fll you
up. If you buy commercially produced
fresh juice from a juicing stand or store,
select a pasteurized product. Note that
juices from some fruits and vegetables
can contain more sugar than you might
realize, and this can add unwanted
calories and lead to weight gain.
MULTIGRAIN VS.
WHOLE GRAIN:
WHICH IS
HEALTHIER?
Multigrain and whole grain are not
interchangeable terms. Whole grain means that
all parts of the grain kernel - the bran, germ and
endosperm - are used. In contrast, multigrain
means that a food contains more than one type
of grain; it doesn’t tell you whether they’re
whole or refned grains, or a mix of both.
Whole-grain foods are a healthy choice because
they contain nutrients, fber and other healthy
plant compounds found naturally in the grain.
Look for products that list the frst ingredient as
“whole grain,” “whole wheat” or “whole oats.”
Healthy adults should eat at least three 1-ounce
equivalents of whole grains a day as part of a
balanced diet.
I’m trying to eat a healthy diet. Is
multigrain the same thing as whole
grain? Which is the healthier choice?