I want you to be the healthiest you can be – this is a guide as to what juice you should be drinking to make you glow!
There's lots of conflicting information in the media about juices and their health benefits.
To start with here’s a quick outline of the current government sugar recommendations
Free sugar (added sugar, plus that naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices) should make up of no more than 10% of your calories of your daily energy intake i.e. 50g for women and 70g for men.
However many health experts feel that this needs to be cut down to 5%, and there has already been a draft report from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) urging this reduction. This would mean 25g for women and 35g for men.Some health experts feel we need even less or no sugar in our diets.
Lets get down to the juice of fruit juice
Pure fruit juice no matter whether fresh or not is BAD and I tell all my clients to avoid it.
Fruit juice is a highly concentrated source sugar with all fibre removed. This means that it can have detrimental effects on your blood sugar levels. A lot of people may say that this is fruit sugar and surely it must be more healthy than normal sugar.
The short answer is NO.
Fruit juice contains sugar in the form of fructose, which is broken down in your body to glucose, and will still have detrimental effects on your blood sugar, causing a major spike in your insulin levels. Elevated insulin levels are one of the primary drivers for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and weight gain.
Take a closer look at the sugar content of some typical fruit juices -
In a 500ml bottle of orange juice (which people regularly pick up from Pret a Manger) contains 51g of sugar – the equivalent to 13 McVities Hobnob biscuits. That’s almost the whole current recommendation for women in one bottle, and double if the new recommendation of 25g goes ahead.
In a 350ml portion of Coca Cola and apple juice:
Coca Cola: 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons)
Apple juice: 165 calories and 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoons)
Starting your day with a glass of apple or orange juice is a setting yourself up for a blood sugar roller coaster. Consuming large quantities of sugar will cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Your insulin levels will sky rocket to lower your blood sugar and does this by pushing sugar into your cells, with excess sugar accumulating as fat. Once dealt with, your blood sugar levels will drop. However, the higher and more rapid the shoot in blood sugar, the sharper and more rapid drop in blood sugar, rendering you to have low blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugar will leave you feeling fatigued, you may get brain fog, you'l be irritable, shaky, you will have sweet cravings or cravings for stimulant drinks such as caffeine to raise your energy levels and give you a quick fix. The cycle then starts again.
The small amounts of vitamins and antioxidants in the fruit juice do NOT make up for the large amount of sugar.
Can you have normal fruit?
The healthier option would be to consume the whole fruit with the fibre rather than drink the juice. The fibre bulks up the fruit causing it to be a less concentrated source of sugar. Fibre also slows the release of sugar into your blood stream, therefore will be less detrimental to your blood sugar levels.
If you are overweight, have diabetes or high blood pressure it’s best limiting fruits. Choose a handful a day of low sugar fruits such as berries and definitely stay away from high sugar tropical fruits.
What juice can you drink - don't throw away your juicers yet!
If you have bought a home juicer don’t be in a hurry to throw it away. There are some great healthy juices you can make and enjoy. Many of the juice bars which are popping up everywhere around London do actually serve healthy juices. The best options are to go for vegetable based juices.
Vegetable juices can be cleansing, detoxifying and refreshing. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in forms which are easily absorbed by the body. Yes the fibre has been taken away, but the juice is low in sugar and so nutrient packed you are going reap benefits. It’s a quick and easy way of upping your nutrient intake.
By taking sugar out of your diet completely, you can re-train your pallet and you will actually start to find fruit juice far too sweet. If you find drinking vegetable juices hard to start with, try making the base of your juice with vegetables and add a little fruit to sweeten.
Try some of these healthy juices...
kale, spinach, Swiss chard, celery, cucumber, ginger, lime
apple, cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, lemon
pineapple, apple, kale, Swiss chard, lemon, ginger, mint
carrot, beetroot, ginger
beetroot, carrot, apple, fennel, celeriac, Jerusalem artichoke, horseradish
carrot, orange, fennel, turmeric, ginger, argan oil
carrot, lime and ginger
cucumber, apple, fennel, parsley, lemon
beetroot, carrot, cucumber, apple & herb
There are some great juice bars and cafes to purchase your vegetable based juices around London-
Raw Press www.rawpress.co
C Press - www.cpressjuice.com
Juice Baby - www.juicebaby.co.uk
Lomax Café - www.lomaxpt.com
Roots and Bulbs - www.rootsandbulbs.com
Blend and Press - blendandpress.com
The Detox Kitchen – detoxkitchen.co.uk
Thank you, Lily x
Lily Soutter Bsc (Hons) Nutrition, Dip ION, mBANT, CNHC
Lily is a Nutritionist and weight loss expert providing one-to-one nutrition consultations for health optimisation. She has obtained a Food and Human Nutrition degree from Newcastle University and a Nutritional Therapy diploma from The Institute of Optimum Nutrition. Lily has an extensive knowledge of the science of food and health, which enables her to regularly write for The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Mirror, Women's Health, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan.
For one-to-one nutrition consultations:
07929 392166 firstname.lastname@example.org