My clients are always telling me about these new juice drinks they find at the supermarket. You know the ones that say they pack in multiple servings of fruits and veggies or they’ll make you smarter, lower cholesterol or even boost your immunity. Many times folks fall for the hype and start drinking 2 or 3 bottles a day (they think more is better!). But before you take a sip, find out what these bottled beverages are really made of.
It’s a fact — studies show that people who eat more fruits and veggies have a lower risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Although these studies mean wholesome fruits and veggies (and the fiber found in them), food companies try to outsmart folks by bottling “juice drinks” made from some juice, added sugars, vitamins and preservatives — then they promote them as being just as good. They’re not.
You might see drinks that claim they have 2, 3, 5 or more (equivalent) servings of fruits or veggies. On top of that, they sometimes promise everything from increasing energy to boosting immunity to making you smarter. The reality is that the juice manufacturing process loses the fiber and can deplete the original benefits of the whole food — manufacturers then go back and add vitamins in again.
Studies also show that it takes longer to feel full when drinking juice (as opposed to solid foods) because the liquid calories don’t “register” in your brain as fast as food. This means it’ll take many more calories from juice to make you feel just as full as eating one fresh fruit.
With this in mind, I reviewed some popular brands and have some tips to keep in mind:
The Claim: You’ll get a fruit, veggie and numerous antioxidants in every cup.
The Truth: Ingredients listed on the bottle are reconstituted vegetables and a fruit juice blend — needless to say, the mix is processed. The antioxidants are listed in the ingredients, which means you’re not getting these nutrients from the fruit or veggies they used. Instead, the company has to add them in. The V-8 Splash is no better and contains high fructose corn syrup.
The Better Choice: V-8 100% Vegetable Juice