UA Matters: Juicing and Smoothie Considerations
Trendy diets during hot weather are all the rage, especially when it comes to the various juicing and smoothie programs that are being advertised on the market today.
Though promoted as an easy and refreshing way to lose weight and consume more vitamins and minerals, it is important to consult with your physician or other health care provider before starting any kind of juicing or smoothie program.
The University of Alabama’s Sheena Quizon Gregg shares a few things to keep in mind before incorporating a juicing or smoothie regimen as part of your regular dietary intake.
- Juicing removes the fibrous parts of any fruit or vegetable, leaving behind only the juice and potential vitamin and mineral content. The removal of fiber during juice extraction, as well as the little calorie content consumed, can leave the consumer unsatisfied and at risk for craving high calorie items later on in the day.
- If juicing is used as a way to concentrate consumption of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, combining a juice beverage with other meal components, such as a lean protein and whole grain starch, can provide satiety and adequate calories for efficient and effective weight management.
- Smoothies can provide a convenient and satisfying way to incorporate fruit and vegetable intake while maintaining the beneficial plant fiber within the produce. Adding a protein component, such as nuts or a protein powder, along with a healthy fat source, such as avocado, can make your smoothie a well-rounded meal or snack replacement.
- Caution should be taken with adding multiple ingredients to smoothies as calories can quickly add up depending on the type of ingredients used. Being mindful of measured portions of ingredients can help the consumer keep track of the calorie and overall nutrition content of the beverage.
- Juicing and smoothie regimens may pose problems for those with various chronic conditions, including diabetes and renal disease. It is best to consult with your physician or registered dietitian before beginning a beverage program of this nature.
Websites such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org) provide various recipe ideas as you decide to incorporate juices or smoothies into your summer routine.
Quizon Gregg is the assistant director of Health Education and Prevention for UA’s Office of Health Promotion and Wellness.
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