Healthy Hollywood: Ask Keri Glassman -To Juice Or Not To Juice?

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet, and health questions.

Want to know which foods to curb sugar cravings? Or, what should you eat before a workout? Ask Keri anything!

Keri will choose one great question a week to be answered Thursday in our Healthy Hollywood column.

To submit questions for Keri, click HERE!

This week’s question…

“Juicing! Everyone I know is doing it! Is it better for me to juice my produce than to eat it whole?” – Emma B., Potomac, MD

Keri says…

To juice or not to juice? This seems to be the million dollar question. Whether you are considering juicing as a way to “cleanse” or as a healthy part of your everyday lifestyle, it’s important to know all the “juicy” details.

Juicing is the process of taking a veggie or fruit and extracting the juice, leaving behind the pulp and skin. Sound refreshing? Well, freshly squeezed juice isn’t the only sweet benefit derived from this process! Juicing can be a fast and easy way to meet your daily vegetable and fruit needs. The excuse “I’m just too busy to get in my greens” doesn’t apply here. Don’t like certain vegetables and fruit? That’s the beauty of juicing. You can create a blend of vegetables with a little fruit that improves the taste and enables you to receive vitamins and minerals you would otherwise miss out on. And as an added bonus, you can prepare a large batch of your blended beverage of choice to replenish yourself over the course of a couple days. Cheers to that!

While juicing has its bountiful benefits, it may also put you in a sticky situation. By drinking your vegetables and fruit, you end up losing out on the good-for-you fiber. Fiber helps keep blood sugar levels steady, lower cholesterol, and leaves you feeling full and satisfied. Because juiced vegetables and fruits are fiber-deprived, you lose out on these fiber-full perks! Even worse, you may think only store-bought juices contain vast amount of calories but I bet you didn’t know that home-squeezed juices aren’t any different. The sugar and calories really add up especially when you add in a lot of fruit, since you need more than one serving to make a cup of juice. All those extra veggies and fruits can also get a little costly. It’s simple; you need more so you spend more! Fresh juice can last for a few days at a time, but it is best to squeeze only as much as you can drink in one sitting (or walking if you’re on-the-go). Many juices will be fine up for up to three days in a refrigerator, but because they aren’t pasteurized, they can quickly develop harmful bacteria. I prefer to drink mine the day I juice if not, the hour I juice!

Whether you’re a “whole”-foodie or juice-fanatic, what matters most is that you get in your vegetables (and a little fruit) in some way, shape, or form. Whole fruits and veggies are the optimal way, but if juicing gets you to drink them, then drink up! While juicing has both its sweet and sour sides, there are certain things to remember: keep sugar and calories low by using mostly greens and just a little fruit, add some of the pulp that is lost in the juicing process back into the juice (it has healthy fiber and fills you up), and drink responsibly by making green juices a part of your healthy lifestyle. My fave way to drink greens is with a handful of nuts as an afternoon snack.

-- Terri MacLeod & Keri Glassman

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