Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tricky, tricky... sweet and sticky.

When you see this picture to the right, what is the first adjective that comes to mind?

Tasty? Yes.

Sweet? Yes

Refreshing? Yes.

Healthy? Not so fast.

You see many juices, although full of healthy vitamins and minerals are still high in sugar content. Even if it's 100% pure juice. 

At this point many of you may be feeling as if you've been lied to.Juices are supposed to be the antithesis of soda, energy drinks and other garbage we dump into our bellies. 

But take a look at the table below, and you'll see that for many people who live on juice, it may the kiss of an enemy.

12 ounces of >>>>>>>    Coca-Cola   Orange Juice   Apple Juice    Cherry Juice    Grape Juice
Total carbohydrates  40 g  39 g  42 g  49.5 g  60 g
Carbs from sugar  40 g  33 g  39 g  37.5 g  58.5 g
Sugar (teaspoons)  10 tsp  8 tsp  10 tsp  9 tsp  15 tsp
Calories  145 165 165 210 240

So looking at this chart, a Coke would be your best bet if you're trying to cut calories. Now I want everybody to have juice because there is no way you're going to get vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and other key vitamins and minerals from a Coke. But I don't want you to have the sugar.

Remember, excess sugar causes the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is a major energy storing hormone that has the potential to add unwanted fat to your frame!

So here are 4 ways to get the good stuff from the juice without the devastating sugar impact. 
  1. Use a smaller glass. Back in the '50s families used to have "juice glasses" that were used specifically for juice. These cups were only 4-6 ounces and were the perfect size for a breakfast "treat."
  2. Dilute your juice. I love cranberry juice. But it's pretty high in sugar as well. So I make my own little "cranberry splash on the rocks." Fill a regular glass with ice, then fill it 2/3 with water and then top it off with cranberry juice. You get a nice cold refreshing drink with cranberry flavor and actually is probably about 2-3 ounces of cranberry juice.
  3. Use a juice mixture in homemade salad dressing. This is a great idea because now you're taking control of your meals and not subject to the hoard of cream based dressings. The book Gourmet Nutrition has a section towards the back that shows you how to make your own dressings. Another good reason to pick up this awesome book. For a $10 discount, send me an email and I'll tell you how!
  4. Add juice to plain yogurt. Plain yogurt can be a bit tart. But you can make your own flavored yogurt by adding a splash of juice to plain yogurt for flavored yogurt. By doing this you will reduce the insulin response due to the protein and fat in the yogurt. Protein and fat slow digestion and as a result will decrease the rate of insulin release.
  5. BONUS TIP - Anytime you are having a carbohydrate to eat or drink, you need to have a protein source with it. Protein slows down digestion and speeds up metabolism!

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