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Why You Should AVOID 100% JuiceThe majority of my fluid intake comes from either water, green tea, or my morning cup of Joe.  Oh, and I can’t resist an occasional glass of organic whole milk with a cookie or cornbread muffin…So delicious.

I also have 2 little ones in the house so I do occasionally buy juice, particularly when they are sick with a cold and don’t feel like eating or drinking.  Juice is not an everyday thing for them though.

So, if I’m not buying 100% juice then what do I buy?  Usually it is a fruit and vegetable juice blend that is diluted with water.  Occasionally I buy a diluted fruit juice blend.  The point here is that often times people shop for 100% juice when the healthiest versions of juices aren’t labeled as so, even though they are simply 100% juice with added water.  Keep in mind I am not promoting daily juice intake,  as that may contribute to weight gain and/or make it more difficult to lose weight.  But am a believer that there is a time and a place for anything in our diets.

4 Reasons Not to Buy 100% Fruit Juices:

  1. They contain more calories (and sugar) per ounce than most sodas.  The average soda is about 90-100 calories per 8 oz (or about 140-150 calories per 12 oz can).  Orange juice has an average of 110 calories per 8 oz, grape juice is one of the highest with 150 calories per 8 oz, and unsweetened grapefruit juice is one of the lowest with about 90 calories per 8 oz.
  2. Liquid calories from sugar don’t fill us up.  If you were to replace juice with an equally caloric food you would be more satiated from the food.  What happens if food doesn’t fill you up?  You will be hungry, right?  If you are hungry you will eat more, making weight management more difficult.
  3. Most juice in the store has been pasteurized.  Pasteurization kills many of the nutrients so they have to add vitamin C back in after it’s been pasteurized.  But what about the other nutrients?  Are they not important?
  4. Juice is missing most of the good stuff.  The pulp, skin and seeds of many fruits are highly nutritious and full of vitamins and phytonutrients (plant nutrients).  The 100’s of phytonutrients that are in different fruits (and veggies) are thought to work together to help our bodies be healthier.  If you strip away a large chunk of the fruit by juicing it then you are missing a large chuck of the fruit’s health benefits.

5 Alternatives to 100% Juice

  • Eat the fruit instead.  For more info check out my post: Eat your Juice  where you will also find some great drink recipes.
  • Dilute your juice with water or club soda or buy pre-diluted juices.  Tip: Many of the pre-diluted juices are marketed towards kids and cost just as much per ounce if not more.  It is significantly cheaper to dilute it at home.  Also keep in mind, even if it’s diluted you really should try not to drink too much as the empty calories will make it harder to manage your weight.
  • Try to get yourself accustomed to not needing to drink sweet things.  If you always drink something sweet your brain will start to feel like it needs something sweet.  On the flip side, you can also train your brain to not need something sweet.
  • Don’t forget about good old water.  The stuff we were made to drink.  Add a lemon or lime to freshen it up.
  • Green tea.  If it is too bitter for your taste buds try adding mint to it.  Green tea also has a slight thermogenic effect, though I wouldn’t rely on it for any significant weight loss.

Though weight management isn’t the only outcome of a healthy diet it is an important one.  If you are interested in losing weight please contact me at or on my contact page above.

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Dina Garcia, RD, LDN
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