Once the stuff of late-night infomercials and fringe health nuts, juices and smoothies have become some of the most popular ways to add more produce to any diet. But you shouldn't treat all spinach-tinged concoctions the same: Both juicing and blending have tasty upsides and less palatable downsides, says Chicago dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner. We compare the two.


What It Does:
Extracts liquid from produce

Fresh pressed juice is like a tastier, easier-to-swallow multivitamin: It lets you consume in one sitting more servings of fruits and vegetables than many people eat in an entire day. And if gastrointestinal issues have you shunning fiber-rich produce, juicing is a smart way to get your vitamins and minerals without too much gas or cramping, says New Orleans dietitian Molly Kimball.

While you can jam several pieces of produce into one celery-spinach-collards-apple-ginger drink, you're also concentrating calories and sugar. "If you're juicing three apples, that's roughly 200 calories," says Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet. Those three apples also contain about 40 grams of sugar—more than a Snickers bar. Without the fiber contained in the apple's flesh, that sugar can rush into the bloodstream, potentially causing a blood sugar spike and a subsequent crash.

Quick Tip:
According to Blatner, a serving of vegetables can have three to five times fewer calories and far less sugar than fruits, so she suggests you go for at least a 50–50 ratio. And don't let all the green stuff scare you off—Blatner says as little as a half cup of mango can mask the veggie taste in one eight-ounce drink without adding much sugar.


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