Squeezing the Truth Out of Juicing

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a new policy statement regarding juice consumption, stating juice should not be introduced to infants before 1 year unless clinically indicated and should be limited for toddlers, children, and teens.

In the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, the federal government allows juice to count as a serving of fruit yet urges Americans to consume primarily whole fruits for the benefits Juice, Juice Bar, Juicing
dietary fiber provides. Meanwhile, Instagram feeds are chock-full of “green juice” posts and business continues to boom at juice bars, leaving many people perplexed about whether or not juice fits into a healthy adult’s diet. It’s time to squeeze the truth out of the longstanding juicing trend.

Juice is simply the liquid extracted from fruits and vegetables, leaving the fibrous material behind. Fruits and vegetables are primarily sources of carbohydrates, containing natural sugars that provide their trademark sweetness. Carbohydrates tend to digest quickly in comparison to other macronutrients, but the presence of fiber as in whole fruit helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream leading to greater satiety and less of a spike in blood sugar levels.

Juice is often promoted as a health food, a substance to cleanse or detoxify the body, or a means to lose weight. To set the record straight: juice is not needed for health, nor does it cleanse the body. The body has vital organs responsible for detoxification, and no one food causes weight gain or loss.

Though labels on bottles of juice boast containing the juice of 2 apples, 2 cucumbers, a cup each of spinach and kale, blueberries, and strawberries, most people could not imagine sitting down to eat all of this produce in one sitting! Downing a glass of juice is not the same as eating several servings of fruit just as sipping chicken broth is not the same as eating a chicken breast.

Still, juice can be a valuable source of vitamins and minerals on days it’s difficult to consume adequate fruits and veggies. Since most of the fiber is left behind during processing, juice is ideal for those with medical conditions warranting a low fiber diet. Similarly, individuals who struggle to take in adequate energy or have high calorie needs may incorporate juice for additional nourishment without filling up on fiber. For these individuals, the inclusion of juice boosts variety and consumption of important nutrients their bodies need.

Medical conditions and energy needs aside, let’s not forget this most basic truth about juice: Sometimes a cold, sweet glass of juice is just plain delicious and refreshing, and it’s perfectly normal to select foods (and beverages) purely for enjoyment from time to time.

Still deciding whether to juice or not to juice? Keep these strategies in mind:

  • Use your God-given juicers (aka teeth) most of the time. With consumption of more whole fruits and vegetables comes greater satiety, more fiber, and a slower pace.
  • To minimize peaks and valleys in blood sugar and appetite, incorporate appropriately sized portions of juice (typically ~1/2 – 1 cup) as part of a meal or snack rather than sipping it throughout the day or drinking it alone.
  • Add juice into smoothies with Greek yogurt or whey protein for a satisfying, balanced snack or consider blending your fruit rather than juicing it for a higher fiber beverage.

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Food Trends and FNCE Highlights: Conference Recap

From the moment I drove into Nashville, it was non-stop food and nutrition with around 10,000 of my closest Registered Dietitian friends. The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics hosted their annual Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) on October 3-6th, 2015 at Music City Center. This conference never fails to provide great opportunities for networking, over 140 sessions on a variety of hot topics in the nutrition world, and an expo filled with over 300 exhibitors sharing the latest products and food trends.

Saturday

To kick off the conference, master innovator and former president of Trader Joe’s, Doug Rauch presented his keynote address: “An Innovative Solution to the Hunger Problem” at the opening session. He recently founded Daily Table (read their mission statement and story here). According to Rauch, Daily Table provides affordable food that moves people forward.

Did you know?

  • 1 in 6 Americans are hungry. Many may have enough calories but not enough nutrients.
  • Code dates and expiration dates are not federally mandated, and many Americans do not understand how to read code dates anyway. For example, Rauch showed a photo of honey with a code date on it, but did you know that honey never expires?
  • Between one-third and 40% of the food grown in the U.S. is never eaten. Lettuce is often thrown away simply because it won’t fit in a bag or box.

These statistics and facts about food waste were eye-opening, but Rauch says “All of us together can, and will, make a difference.”

Sunday

Sunday sessions began at 8:00am sharp. Whew! Here are the sessions I attended on Sunday (By the way, these sessions will soon be available to purchase, download, and listen to at home by following the links below):

Claim the Spotlight! Beyond Traditional Media: Videos, Podcasts, and Self-Publishing (Speakers: Julie Beyer & Melissa Joy Dobbins)

  • Who knows what you’ll see from me in the future?!

Interrogating Host Microbiota Dynamics in Diet, the Metabolome, and Disease (Speakers: Charlene Compher & Gary Wu)

  • What we eat shapes the composition of our microbiome which can in turn change our disease risk. Check back tomorrow, and you’ll see how all of this new research about the gut microbiome is affecting food trends…stay tuned!

Satiety Regulation and Measurement: Can Appetite Be Controlled? (Speakers: John Blundell & Richard Mattes)

  • We talk about hunger and satiety all the time in our office. This session focused on various factors that impact food choices and satiety (specific tastes, food labels, textures, food components, digestibility, etc.) and how eating frequency, portion sizes, and composition and timing of meals impact satiety levels throughout the day.

After brunching with Leslie Schilling on Sunday, we headed to the Expo floor to meet up with Rebecca Scritchfield…it was there the trend-spotting began…

Rebecca Scritchfield, Leslie Schilling, Blair Mize with Sabra HummusI promise we were working…

Sunday evening, I was invited to a Rooftop Reception and Tweet Up hosted by Food & Nutrition Magazine and sponsored by StarKist, Lekue World, CanolaInfo, and National Peanut Board. It was a great evening chatting face to face with many RDs I normally only get to chat with through e-mail and social media!

Networking with fellow RDs at Food & Nutrition Reception
It was an honor to share my Music City Barbecue Sauce recipe with Food & Nutrition Magazine this year! The recipe was featured in the FNCE 2015 issue of the magazine.

Food & Nutrition Magazine Music City Barbecue SauceMonday

After an early morning (hilly) run, I attended the following sessions on Monday:

The Young Female Athlete: Medicine & Physiology (Speaker: Albert Hergenroeder)

  • This speaker provided such a refreshing, realistic, and experienced perspective on health (especially bone health) and training for the female athlete.

Meant for Each Other: Health At Every Size and Motivational Interviewing (Speakers: Ellen Glovsky & Molly Kellogg)

  • This was probably my favorite session of the whole conference. You know from this post that I’m all about eliminating weight bias, and these speakers gave concrete examples of how to practice weight neutrality while using motivational interviewing. They encouraged practitioners to affirm patients and clients based on behaviors, attitude changes, and personal discoveries rather than on weight.
  • This session would be worth a listen for anyone who needs help addressing concerns about weight with a loved one.
  • Though there are mixed opinions about how a person should be counseled on nutrition, fellow RD Reba Sloan made a good point, “I’ve never treated anyone who didn’t diet their way to obesity.”

Food for Recovery: Resolving Malnutrition and Disordered Eating Patterns in Addiction and Substance Abuse Populations (Speakers: Steven Karp & Megan Kniskern)

  • Did you know that RDs can support mental health and play an active role in detox by getting the addict nourished? The body and brain must be fed before true recovery can begin. In other words, food is the best medicine!

With so many booths at the expo, I took a time-out from sessions for Day 2 of trend-spotting…

Angie Wallick, Blair Mize, and Sara Foley at Raspberry booth at FNCE
Siggi's Yogurt Booth at FNCE

What can I say? Work hard, play hard…

After stopping by the Ketchum Reception for a bit, it was time for dinner at Husk…delicious!

Tuesday

Tuesday morning wrapped up FNCE 2015 for this RD…I attended the following 2 morning sessions:

Mastering Your Domain: Using Technology to Grow Your Business Online (Speakers: Regan Jones & Anne Mauney)

  • I’ll be using lots of these tools and ideas discussed in this session starting on this blog post! Dietitian or not, if you blog or use social media, this session would be a great listen!

Supplement Savvy: Playing Safe, Smart, and Legal (Speaker: Ellen Coleman)

  • Ellen Coleman did a fabulous job of keeping us engaged on a topic where it could be all too easy to get bogged down in *potentially dangerous* ingredients you can’t spell or pronounce. 😉 One tip she gave, “If your supplement contains more ingredients than a Big Mac, don’t take it.”
  • Check out USA Today’s Supplement Investigations and this Supplement 411 YouTube video before taking any more supplements.

After this non-stop, whirlwind trip to the Music City, the only thing between me and home was a 3 hour drive! I was ready to get back to my family and my own bed (although my friend Emily’s cot was surprisingly comfy!), and I am looking forward to sharing even more information with you and my wonderful clients.

FNCE 2015 was a huge success!


Want to hear more FNCE highlights and food trends? Tomorrow, check out the Top 5 Trends that stuck out to me at FNCE 2015.