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Juicing vs Blending vs Eating Raw Vegetables

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I've been pondering the purchase of a juicer in order to eat healthier. But I'm still struggling with the notion that it is inherently "better" for you as all the websites and juicing ads tell you.

What I do know is that juicing strips the fiber away from the veggies. The claim from the pro-juicers is that's okay, since your digestive system will work better without all that fiber. They also claim that when you eat a raw vegetable, your digestive tract uses most of the nutrition from the vegetable to digest it, which negates the overall value/impact you get... and that juicing eliminates this waste created in your system.

Pro juicers also claim that a cup of juiced carrots gives you the nutritional value of eating 2-3 cups of chopped raw carrots, since the juice is more rapidly and easily absorbed into the blood stream.

The other option is blending, where the pulp and fiber are not extracted. What I'm told is that this will not taste good, and is too "filling" due to the high fiber content.

The final option is to just eat the vegetables as I have been, in a raw or cooked/steamed form. Either way, I currently don't eat enough of them.

So what do you guys think? Is juicing just a big con? Is it healthier, or should I trust my gut and stick to the old fashioned way of eating veggies raw?
post #2 of 33
No, I don't think it's a big con. My cousin is a health freak med student and he says it's beneficial so I believe him. I was going to purchase one this year but ended up getting a coffee machine instead because after trying to research a juicer purchase I ended up frustrated with the amount of options and figured I'd save more money if I bought a coffee machine (which is now collecting dust.) You have Centifugal, Masticating, Single Auger/ Twin gear juicers, it's neverending, and everyone says one does something better than the other, even in terms of the amount of nutrients you receive, apparently the faster the rpm's the more nutrients it burns, but the slower more pricey juicers take longer to clean, longer to juice, and just generally sound like a pain in the ass. Post when you decide on something.
post #3 of 33
Im getting the Hurom Slow Juicer, which just came out. Natural News website just did a review.

Bottom line is everything needs to be done in moderation. I prefer juicing or smoothie-making in the morning when I am in a hurry and need instant energy and nutrients, and leave the raw or cooked food for lunch or dinner.
post #4 of 33
http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...s/juicing.html

Your probably fine just eating your veggies, I like mine lightly steamed. If you think juicing or blending would help you eat more then go with one of those options. Out of the two, I'd personally go for blending because I think the fiber is a beneficial part of the diet.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
The claim from the pro-juicers is that's okay, since your digestive system will work better without all that fiber. They also claim that when you eat a raw vegetable, your digestive tract uses most of the nutrition from the vegetable to digest it, which negates the overall value/impact you get... and that juicing eliminates this waste created in your system.
Fiber is not something you try and strip out of your diet -- there's a reason they sell fiber supplements and extra-fiber cereals/yoghurts/etc. Fiber aids digestion, it most certainly does not hinder it. Lack of fiber is associated with constipation. Moreover, the bolded part is complete bullshit, at least as you articulated/echoed it. When you eat food, your stomach enzymes break it down into its constituent molecules for use by your body. To brutally oversimplify, on the one hand you get "calories" out of it (simply energy to do work) and on the other hand you get "nutrients" (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, etc.) which your body needs for specialized tasks. The digestive process does not singularly drain your body of any of these nutrients, though it does require some energy (calories). So if you eat a carrot, some of the calories you are getting from the carrot could be said to have been expended digesting that carrot, sure, but you are still getting carotene (which your body turns into vitamin A), vitamin C, magnesium, etc. from the carrot and none of that (or at most, a completely inconsequential amount) is being "stolen" by the digestive process. Basically they are being disingenuous. If you eat a carrot and for some impossible, nonsensical reason you need 100.000% of the calories from that carrot to get converted to energy/fat then maybe you should drink the equivalent of a carrot, but in no way does eating it (as opposed to blending/drinking it) rob you of any of the nutrients you give a shit about. It probably leeches out a few extra calories, but by most standards that is a good thing. Long story short, if you're not terribly underweight and you have no particular and unusual digestive issues, just eat your vegetables. (They're also a lot cheaper that way most of the time!)
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTribe View Post
Fiber is not something you try and strip out of your diet -- there's a reason they sell fiber supplements and extra-fiber cereals/yoghurts/etc. Fiber aids digestion, it most certainly does not hinder it. Lack of fiber is associated with constipation.

Moreover, the bolded part is complete bullshit, at least as you articulated/echoed it. When you eat food, your stomach enzymes break it down into its constituent molecules for use by your body. To brutally oversimplify, on the one hand you get "calories" out of it (simply energy to do work) and on the other hand you get "nutrients" (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, etc.) which your body needs for specialized tasks. The digestive process does not singularly drain your body of any of these nutrients, though it does require some energy (calories). So if you eat a carrot, some of the calories you are getting from the carrot could be said to have been expended digesting that carrot, sure, but you are still getting carotene (which your body turns into vitamin A), vitamin C, magnesium, etc. from the carrot and none of that (or at most, a completely inconsequential amount) is being "stolen" by the digestive process.

Basically they are being disingenuous. If you eat a carrot and for some impossible, nonsensical reason you need 100.000% of the calories from that carrot to get converted to energy/fat then maybe you should drink the equivalent of a carrot, but in no way does eating it (as opposed to blending/drinking it) rob you of any of the nutrients you give a shit about. It probably leeches out a few extra calories, but by most standards that is a good thing.

Long story short, if you're not terribly underweight and you have no particular and unusual digestive issues, just eat your vegetables. (They're also a lot cheaper that way most of the time!)


Good answer. So what then can you say about the claims regarding quantity; i.e. that drinking a juiced cup of carrots gives you the nutritional equivalent to eating 2-3 cups of chopped raw carrots?

Is there any truth to these claims?
post #7 of 33
Juicing gets very expensive and cleanup is a bitch.

I'll stick with my spirulina in the morning and just eating veggies.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn View Post
Juicing gets very expensive and cleanup is a bitch.

This was the conclusion I reached when I used to juice years ago. For me it was more trouble and expensive than it proved to be worth, besides I like to eat veggies.
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Today I crammed down an entire serving of raw broccoli. It was about 1.5 cups or so if I had to guess.

Damn it was tough too. I had to drink some fruit juice with it to keep washing it down

My first real experience at eating something raw like broccoli in a very long time. I was eating a lot of carrots a few months ago and will try eating more of those too
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
Good answer. So what then can you say about the claims regarding quantity; i.e. that drinking a juiced cup of carrots gives you the nutritional equivalent to eating 2-3 cups of chopped raw carrots?

Is there any truth to these claims?

Well there is probably a little bit of truth to the claim you posted there, but perhaps not for the reasons you think -- it's another example of how they use disingenuous marketing that isn't outright lying. If you juice something and pour it into a measuring cup, it's a liquid and it fills 100% of the cup. If you cut a carrot into sections and fill the same measuring cup, there's a lot of air still in there in the spaces between the pieces, and the bigger the pieces, the bigger the gaps (a cup-full of whole baby carrots is probably only really 2/3 full). And, of course, if you're stripping out the fiber through whatever juicing process, that leaves more room for the other nutrients. The only other thing I'd say is that the "1 cup liquid vs. 1 cup chopped" is a pretty arbitrary comparison as not only are the amounts technically slightly different (as above), but the cost/time requirement varies. Juiced veggies might be more convenient than chopping up solid ones, but the monetary investment in either buying them pre-juiced or purchasing a juicer is the reason they are promoting liquefied food in the first place. If spending the extra money doesn't bother you at all, there's nothing wrong with juicing up your fruits and vegetables, you get fiber from other things like wheat, nuts, seeds, cereals, etc. that you aren't gonna want blend up.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
I was eating a lot of carrots a few months ago and will try eating more of those too
I'm a big fan of carrots, and it was my love of carrot juice that prompted me to get a juicer. I no longer have the juicer, but I do buy carrot juice often.
post #12 of 33
I like the good old Champion. It's a workhorse. It's also reasonably priced and built like a tank. It produces just the right mix of juice and fiber. There are attachments that let you do a range of things, like make peanut butter, grind grains, make smoothies, etc. I hang a 1 gal. composting pail made by Endurance off the end of it to catch the pulp. Perfect. Clean up is pretty easy. Just rinse the parts under cold water and air dry. A favorite is juicing 5 fresh carrots, 1 raw beet, a stalk of celery and a clove of garlic. Delicious. Produces an immediate energy rush. Probably the sugars. I think I paid around $240 for mine. Do the research, but don't get paralyzed by all the marketing bs.

My pick:

www.championjuicer.com/
post #13 of 33
Whatever helps you consume your veggies
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
Whatever helps you consume your veggies
This.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
This.

This.
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