Who's Got the Juice?

With a plethora of new juice companies out there it can be hard to choose.

Who should you trust?

Is one juice company better then another? 

 

When Choosing a Juice Company, I Look at Four Main Things

1. Are they organic? 

Remember a juice is a concentration of fruits and vegetables which is quickly absorbed into the body (there is no fiber to slow it down)

 Non-organic (or conventional) fruits and veggies are sprayed with harsher chemicals and have been found in studies to contain fewer nutrients due to soil depletion and poor farming standards.

Do you really want to pour a big glass of chemicals down your throat?

JUICES SHOULD ALWAYS BE ORGANIC!!!

2. Are they cold pressed?

Cold pressed juices are processed more slowly at cooler temperatures, which leads to higher nutrient content. 

MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!

 3. Are they pasteurized?

The pasteurization process destroys a lot of the nutrient and enzyme content. Always check for RAW on the label.

4. What is their vegetable to fruit ratio?

Fruit juices are higher in concentrated sugar which equals higher calories. Since there is no longer any fiber to slow sugar absorption, consumption can lead to unbalanced sugar levels and sugar "cravings".

When choosing a juice, I always read down the ingredients list. If the juice does contain fruit I want it to be only 1 type and listed towards the bottom.

Why??

Because of the way labels are laid out. FDA regulation says that the largest quantity ingredients are listed first and the least listed last. 

So, for example, if you use 3 carrots, 2 celery sticks and 1 apple the ingredients list should read like this

carrot, celery, apple

A juice which lists fruits first or towards the beginning of the list is mostly fruit and should be avoided.

So why only 1 type of fruit?

Often to get around labeling laws manufacturers list an ingredient using multiple names to move it further down the ingredients list so that their food appears healthier.

A common example of this is with sugar which is often listed as 

 

 

Make no mistake. It's all still SUGAR, they just use different names or add in different forms to fool the consumer into thinking the desired product "isn't that bad".

What happens with some juice companies is similar but different.

I don't personally believe that juice companies add multiple types of fruit specifically to "confuse" us. 

Most likely they just want to offer nutrition that tastes good!

The result however can be the same.

If 1 juice only contains apple and apple is at the bottom of the ingredient list then very likely it contains less fruit sugar then a juice which lists apples, pears and pineapple in its ingredients.

IT'S ALWAYS DESIRABLE TO GET THE HIGHEST NUTRIENT LEVELS FOR THE LOWEST CALORIES POSSIBLE

 

With all this in mind, how are juice companies measuring up?

1. Suja

While Suja is organic, cold pressed and raw, most their blends contain more fruit then I am comfortable with. The exception is 12 essentials which is all greens with just a bit of lemon juice to flavor.

2. Daily Greens

This is hands down my favorite juice in grocery stores and I don't feel that it enjoys the popularity it deserves. 

Daily Greens is organic, cold pressed, raw AND contains only the minimum fruit needed to make the greens palatable.

A WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN!

 

3. Naked

This juice is an ABSOLUTELY NOT!

DO NOT go there. Just skip the juice if this is your option.

Naked is non-organic, they use GMO's AND their "natural" juices contain synthetic nutrients such as fructooligosaccharides and fibersol-2

Need I say more? 

This is not a high-quality product. Don't reward them with you hard earned dollars!

4. Nekter 

This juice bar franchise is another of my pet peeves. Why? Because they are actively marketing juice cleanses which are not organic!

Do you have any idea how unhealthy this is??

The idea of juice cleanses is to consume ONLY high nutrient juices in order to rest the digestive system (no solids or fiber to break down) and detoxify the liver.

All that is wonderful EXCEPT if you are cleansing with non-organic, high chemical juices!!!!

You are essentially doubling your toxic load. 

SOOO not actually a "cleanse".

While the marketing for this franchise is beautiful, their product simply isn't up to snuff. 

I would recommend either getting your juice pressed fresh from Whole Foods, or any other ORGANIC cold pressed juice bar, or purchasing one of the many organic juices available in stores.

5. Evolution

Evolution juices by Starbucks are cold pressed and raw. However, some or organic and some aren't. 

Be Sure to Check!!

Like Suja, a lot of their juices tend to be high in fruit. That said, I think their organic Green Devotion is a high-quality formula which I would recommend.

Remember

IF IT TASTES TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT USUALLY IS!

6. Odwalla

In actuality most Odwalla beverages are smoothies not juice (This means that the fiber has not been removed). It's not that a juice is healthier than a smoothie. 

THEY ARE JUST DIFFERENT PRODUCTS! 

It's like if you accidentally referred to your sister as your brother...

So, the few juices that Odwalla does have are pasteurized, non-organic and full of sugar (they actually add sugar into some of their products as "cane juice"). 

7. Jamba Juice

In 2015 Jamba Juice launched an organic, cold pressed juice line. Like Suja and Evolution their blends are pretty high in fruit sugar.

THE VERDICT?

Not the worst thing out there but drink in moderation!

 In Conclusion

I'm sure that there are many other brands out there that I haven't even thought to mention. Some are new or local and not yet on my radar.

When choosing a juice, if in doubt, simply refer back to the guidelines above.

It is my hope that this article will help you to more easily distinguish the high quality juices from the low and assist with more healthful choices .

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