Drinking juice can be an easy, refreshing way to fit necessary nutrients into your daily diet. However, not all juices are the same, and some may be healthier than others.
For example, if you're trying to lose weight, some of the worst types of juice you can drink are going to be the ones loaded with sugar. The key here is that you don't have to avoid drinking these juices if you love them, but monitoring how much you drink can significantly help with your weight loss goals.
"We tend to think 100% fruit juice is so healthy for us that we sometimes drink too much of it," says Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, author at Go Wellness. "For example, something like all-natural grape juice offers plenty of vitamins and other nutrients, but it is high in calories and natural sugar."
Read on, and for more healthy eating tips check out 4 Best Drinking Habits to Reduce Inflammation and Slow Aging.
One of the main reasons you may want to limit your consumption of sugary juices when you're trying to lose weight is that most of these beverages come with hardly any fiber or protein. As an example, D'Angelo notes that "there are 35 grams of sugar in 1 cup of grape juice." If you look at something like Welch's 100% Grape Juice, you're getting 35 grams of sugar, only one gram of protein, and zero grams of fiber.
Grape juice may be among the worst offenders, but it isn't the only juice that could cause you to gain weight. In fact, studies show that drinks with added sugars often contribute to weight gain and obesity. What's more important to consider is that when you're following a weight loss plan, it's usually helpful to find nutrient-dense foods and drinks that can help promote satiety and more feelings of fullness.
According to a report published in Nutrients, fructose, which is the natural sugar found in most fruits and fruit juices, is known to be ineffective in promoting satiety. Diabetes UK also emphasizes that drinking fruit juice without the fiber intact will cause the fruit's sugar to enter your bloodstream faster than if you were to eat the fruit whole.
Fiber not only slows down the rate at which sugar enters your blood, but by helping slow digestion it can also help you feel full and more satisfied for longer periods of time. In fact, high-fiber diets are associated with more weight loss, according to The Journal of Nutrition.
If you're interested in trying a juice that is lower in sugar and high in fiber, try something like this V8 High-Fiber Vegetable Juice instead, or if you're craving something sweeter, try enjoying your favorite fruit in its whole form rather than a juice.
At the end of the day, there's no need to completely get rid of your favorite fruit juice, especially because they often come with helpful nutrients and antioxidants. But if you're trying to lose weight, try pairing a small glass of juice with a high-protein, high-fiber snack like avocado on whole grain toast or some vegetables and hummus.