Juicing vs. Smoothies: Which One Is Best and Why

Gimme the Greens Juice | In Johnna's Kitchen

I am often asked whether it is best to try juicing or to add smoothies to your diet.  The answer is…BOTH!  Both are good for you.  Let me explain why.

But first, a rant…

This morning on the Rachael Ray show a celebrity doctor with a lengthy list of diet books to his credit spoke out about juicing.  He said juicing can cause blood sugar spikes, that we need fiber, that instead we should make smoothies.  Then he proceeded to make a green smoothie and ADDED TWO TABLESPOONS OF WHITE REFINED SUGAR TO IT!  (I’m not linking to the recipe but if you want to find it, it’s on Rachael Ray’s site.)

Seriously?  Juicing is bad for you because of naturally occurring fruit sugar and you should instead have a smoothie that has SUGAR added to it? I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on the interwebs but I call shenanigans on that one.

Here is the deal:  yes, eliminating fiber by juicing fruits and vegetables speeds up the absorption of sugar.  But, you should not be juicing a bunch of high sugar fruits anyway.  My recommendation has always been a ratio of 3 vegetables to 1 fruit with an emphasis on low sugar fruits, such as green apples and pears. So maybe you are wondering why juicing is great as an addition* to your diet if there’s no fiber.

Fiber is important in our diets. I also thinking juicing is important, especially for those of us with challenges absorbing nutrients due to an autoimmune disease or other health concern.  Eliminating the insoluble fiber by juicing speeds up the absorption rate of nutrients.  That means the good stuff in all of those veggies and fruit gets into your body faster.  For me, it’s an all-natural energy drink.  Plus I’m putting nutrients into my body in a way that is easy for my body to use.

*Notice I said juicing as a great ADDITION.  I am not advocating lengthy juice cleanses.  If you choose to consume juice only for more than a few days, I highly recommend you seek out the support of a knowledgeable pro to help you.

Now that I have sung the praises of juicing, here’s what I dig about smoothies:  It’s challenging to get 10+ servings of fruits and vegetables into our bellies every single day.  Blending them up into a tasty concoction makes it easier than chewing it all up.  Plus it’s super when you are on the go, much easier to drink while driving to work than eating a kale salad.  And fiber!  I did mention I love fiber, right?  That insoluble fiber is great to keep things moving and help our tummies feel full longer.

The answer on the great Juicing vs. Smoothies debate:  BOTH.  They both have their place in a healthy diet.  So go on, get your juice or smoothie on today.

Couple of tidbits:

My favorite green juice recipe ( include a video clip of me on TV making super duper green juice and a resource list)

A favorite smoothie recipe

Comments

    • says

      Yes, plain old white sugar. So the sugar from fruit juices (which has nutritional content) is BAD, but adding white refined sugar (which contains nothing nutritionally redeeming) to a smoothie is ok, according to the celebrity doctor. It’s no wonder we are all so confused about what to eat!

  1. says

    Hilarious about the RR Show! I completely agree with you that both smoothies and juices have their place in a well-rounded diet. I am currently doing one of those lengthy juice cleanses but have found that I’m needing to supplement with nut milks. On a NORMAL week I’d love a smoothie and a juice each day ideally. Great post!

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