Fruits and vegetables or juice?

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Among the most well-established and accepted nutritional advice from health professionals is to eat more fruits and vegetables. Juicing, the latest and greatest thing to hit the market is encouraging consumers to eat — or rather, drink — your daily fruits and vegetables through juices made yourself. Is this new “juicing” trend actually worth it?

First, know the difference between a smoothie and juicing. These two processes are different and the nutritional value and health benefits are different.

A smoothie is made by using the whole fruit or vegetable usually with added yogurt or milk. Smoothies, while often more calorie dense and high in sugar, can be nutritious meal supplements or meal-replacement options. They are great sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber because the flesh of the fruit or vegetable is consumed.

Juicing, on the other hand, usually requires more produce to achieve an adequate concentration and taste. Much of the actual fruit or vegetable is discarded during juicing. The discarded flesh is usually where most of the fiber is found. Juicing lowers the amount of beneficial fiber that could have been consumed as part of the whole food. With removal of the fiber, you won’t feel full as long, and your body will absorb the fructose sugar from the fruit juice very quickly.

According to the Mayo Clinic, despite popular claims, there is little evidence to support the belief that juice makes the vitamins in fruit and vegetables easier for the body to absorb. This is especially true if you are healthy.

Making your own juice as the way to get your fruit or vegetables is debatable, but there is one agreement: Considering the fact that the average American eats less than one-fifth of the recommended eight fruits and vegetables a day, if grabbing a homemade juice drink helps you, then make juicing a part of your routine. Do not make juice products the basis of your daily produce. Processed shelf ready juices are not the same as homemade.

Do remember that food safety is a concern with juices. All ingredients should be free of contaminants, and juice products must be stored at a safe temperature.

This information is from Dr. Janet Mullins, extension specialist for food and nutrition, University of Kentucky; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Avoid e-mails claiming
to be from IRS

Be wary if you receive an e-mail from someone claiming to be from the IRS, who notifies you of an “IRS e-audit.” If you receive this you might be asked to answer a questionnaire, give your Social Security number, bank account numbers and other personal information.  You may be given only 48 hours to complete the questionnaire to avoid penalties and extra interest.

This type of scam also could be conducted by a stranger calling you on the telephone. Do not give out this information. The IRS does not conduct “e-audits” and does not notify taxpayers of audits by e-mail. It also does not ask for this type of confidential information. If you receive such an e-mail or telephone call, immediately notify the IRS office in your area.

For more information on protecting yourself as a consumer, please contact me and ask for the Extension publication, “Let the Consumer Beware in Tough Economic Times”, written by Dr. Bob Flashman, Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky.

Dates of interest

Feb. 13: Beginning Embroidery, 6-8 p.m. at the Extension office 

Feb. 18: Learn with Us! “Why Quilts Matter, 2 p.m. at the Extenion office (All interested members are invited to attend)

Feb. 19: Homemakers “Fun Club,” 2 p.m. at Fairview Place Assisted Living (All members invited to participate)


Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.