Have you heard about cold-pressed juicing? It’s taking the healthy eating world by storm, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?
First, let’s define cold-pressed juicing. Conventional juicing methods involve grinding up the vegetable or fruit and spinning it at very high speeds. This separates the liquid from the solids, which is then pasteurized under heat to remove harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, the heat can also destroy many of the healthy compounds that the juice is being consumed for in the first place.
The cold-pressed juicing method mechanically presses the vegetable or fruit to squeeze out the juice. The juice is exposed to very high pressure (but not heat) during bottling and then refrigerated. It is not pasteurized, but the high pressure and refrigeration prevent bacteria from growing in the juice.
Companies claim the result is a bottled juice with “freshly squeezed” taste and higher antioxidant value due to the absence of heat during production (this is still being debated by researchers). Another pro is the longer shelf life of these juices compared to freshly squeezed, which may only last a day in the refrigerator.
Any juicing method creates a product of concentrated sugar calories, which may not be good for those watching their weight or monitoring blood sugar levels for diabetes. Furthermore, the fiber is lost, and along with it several potential health benefits. Perhaps one of the biggest roadblocks for many is the price tag. A typical 16-ounce single-serve bottle can cost anywhere from $8 to $12, and sometimes even more. How many apples and oranges could you buy for that?
Most true nutrition experts agree that it’s best to eat the whole fruit or vegetable. However, if the occasional juice is part of your healthy eating plan and you don’t mind spending a little extra, then try cold-pressed juice!
Adapted with permission from an article that originally appeared in Tidbits (Issue 6, March 2016), published by the Positive Choice Integrative Wellness Center, Kaiser Permanente San Diego.