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Attack of the green juice!

Green juice is no longer just a trend. It's everywhere. These magical potions are touted for their health benefits - after all , look how many pounds of kale can fit into a tiny bottle! And it seems to be a healthy, convenient way to get your nutrients, in a portable, easy package, right??

Not so fast.

I hate to rain on your juice parade, but green juice ain't all it's cracked up to be. The main reason - FIBER! Unfortunately, a big part of the juicing process is removing fibers that are naturally present in vegetables. Fiber provides structure to a fruit or vegetable. Simply put, fibers are like the beams that hold up a house - without them, the house will fall down.

Why is fiber so important? Fiber is best known for its contribution to intestinal health. Certain fibes slow intestinal transit time, meaning that food moves through the digestive system more slowly. This allows your digestive system to absorb more vitamins and nutrients and has the added benefit of giving you more satiety from your meal. What you may not know, is that fiber also helps control blood sugar. Because fibers help food move more slowly throughout the digestive system, sugars that are naturally present in fruit and vegetables are more slowly incorporated into circulation, which leads to a mild rise in blood sugar, rather than a sharp spike. This not only helps you stay more energized throughout the day, but over the longterm, may help prevent Type 2 Diabetes.

Fiber also helps mop up excess cholesterol that is floating in your body's circulation. This prevents reabsorption of cholesterol, which in turn lowers LDL "bad" cholesterol and reduces your risk for developing heart disease.

Which brings me back to my original point. When you drink juice, you're drinking plenty of vitamins and nutrients, but you're also drinking a lot of sugar. Because the fiber is taken out to create juice, this sugar is digested much more quickly, leading to a sharp spike in your blood sugar.

Bottom line? A green juice every now and then won't kill you. But try drinking it with some healthy fat or lean protein on the side - like a hardboiled egg or a handful of nuts. Both protein and fat help to slow digestion. When you have the option, go for a green smoothie instead. The best idea?? If you really want to get some fabulous fiber benefits...Eat your greens!!

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