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Is The Juice Craze Worth The Hype?

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Vanessa Borge began her career with CBS4 News in 2009 as an assignment...
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Healthwatch

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — When physical therapist Nicolas Bartolotta is looking for a jolt, he skips the caffeine and drinks a vegetable juice instead.

“It makes me feel healthy and physically I actually get a boost of energy,” said Bartolotta.

He doesn’t reach for just any juice; he’s into cold pressed juices.

Once sold as liquid cleanses they’re now also hitting the market at health food stores for a simple infusion of fruits and veggies on the go.

“People who might not otherwise sit down to a big, large salad are getting two to three pounds of produce in an easy to drink, easy to consume, digestible way,” said Bartolotta.

That produce can include ingredients like kale, cucumber, collard greens and celery with carrots or apples to give the juices a sweeter taste.

They’ve also become hip and they aren’t cheap, costing up to $10 for a sixteen-ounce bottle.

Beverage analyst Jonas Felicano said that’s due to the organic ingredients as well as the special pasteurization process.

“Unlike those other brands, which use, sort of, flash pasteurization or, or high heat, these juices look to imitate the raw juices that are made at home,” said Felicano. “Cold press juicing gently grinds the produce into a bag, and then that bag is pressed.  So you’re retaining the most nutrient value as possible.”

Feliciano said that claim is one of the reasons cold pressed options are a bright spot in the market even though overall juice consumption is down.

“This can really raise the value, and, and put more dollars into the juicing business,” said Feliciano.

But do they do live up to their nutritional hype?

Andrea Giancoli is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“These juices can be a great way to grab something when you’re on the run to still have some vegetables and some fruits in your diet. But they, they shouldn’t what we rely on solely as our intake of fruits and vegetables,” said Giancoli.

She said the process of juicing extracts the fiber from the fruits and vegetables meaning you won’t get all the digestive benefits you would from eating them whole.

“You’re probably going to get a lot more benefit if you were to just to have a salad. You want to ensure that if you do drink these juices on a regular basis that you’re watching the calories because you’re really concentrating the fruits and vegetables when you turn them into a juice, so the calories can really add up,” said Giancoli

As for Bartolotta, he’s made juicing part of his weekly routine, and he’s not put off by the price tag.

“I would much rather spend a little bit more on a, on a juice – a fresh pressed, organic juice, versus spending it on coffee,” he said.

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