6 Things To Consider Before Buying A Juicer (+ more tips for fruit & vegetable juicing)

by | Mar 4, 2013

Photo by Tawheed Manzoor

Juicing fruits and vegetables is widely considered a healthy habit, even though most nutrition experts caution against the excessive sugar and calories you get from juicing.

Although I’ve had tons of questions about it, I’ve avoided discussing juicing at Summer Tomato because I didn’t think there were enough positive things to say to warrant an entire blog post.

That is, until I got a juicer.

Two months ago a Breville juicer and blender magically appeared in my kitchen. I wasn’t particularly excited about it, but agreed to participate in the ensuing juicing experiment—for research purposes, of course. The idea was to start juicing a few mornings a week, just to see what happens.

(Update: it’s been a year now, and while I don’t juice regularly (see reason #6) I still enjoy it on occasion)

I was more than a little surprised how much I enjoyed it. Even though it was mostly vegetables, I expected the juice to be very sweet, which it wasn’t. Instead it was bright and refreshing, like a summer salad. It also tasted and made me feel good, and as long as I kept the serving size to 8oz or less it was easy to maintain my weight.

I also find that fresh juice is a great way to fend off a cold, when I feel one coming on.

But juicing is not for everyone. And before jumping in head first, there are a few things you should consider.

Update: Read this for more on the science and health of juicing.

6 Things To Consider Before Buying A Juicer

1. Fruit juice and vegetable juice are not created equal

It may sound counter-intuitive, but fruit juice may actually raise your risk of heart disease. Fructose, the primary sugar found in fruit, is transformed into triglycerides in the liver and promotes insulin resistance, both of which promote heart disease. Similarly, fruit juice increases type 2 diabetes risk while whole fruit lowers it.

Why do you think high-fructose corn syrup is so bad for you?

While whole fruit does not typically pose a problem because of its high fiber content, concentrating fruit by juicing it increases the fructose per serving dramatically. Think about how many oranges go into making one small cup of OJ, and you’ll start to see what I mean.

If you’re getting a juicer because you think apple-orange juice is going to make you healthier, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. Plan to juice mostly vegetables or else getting a juicer is not a particularly healthy choice.

2. You still need to eat your vegetables

Don’t assume that drinking your vegetables is the same as eating them. Yes, as in the case with fructose you will be concentrating vitamins and minerals from your vegetables, but you will also be losing a lot of fiber that slows digestion and helps you feel full.

The rate you digest food and your satisfaction after eating are just as important to your overall health as the nutrients you consume. So while juicing can add to your overall nutrient intake, it cannot replace your daily vegetable consumption.

3. Juicing may stall weight loss

Though vegetables have less fructose than fruit, it is still an incredibly efficient way to take in calories, something most of us don’t need. If you choose to experiment with juicing while attempting to lose weight remember that you still need to watch your portion size, and consider reducing it if weight loss stalls.

I recommend no more than one 8oz juice serving per day if you are trying to lose weight. This is pretty small.

4. Prepare to do a lot of shopping

As noted in the above points, juicers take large quantities of vegetables and turn them into small amounts of juice. Additionally you need to continue buying and eating vegetables for your regular meals.

All this means you’d better plan to do a lot of shopping for produce if you want to keep your refrigerator stocked. If you aren’t prepared for this, you might find you don’t get the use you expected out of your new purchase.

5. Expect to drop some cash

Juicers aren’t cheap, nor are all those shopping trips. Consider juicing a luxury, not a necessity. So if money is an issue for you, you might want to look elsewhere to upgrade your healthstyle.

One thing we’ve experienced with the Breville juice and blend is that it feels like overkill for the kind of juicing we’re doing at home. While some of you may be juicing for large groups, juicing for two does not require an industrial strength machine.

Keep in mind that a larger, more powerful juicer will be harder to work, harder to clean and difficult to store. Consider a smaller size if possible. This smaller model from Breville looks like a fantastic option for a 2-person household.

Here’s a good midrange option: Breville Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor

6. Expect a time commitment

All the shopping, juicing and cleaning does take some time. Making juice for two and cleaning up takes about 10-15 minutes each morning. And as I mentioned above, extra shopping is required (we can no longer fit a week’s worth of vegetables in the fridge, so multiple store trips are necessary).

While the extra work is worth it if you enjoy the juicing experience, you should factor it in while making your purchasing decision.

A few other tips for juicing

If you do decide to take the plunge, here are a few suggestions we’ve found make the best juicing experience:

  • Focus on vegetables, but include some fruit. We’ve found that one small apple makes a huge difference in flavor. This is all we recommend so far in the fruit department.
  • Include 1-2 root vegetables–such as carrots or beets–to add additional flavor and antioxidants. We like to include either 2 small carrots (1 large) or 2 small beets (1 large). These tend to contribute a tad more sugar and a nice earthy flavor, adding complexity.
  • Add at least one leafy green vegetable. We’ve been happy with kale, broccoli and chard (currently in season), but others likely work as well.
  • Include one watery vegetable. Cucumber, celery and other watery vegetables help dilute the too-strong flavors of the previous 3 ingredients. This can make a big difference in drinkability, while adding some nice flavor and additional vitamins.
  • Don’t forget a garnish. A small amount of a strong flavored item such as ginger, lemon, mint or other herb can make your juice a real pleasure to drink while adding highly concentrated antioxidants.
  • Consider adding back a few scoops of the fiber that is filtered out by the juicer. This will make your juice more filling.

Originally published February 24, 2011.

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246 Responses to “6 Things To Consider Before Buying A Juicer (+ more tips for fruit & vegetable juicing)”

  1. Belinda says:

    Hi Darya

    This is a great blog on this topic. I’ve been juicing for three years and I think this summarises the things a newbie juicer should consider before starting very well.The tip about adding some of the pulp back in is also very good (although not very appetising) if you don’t have a blender to blend in some extra insoluble fibre to add to the soluble fibre in your juice.

    You are also completely correct about fruit, too much sugar is not good for you natural or otherwise. 80% veg 20% fruit is the way to go for most people unless you are allergic to the sugar in fruit.

    You are also correct juicing does take dedication and if your general health is good juicing a few days a week will help your vitamin and mineral intake. If it isn’t so good then juicing everyday may help your condition, it did mine.

    kind regards
    Belinda

  2. KK says:

    I would like to comment on 3 points:
    1) an optimal diet includes lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. However, it is difficult to consume enough vegetables, especially raw leafy greens. You lose nutrients in the cooking process. Therefore, juicing with or without pulp is a good way to get the nutrients your body needs. Most Americans do not consume enough vegetables and fruits, so jucing can be highly beneficial especially when replacing a meal that is high in fat, carbs and salt.
    2) A masticating juicer is the best type of juicer as it does not oxidize juice so more nutrients are left in and juice quality lasts longer. It also handles the leafy greens better. Pulp can be added into soups, stews, muffins etc.
    3) I am the daughter of a physician, sister to a physician and have worked in healthcare for 25 years, and most physicians try to get their patients to improve their diet and exercise routine BEFORE putting their patients on medications, but when most of us struggle with these necessary behavior changes, our physicians recommend medications that can assist with certain diseases. I do not know any physician that prescribes unwarranted medication. It would be against their hypocratic oath, be unethical and would greatly increase their liability. We are responsible for our own health and physicians are happy to discuss the pros and cons of every medication. All medications have benefits as well ad negatives, but I am thankful for the treatment break-throughs we have had over the last century which have on average prolonged the longevity of the population.

  3. Crystal says:

    I juice different kind of organic vegetables 3-4 times weekly early morning for my husband and myself. I use most of the pulps to make a organic oatmeal soup with a tsp of turmeric 2 tbs of organic coconut oil, or ghee and organic Himalayan Salt for breakfast. I save the rest of the pulps in the refrigerator to make oatmeal soup ( I put what we can not use in our vegetable beds, to feed the red wiggler worms) on the days when I am too busy to juice. This way I don’t waste food (also I do not have to buy an expensive juicer because I am using up all the material at the end) and getting back the fiber in my diet. The oatmeal soup tastes very delicious.

  4. zack says:

    Ok bottom line to all too much of anything can kill you. So I highly recommend not over doing juicing. Juicing processes quicker then food so therefore exercise is needed in order to make sure your body is balancing and digesting the intake properly. Think balance when living life. Wtf is up with the critics not discussing the root of the problems that they have with anything that they are against. Plus the lady who wrote this article gives no sources nor examples for most things she says to be true. I think she hasn’t juiced her self due to the her not stating her own recipes. I want the experiments and the day to day log. Everyone should juicer at least 4 times a year one for each season and remember think balance.

  5. ron dean says:

    i know why there are so much confusion, its not about the fruits or veg. every body break’s down food differently and have to find whats work for for them eg.there are some people can eat every thing and stay skinny, while others struggle and gain weight easily. So my friends experiment until you find what works for you ( smile )

  6. Gudni says:

    This research basically says that if you exercise then the bad effect of fructose is minimized. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24848492

  7. Gilbert says:

    Well, good checking out the comments of people here, thanks to Rose for firing up the debate. My side of the story is that I am one of those that trying to control the weight from flying above the limits. Juicing came to be one of those things that I have used to stay healthy and keep fit. I personally have a passion using the Brevilles and the Omegas and to me, I think they are the best that one can have.Thanks again for your take on these things to watch before jumping on the purchase button.

  8. Don Lemna says:

    Hi. Thanks for the article. I was considering the purchase of a veggie juicer when I happen across your article. I’ve decided against the juicer and will eat a carrot for lunch.

    Cheers, Don.

  9. rk says:

    I have been a vegetarian all my life. No chicken/fish/meat but I do consume dairy (not much cheese). My husband is the same although he eats meat a 3-4 times a year only. We bought a very inexpensive (under $30) juicer many moons ago and it finally died after 10+ yrs!! My husband juiced celery and ash gourd (most people may not have access to it. It’s available in Asian grocery stores) and certainly lost a few pounds. Despite being a vegetarian and never eating fast food etc., he tends to put on belly fat. He juiced only once a week and still benefited from it. Do it in moderation and reduce the number of fruits if you are concerned about sugar intake. Juicing more veggies generally is the idea. Adding fruits (just one apple for example) is for taste. My husband does not add any fruits ever.

  10. Alyssa says:

    Overall this article seemed to be a bit on the negative side about juicing

  11. 2 o 4 says:

    If you buy a juicer you will use it for a few times.
    You won’t even remember its place again.

  12. s.ismail says:

    hi i have a series of chronic conditions, and due to this my doctor has prescribed my treatment, i recently had leech threapy, and to clear my system my doctor has told me to juice fruits for three days and eat or drink nothing but this, it has to be juiced due to my digestive problems, what fruits would prvovide proteins and keep me full
    thanks

  13. Josh Harsin says:

    What is wrong with you people.

    If you don’t like what Darya says or suggests just move on… why take the time to attack her. Thanks for you advice Darya. I was brought here looking for a reason to switch to a centrifugal juicer. I have a cheap masticating one my Wife bought me however, I just want to be sure I really need to make the switch ?
    I’d say I’m an average juicer once a day, typically in the mornings…

    • Darya Rose says:

      Haha thanks. You develop a tough skin pretty quickly here on the internets. If you’re happy with what you have there’s no real need to switch. It gets a little tricky if you’re storing your juice for long periods, but if you’re drinking it immediately it doesn’t matter as much. Enjoy and thanks for being nice 🙂

    • Leah Santos says:

      I am sorry to let you know this Josh, but this post is public domain and when you welcome comments, not all are guaranteed to praise the article. What you’re asking of internet users simply isn’t realistic nor is it constructive for the author if all they value is positive feedback. There are other biologists, nutritionists, and health professionals than Ms. Rose who have differing opinions. Some of the statements mentioned in this article are problematic and not scholarly. It wouldn’t be the world wide web if there weren’t critics, Josh.

  14. Shar Lily says:

    nice article darya, i love it, just to add, there are 2 types of juicer. Centrifugal & Masticating.. centrifugal, this type of juicer extractor typically does a good job with common juicing ingredients like carrots, apples, celery, citrus, beets and cucumber.
    masticating juicer aka “slow juicers”…they take more time to squeeze juice from produce. And be aware that masticating juicers can get clogged, so produce must first be chopped into small pieces, adding to your juicing time.

  15. angie says:

    All, what an interesting read this has been. We have our morning smoothy, here’s what we do, I think it works well!
    in the Breville juicer,
    3 apples,
    6 or 7 carrots
    1 cucumber
    an orange and a hand full of grapes
    we pour that into our vitamix, and add
    3 bananas
    2 cups of mixed spinach and Kale
    1 quarter cup of whey powder
    and 1 quarter cup of Chia seeds.
    We blend for 30 or 45 seconds, and enjoy!
    My comments are related to our process.
    My husband and I are both healthy, full of energy, and feeling great! We love both the Breville and our new Vitamix!! I think if it keeps you healthy, energetic and mentally sharp, it’s a win! Let’s treat each other with love and kindness, the world is sadly very short on those two commodities.
    Best to you all, and a healthy life full of vitality and viggar

  16. Sabina says:

    I am appalled by the first “tip”. If you could promote whole foods and plant based nutrition, you wouldn’t have to say bullshit like: Fruits and veggies could give you heart diseases. You seriously deserve some classes in nutrition!!!!!

    • Steve says:

      You should probably try reading a little better, the article doesn’t say what you’re asserting it does. You seem to have magically read “veggies” when what the first tip actually says is “Plan to juice mostly vegetables”

  17. Mitch says:

    Fantastic article. I am in the process of switching from the usual American diet of excess animal calories towards more plant based. This article pretty much mirrored what my nutritionist said…Be careful with fruits…try and add just one to a vegetable recipe. Consider juicing a supplement to your diet…not the bulk of the diet. I stumbled upon your site looking for information on juicing. I can’t wait to digest (damn i’m clever) the rest of the site.

  18. Leah Santos says:

    Unfortunately the claims you have made concerning heart disease and type 2 diabetes are simply not true. The hyperlinks you inserted raise concern. One of them does not even link you to an article on the subject and the other is not peer reviewed nor does the actual Harvard report used to supplement its findings even once mention natural fruit juices increasing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately good science cannot be portrayed through mere journalism, even if the intention is good. Not to mention, juice made from whole foods, and processed juice with added sugars are too different things. You should clarify that fact to your readers. Even though your claims make an interesting story, they are not scholarly nor are they factual; in fact, the opposite of what you claimed has been proven to be true (See The China Study By Dr. Colin T Campbell for scholarly, peer reviewed research concerning this topic.)

    • Steve says:

      lol, The China Study has been thoroughly debunked many times over. In fact entire books have been written debunking The China Study. Harriet Hall from Science Based Medicine found upon reviewing The China Study that it was rife with “evidence of sloppy citations, cherry-picked references, omission of data that contradicted the thesis, and recommendations that went beyond the data”

      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/385/

      Denise Minger devoted a month and a half to examining the raw data to see how closely Campbell’s claims aligned with the data he drew from; she found many weaknesses and errors:

      https://deniseminger.com/the-china-study/

  19. Natalie says:

    This post has ridiculously bad information. To say that juicing fruits and veggies will lead to weight gain is ridiculous. Your theory of how fruit’s glucose is somehow related to SUGAR is wrong. Glucose comes naturally only in fruit and raw honey and is the best fuel for your brain. Glucose from fruit and raw honey is the best healing you can give your body. Fruit stays in your stomach only for few minutes before its absorbed and utilized by the body. This article is a real shame to put such a negative spin on the best thing you can actually do for you body.

    • Luna says:

      What I found on Wikipedia: “Glucose is a simple sugar with the molecular formula C₆H₁₂O₆. Glucose circulates in the blood of animals as blood sugar.” As far as I know a sudden surge in blood sugar level, which can happen if you drink a big fruit juice within a short time, is NOT healthy.

  20. ryan says:

    Just looking for a juicer to squeeze my cauliflower and zucchini for the pulp, to use in pizza bases fritters etc. Would a normal juicer do? Or would there be a particular brand that does a better job so the pulp is not mixed with froth? I have never owned one before so I don’t have any experience with them but Ive read some brands remove the froth from the juice and I’m worried it would end up in the pulp.

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