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Which masticating juicer is best for beginners

We once looked at fruit juice as a beverage. Today, thanks to clever, forward-thinking manufacturers, juice is at the center of sustenance. In short, juice and juice-based beverages are the newest fast food. click here read my blog This liquid nutrition revolution arose from a confluence of influences and needs that began with just trying to help consumers--especially kids--meet their calcium requirements. As milk consumption fell in the 1980s, causing a worrisome decrease in calcium intake in the American diet, orange juice companies took up the slack with calcium-fortified juices. Then, other underserved nutrient needs--folate, for example--were recognized, so juices were fortified with more vitamins and minerals.

The dairy industry saw the need to get back into the act and, along with a well-recognized (despite the mustache) public relations campaign for its core product, created milk beverages: milk dressed up with flavors and fortifications. Finally, rather than wage war with juice producers, the two sides joined forces. A marriage of dairy and fruit juice was made and the smoothie in a bottle was born. Smoothies, those hippie health drinks of the 1960s and '70s, are really the closing of a circle that began as a fast and flavorful healthy blend of fruit, juice and yogurt. Once available only in restaurants or at home, the current prepared smoothie boom came in time to take advantage of a paradigm shift. The shift happened when liquid meal replacements broadened their focus from the unwell to the healthy mainstream. This was followed by intense, sometimes controversial marketing to victims of the busy lifestyle (see "Meal Replacements--Convenience or Compromise?", p. 14) Chef_s-Star-Slow-Masticating-Juicer-juicerzne Ready-to-go, protein- and vitamin-dressed beverages were an inevitable result of American health/weight-consciousness and on-the-go lifestyle. As Boomers and Gen-Xers become more concerned about nutrition, beverage manufacturers are working overtime to introduce products with added vitamins (e.g. folate for heart health), minerals (e.g. potassium for stamina) and phytochemicals (e.g. soy isoflavones to counter effects of menopause and protect against cancer) to fill the bill. One look at the beverage section of any supermarket will tell you success is overwhelming. Soy-enhanced beverages alone are one of the fastest-growing segments in the functional beverages industry, according to numerous sources. Sales in this niche topped $600 million last year, an amount predicted to triple by the end of the decade.

With full-meal nutrition in a bottle there for the taking, consumers responded by drinking more flavored beverages, juices and other liquid foods. This is not entirely a bad thing. When you compare what we were substituting for meals a decade ago to today, fruit juices, fortified fruit juices and fruit juice-based beverages and smoothies are an example of Americans doing things right for a change. By seeking nourishment that provides both satisfaction and health benefits, we eat fewer empty calories. "These kinds of sports and health drinks--so-called functional beverages--are a convenient, easy solution for consumers because of the portability and the premeasured nature--you know the exact amounts of the health-promoting ingredient you're getting," says Pam Stauffer, marketing manager of Cargill Health and Food Technologies in Minneapolis.

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE JuicY In some ways, the growing market for nutrition-in-a-bottle can be a double-edged sword for the juice industry. "Orange juice sales have been on the decline," says Nicole LeBeau, global marketing communications manager for the Florida Department of Citrus. "It was possibly due to the low-carb craze, but also hundreds of new competing beverages enter the market each year." LeBeau worries that with all the new juice and juice-type products flooding the market, consumers may need to be more watchful when it comes to getting the health benefits they seek from a beverage. "There are just a lot of options out there," she says. "In fact, there may be too many. We know from consumer research that people are confused. Our approach is to remind people of the natural vitamins and minerals in real juice. It's important for consumers to be sure they're choosing a 100-percent juice product. Sure, other nutrients can be added, but it's important that they're added to pure juice." "Health and wellness beverages are clearly a trend," agrees Ray Crockett, spokesman for Minute Maid parent company Coca-Cola, Atlanta. "Consumers are looking for personalized products to meet their specific needs, such as our HeartWise orange juice. It contains plant sterols and is the only brand of orange juice allowed to carry a label touting its clinically proven abilities to help lower cholesterol." HeartWise was only released late last year, Crockett said, yet it has became one of the company's top 10 sellers.

There is one aspect of the beverage boom consumers need to be aware of: Children are taking too many of their daily calories in liquid form. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Americans drink about 10 gallons of juice alone per person per year. Add milk, carbonated drinks, coffees and teas and, by some estimates, our beverage intake exceeds 50 billion gallons. It would seem we're always sipping something. "About 25 percent of our daily calories are coming from beverages," notes Richard Mattes, Ph.D., R.D., professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. "From an evolutionary point of view, after weaning, human beings used to receive few or none of their calories from liquids." In a landmark study published in the International Journal of Obesity (June, 2000 v. 24 (6), p. 794), Mattes discovered that when subjects consumed calories from liquids they tended to intake more total calories in amounts about the same as the drinks themselves. In other words, our bodies do not "count" liquid-derived calories the same as solid. This doesn't mean people should avoid beverages. In fact, if a nutrient- ! packed drink is substituting for an unhealthy snack or meal, it's obviously the better way to go. "The message," says Mattes, "is that you can continue to consume caloric beverages but should make a conscious effort to adjust your caloric intake to offset the calories you get in liquids; beverages simply don't elicit " a strong satiety signal."

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