These days, cold-pressed juice bars sell gleaming bottles of red and green stuff for crazy cash. But should you be subbing in these fancy juices for your stalwart smoothie?

Absolutely not, says Monica Auslander Moreno, a registered dietitian with Miami-based Essence Nutrition. These juices (top right) contain less fiber than you might think—and tons of sugar. “That sugar is a lot for your liver to process at once and will immediately lead to fat storage and inflammation,” Moreno says, adding that sugar from fruits and veggies is no better than the type in candy. (“Your body sees sugar as sugar.”)

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What’s more, even a juice made solely from good-for-you greens like kale and spinach isn’t all that stellar, since eating veggies without any fat hinders the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients.

Meanwhile, smoothies offer a wide variety of beneficial stuff—a protein-heavy base of milk, kefir, or yogurt; a serving of fruits and veggies; good fat from nut butter; seeds like flax or chia; and a scoop of muscle-building protein powder. “Smoothies are blenderized real food,” Moreno says. “Whereas juices are more concentrated sources of sugar.”

Food Fight: Juice vs. Smoothie


  • 200 calories
  • 46g carbs
  • 2g fiber
  • 36g sugar
  • 2g protein


  • 265 calories
  • 29g carbs
  • 7g fiber
  • 16g sugar
  • 14g protein

The Winner: Smoothie

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