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Dear Hungry Girl,

I have been drinking low sodium V8 a lot lately.  But I am curious if this is a good way to get in some veggie servings and cut calories, or are juice calories just empty calories?

-All Juiced Up
Dear All Juiced,

While fruit and vegetable juices are sometimes high in calories, they're not empty calories.  Juices contain nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins.  But they usually contain more calories and sugar than you'd get from eating a piece of the fruit or veggie they're made from.  Plus, juice isn't as filling as eating an actual apple, carrot, pineapple, etc. --  which is one of the reasons most experts recommend people choose real fruits and veggies over juice.  That being said, low sodium V8 contains much fewer calories and grams of sugar than most fruit juices.  One 8 oz. serving has just 50 calories, no fat, 10 carbs, 2g fiber, 8g sugar, and 2g protein.  And each cup counts as one full serving of fruits and veggies.  So if you have a hard time getting in the recommended 9 daily servings, and you like the taste of V8, you may want to spend those 50 calories on a glass of it.  By the way, good call on the low sodium version.  Each serving has just 140mg, which is 75% less sodium than regular V8.

Dear Hungry Girl,

I just bought a sno-cone maker, and was wondering where I could get some fruity, sugar free syrups for it.  Also, are regular sugary sno-cones high in calories?

-Ice Queen
Dear Ice Queen,

No matter how old you are, sno-cones ROCK!  And even though the main ingredient in these froze-tastic treats is ice (which, as you know, is calorie free), the syrups most people pour on top of it are basically artificially colored, flavored liquid sugar.   And that adds up to LOTS of empty calories.  Many of the sugar free Hawaiian Shave Ice syrups sold online aren't great.  They're often watery (ewww), or require you to add your own sweetener (annoying).  Hands down, our fave calorie-free goo for pouring over shaved ice is Sugar Free Torani Syrups.  Torani offers up an insane amount  of sugar free syrup flavors.  My sno-cone making faves are the Peach, Watermelon, Raspberry, Mango, Strawberry and Black Cherry flavors.  I recommend buying a few flavors and mixing them up to make a rainbow sno-cone.  Use handy-dandy syrup pourers to make sure you get the perfect amount.  HG Tip: Take a cue from Hawaiians and place a teeny scoop of ice cream at the bottom of your sno-cone. It'll keep your ice frozen and your syrup from melting to the bottom.  Just be sure to use a light ice cream like Breyer's Cal Smart Vanilla or Dreyer's Grand Light.  Time to dust off that Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine!


A recent study showed that people who drank a lot of fruit and vegetable juices had a much lower risk of developing Alzheimer's than people who drank very little or none of it.

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