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NUTRITIONISTS OFFER TIPS FOR `HEALTHY FAST FOOD'

Some tips for making what nutritionist Cherie Calbom calls "the healthy fast food":

- You can't make good juice in a blender. Blenders just mush up the fruit or vegetables, rather than separating the juice from the harder to digest pulp. The result won't taste very good. High-speed juicing machines can cost between $70 and $1,200. The less expensive models make good juice but extract less juice from the pulp than the more expensive machines.- The peels of fruits like cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple and lemons contain useful nutrients, says "The Juiceman," Jay Kordich. (In fact, he says, when you eat just the orange flesh of the cantaloupe you are getting only about 5 percent of the useable nutrients.) You can juice these peels, but be sure to wash them first with biodegradable soaps or a product made from grapefruit seed extract. (Pineapple and melon peels may be hard to get through the lower-priced juicers).

- Never juice the peels of oranges or grapefruits, says Kordich, because these contain an indigestible oil. But when you peel them, be sure to leave on as much of the white as possible, since this part contains bioflavonoids.

- Never juice apple seeds, says Cherie Calbom, author of "Juicing for Life," because they contain small amounts of cyanide.

- Never juice carrot and rhubarb greens; they contain toxic substances.

- Organically grown, unsprayed produce makes the purest juice, says Calbom.

- Kordich says fresh juices should be drunk as soon as possible. Orange juice, for example, loses all its vitamin C within an hour, he says. But even drinking fresh juice that's been stored for a day or two is better than drinking processed juices, says Calbom.

- The juice of a carrot or an apple will make just about any other vegetable juice palatable (even kale, parsley or wheat grass).

- There is controversy even among juicing gurus about whether you should mix fruits and vegetables in the same drink. The Juiceman says you shouldn't because this can cause gastritis. Apples, though, can be mixed with anything, he says. Melons, he says, should not even be mixed with other fruits. The Juicewoman says you can mix fruits and vegetables.

- If you suffer from hypoglycemia, says Calbom, drinking fruit juice in the morning may make you feel lightheaded. Instead, try vegetable juice.

- "Chew" your first swig of juice each time you drink a glass, to get salivary glands working, says Kordich. - Elaine Jarvik