We all should eat more fruits and vegetables. Could we consider whether we use the whole fruit or a glass of juice, which one seems more healthful? So the basic question is… “When it comes to nutrition, should you drink your orange or eat it?”
The general advice is to opt for the whole fruit, since juices are stripped of the fiber – which most us don't get enough of — in whole fruit. And let's face it: Most commercial (store bought) orange juice contains a lot of sugar, which most of us already consume too much of.
Fruit juice is often perceived as healthy. That’s understandable, given that it is natural and has the word “fruit” in it. However… what many people fail to realize is that fruit juice is also loaded with sugar. In fact, fruit juice often contains just as much sugar and calories as a sugary soft drink… and sometimes even more.
Fruit juice does contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but it lacks Fiber The small amounts of vitamins and antioxidants in the juice also do not make up for the large amount of sugar.
The simple reasons to eat the whole fruit is no added sugars and the fiber that it contains. Whole oranges are rich in fiber if you are talking about eating the sections inside.
When we eat whole fruit, it takes significant effort to chew and swallow them. The sugar in them is also bound within fibrous structures that break down slowly during digestion. Not only that, but fruit is also very fulfilling… so it’s hard to eat a lot of it.
For these reasons, the sugar in whole fruit gets sent to the liver slowly and in small amounts. The liver can easily metabolize these small amounts without being overloaded.
Controlled metabolic studies show that liquid sugar can cause insulin resistance, raise triglycerides and small, dense LDL cholesterol, elevate oxidized LDL cholesterol and cause belly fat accumulation… in as little as 10 weeks.
Although most of the studies are using sugar-sweetened or fructose-sweetened drinks, there is no reason to assume that 100% fruit juice would be any different. The sugar molecules are identical and your liver won’t be able to tell the difference.
But just in case you’re in doubt, some studies did use actual fruit juice. In one of them, 480 ml (16 ounces) of grape juice per day for 3 months caused insulin resistance and increased waist circumference in overweight individuals.
In another study, consuming 2 or more servings of fruit juice per day was associated with more than a doubled risk of gout in women.
So the best advice is to eat your fruit rather than drink it.
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180 South “E” Street
Porterville, CA 93257