Fruit Vs Fruit Juice
The fruit vs fruit juice debate is one of the hottest topics in health and fitness circles. Many people argue that fruits alone are the key to good health while others believe that fruit juices still have some benefits to offer. This article will compare the two side by side and examine the key differences between them.
1. Fiber Content
Fiber is an indigestible type of carbohydrate that keeps your digestive system healthy by promoting regular bowel movements, ensuring waste materials are removed from your body efficiently and protecting against bowel disease. It also allows you to absorb a greater amount of energy and nutrients from the foods you eat, protects against cancer and regulates the release of glucose into your blood.
Fruits are an excellent source of fiber and almost every type of fruit contains over 10% of the RDA for this nutrient in a single serving. Fruit juice contains no fiber and so by drinking it, you don’t get to enjoy any of the health benefits listed above.
Winner = Fruit
2. Sugar Content
Sugar provides your body with instant energy and is a great source of fuel when consumed in moderation. However, large doses of sugar cause your blood glucose levels to surge and crash which can lead to unstable energy levels and organ damage. Sugar is also a concentrated source of calories, so consuming too much can lead to unwanted weight gain.
One of the most commonly held misconceptions about fruit juice is that it contains significantly more sugar than whole fruits. However, the truth is that gram for gram, fruits and fruit juice contain very similar levels of sugar. For example, 100g of oranges contains 9.4g of sugar while 100g of orange juice contains 8.4g.
Despite the similar levels of sugar, fruit is still a better choice than fruit juice in terms of sugar intake for two main reasons. First, the fiber in fruit slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream and minimizes any harmful effects. Second, a single portion of fruit is often smaller in size than a glass of fruit juice, so by sticking to whole fruits, you naturally ingest less sugar.
3. Nutrient Content
Fruits and fruit juice contain a wide range of health boosting vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. These essential nutrients support your body in countless ways and are responsible for maintaining strong vision, allowing you to get the maximum energy from the foods you eat, protecting against various chronic diseases, strengthening your bones, keeping your blood healthy and much more.
The vast majority of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are contained in the pulp and skin of the fruit. Since fruit juice doesn’t contain any solid parts, it contains far fewer nutrients than whole fruits and this makes fruits the top choice in terms of nutritional value.
Winner = Fruit
Both fruits and fruit juice are amongst the most convenient healthy foods out there. They don’t require any preparation, they’re highly portable and they create minimal mess. However, since fruit juice contains no peel, seeds or inedible parts, it is a slightly more convenient choice than whole fruit. In addition to this, since fruit juice comes in liquid form, it’s much quicker to consume when you’re pressed for time which further adds to its convenience.
Winner = Fruit Juice
Water is essential for good health. It helps maintain fluid balance in your body, keeps your blood healthy, energizes your muscles, hydrates your skin, supports your vital organs and much more. Fruits and fruit juice are both excellent choices for staying hydrated with water being their main ingredient. However, with fruit juice having an average concentration of 90% water and fruit containing an average of 80% water, fruit juice is the winner when it comes to hydration.
Winner = Fruit Juice
To get the maximum nutritional benefit, aim to consume mainly whole fruits and limit your intake of fruit juice. While fruit juice is a viable alternative to water from time to time that will provide your body with some nutrients and keep you hydrated, it’s nowhere near as beneficial as whole fruits. Whole fruits contain fiber along with a much higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than fruit juice and therefore give your health a much bigger kick.