Fruits are an essential part of our diets; rich in minerals and vitamins, and packed with flavor. Those who do not consume fruits opt for juices, which help you consume more fruits in one go, are easier to digest, and enables your body to absorb nutrients faster.
However, lets understand the debate between Fruit and Fruit Juices a bit better.
Consuming a fruit as a whole includes pulp, the skin and flesh. Each are rich in nutrients such as fiber, flavonoids in the skin, water soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals in the flesh, and fiber in the pulp! The peel is exposed to sunlight, which creates colored pigments such as carotenoids and flavonoids; and it is beneficial to eat apples, strawberries, grapes and cherries with their skin intact.
Whole fruits have insoluble fibers, which prevents a spike in blood glucose levels, as fibers slow down the process of absorption.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU JUICE THE FRUIT?
1.When we juice the fruit, sugars such as fructose and glucose (monosaccharides) are released along with the broken-down fibre;
2.Hence, when Drinking juice, not enough fibre is present, and the fructose (now free sugar) immediately enters the blood stream, causing a spike in blood glucose levels;
3.The pancreas releases insulin in order to bring down these high levels to maintain a state of homeostasis. Since our body can only produce a certain amount of insulin at a time, the excess free sugars (glucose and fructose) are stored as fat. The spike in insulin levels could be a risk factor for diabetes;
Many of us also forget that in order to make a glass of juice a lot of fruit is used, which you probably will not have in one go when eating whole fruits instead. This, coupled with added sugar, is not healthy and instead can be more harmful than beneficial.
Fruit juices reduce the number of nutrients and leave a much more concentrated source of sugar.
FRUIT JUICE FOR WEIGHT LOSS: A MYTH
Many food companies, influencers and celebrities endorse the use of fruit juices to shed those extra kilos when in fact it’s the opposite; it’s loaded with added sugar, which means a greater calorie intake. It’s not recommended to heavily depend on fruit juices if you want to lose weight.
FRUIT OR FRUIT JUICES?
Well, the choice is all yours. It’s up to you to decide and make a healthy and feasible decision, but here are some tips:
- Fruit juices can be consumed occasionally as long as it’s 100% juice with no added sugar and no more than one glass a day;
- Make your juice at home. This will ensure you know exactly how it’s made (with the pulp, flesh and skin if possible). Pair it with vegetables to increase the fiber, vitamin and mineral content. This will also prevent the increased effect on blood glucose levels;
- Whole fruits are a great option as a snack or a mid-filler for those who are on a calorie deficit and want to lead a healthy lifestyle;
- Add a variety of fruits to your diet, especially seasonal fruits which are great for your gut and provides your body with a range of nutrients;
- If you do purchase packaged juices, make sure to READ THE LABEL. This is very important so you know what you’re putting into your body, as many packaged juices have lots of added sugar and flavorings;
- Opt for other alternative beverages: Coconut water, buttermilk, lassi, milk, sherbet or lemonade;
- Remember anything in excess is harmful for your body!
Make the right choice, and let’s aim for a healthier, happier you!