This blog is my attempt to convince some of you to optimize your metabolic function by ditching the fruit juice and sticking to eating the whole fruits. One of our first recommendations to anyone trying to lose some fat, improve their glycemic control or improve their lipids is to cut out all sugary drinks, if they consume any. It may seem like common sense that soft drinks/sodas or other processed beverages increase risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, but many believe that fruit juice gets a free pass. Now don’t get me wrong, 100% fruit juice is much better than soda and other drinks made with sucrose or processed fructose and has even shown benefits in studies relating to cardiometabolic health.
But we are here to teach you how to optimize your diet,
thus this recommendation. Fruit has been historically thought to be healthful and has been shown in studies (many more than are necessary to list) to improve cardiovascular health, diabetes, and weight loss. Fruit juice in “excess” is associated with obesity in children and even when it has some of the benefits of fruit like improving HDL, it still increases triglycerides by a higher percentage. But there are some basic concepts which make eating the same amount of fruit compared to its juice much more metabolically optimal. The first basic premise is that you get more bang for your buck, or the other way around depending on how you look at it. The juice gives you a big glycemic load, along with its associated glycemic index, and significantly higher calories per same amount of volume.
The actual fruit has a higher fiber (which has plenty of evidence to support its benefits in adiposity, insulin resistance, cholesterol profile, and cardiovascular mortality) to carbohydrate ratio with far fewer calories, leading to lower glycemic load/index and improved satiety while still benefiting from all the great properties and health benefits fruit has to offer. On the other hand a recent meta-analysis correlates sweetened fruit juice to increased incidence diabetes, though not significantly for non-sweetened juice.
For a few examples, I pulled the calories, carbohydrates, and fiber data from www.nutritiondata.com to compare the fruits with their juices so you can see the difference between them regarding those important macronutrients and their ratios.
For one cup of either fruit or juice:
Orange juice has 112cal, 26gm carbs, and 0.5gm fiber compared to a cup of whole orange which has 85cal, 21gm carbs, and 5gm fiber!
Apple juice has 114cal, 28gm carbs, and 0.5gm fiber while a cup of actual apple has only 65cal, 17gm carbs, and 3gm fiber!
Cranberry juice has 116cal, 31gm carbs, and 0.5gm fiber versus a cup of cranberries having just 51cal, 13gm carbs, and 5gm fiber!
This goes on and on, and while I’m at it, I’d like to endorse the very high fiber to carbohydrate ratios of berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries which are full of antioxidants and have been linked with an plethora of health benefits.
So in addition to cutting out sodas and other sweetened drinks, switch your juice back to its source and eat the fruit to help you live lean and live long!
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