Tag Archives: high fructose corn syrup

Skip the Juice, Eat the Fruit

26 Nov

Everyone knows how important fruits and vegetables are to a well-rounded, healthy diet (even though research indicates that most of us don’t get enough of them in our daily diets).  Drinking your fruit (or veggies), in juice form, may seem like a convenient, sensible way to get your daily allowance, but is it?

Eating fruit can be more satisfying and beneficial than drinking juice.  Unfortunately, many juice drinks are nothing more than vitamin fortified sugar-water.  Many fruit juices that are sold in supermarkets contain only a small percentage of real fruit juice, and contain added sweeteners (sucrose or high fructose corn syrup). As a result, it is easy to consume a large amount of calories without getting any actual nutrition when you consume these beverages.  Skip the juice, eat the fruit, and you can save calories while ensuring your body gets all the nutrients fruit has to offer, including fiber.


Although fruit contains sugars, it provides natural — and not added — sugars.  Typically, fruit juice equivalents can be significantly higher is sugars, including added sugars (for example, an average serving of apple juice has 25-30% more sugar than a medium apple).  A similar scenario holds true for other fruits.  The effects of the sugar on your blood sugar is greater when you drink juice, as the absorption of the sugar is not mitigated by the fiber provided by the whole fruit. Thus, drinking fruit juice can set the stage for a series of blood-sugar spikes and subsequent crashes, a scenario that is not much different from eating a candy bar.


Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. You should eat 20 to 30 g of this nutrient each day, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Eating fiber has various health benefits; it can help to reduce your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. When you “drink” your fruit, you are eliminating this very important ingredient. Consider that a whole medium apple has more than 4 g of fiber, but apple juice has almost none. Blueberries are another example: A 1-cup serving will net you almost 4 g of beneficial fiber, but the juice provides practically none.  Fruit skins and pulp are the sources of many of the fruit’s nutrients (vitamins, flavonoids, etc.).


Eating foods rich in fiber helps to provide satiety, the feeling of being full. Chewing your fruit instead of drinking it can trick you into thinking you are eating more calories, as it takes longer to eat a bunch of grapes than it does to drink a serving of juice. Note that the serving sizes for juice are smaller than what you probably serve yourself. Only 1/3 to 1/2 cup of juice counts as one serving of fruit, according to the University of Illinois Extension. When you drink a 12-oz. glass of juice, you are drinking three servings of fruit — not an advantage if you are watching your calories and overall sugar intake.

Healthier Drinks

If you are in the habit of drinking juice, it may be replacing healthier beverage choices. Low-fat milk, which provides calcium, and tea, which provides anti-oxidants, are better choices. Juice often takes the place of water, as well. Water provides no calories and should be a part of everyone’s diet. Drinking juice in place of water can lead to weight gain and difficulties regulating blood sugar. For the best health, stick to eating whole fruits and drinking low-sugar, healthy beverages.

In most cases, the switch from whole fruit to fruit juice can only be made at the expense of full nourishment and health.


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