Which is Best?
Whole fruits or fruit juice? With so many juice bars and fruit juice machines gaining popularity, it seems appropriate to ask the question, which is better for our health, the whole fruit, or just the juice? Juices can be tricky, just stroll down the grocery aisle dedicated to all those fruity concoctions. It’s hard to tell what’s what. Is it a juice, punch, or just a fruit flavored drink loaded down with artificial flavorings, colors and sugar? When searching for a healthy juice, the first thing to look for is the "100% juice" label somewhere displayed on the package. Next, check how many grams of sugar are in each serving. Some fruit juices can have as much sugar as soda.
Still, even if the right juice is found, are we better off just eating the fruit itself? There are some advantages to juice. You can combine several types of juice and drink the equivalent to several pieces of fruit in one glass. This can be helpful in adding needed variety to your diet. It’s definitely better to drink juice than to consume no fruits at all. Whole fruits contain needed dietary fiber. Many nutrients are lost during the commercial process of making juice. Juice loses it’s nutritional value when pre-packaged and stored for long periods of time on grocery shelves. Still, some vitamins and antioxidants may be concentrated at higher levels in juices, since you’ll be drinking the equivalent of several servings of fruit per glass. Of course, calories and sugars are concentrated as well. When you eat the whole fruit, you consume less calories and will feel full and satisfied for a longer period of time than by just drinking a glass of juice.
If you choose to make your own fruit juice at home, be sure to include the edible skins in order to get the greatest nutritional value. Also, drink the juice as soon as it’s processed for the biggest nutritional punch. So, it seems that the jury’s still out. If drinking juice is what it takes for you to get fruit into your diet, then it’s definitely something to consider. Even better if you’ll be making your own fresh juice at home. Just don’t forget to eat some whole fruits along the way too, for a more filling, fiber-full, well balanced diet.