This blog was written by Penny Pohlmann, MS. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
We pretty much know that fruit is healthy for us, right? It’s a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting antioxidants that are essential for health. Did you also know that the number of servings that ChooseMyPlate (the USDA replacement for the food guide pyramid) recommends we consume is up to 2 cups? You, like me, probably don’t meet those recommendations every day, do you?
Whether it’s the cost, storage, or preparation, eating fruit is not always simple. That’s why many of us turn to fruit juice as a way to cover all our nutritional bases.
One Study Finds Health Benefits of Fruit Juice
So does fruit juice provide the same nutritional benefits as whole fruit? Yes and no (don’t you love that answer?). A study conducted at UC Davis found that consuming 100 percent fruit juice “could have protective healthy benefits similar to those of whole fruits.”
It is important to note that the study tested 100 percent fruit juice. Many of the fruit juices available at the grocery store contain only a small percentage of fruit and plenty of added sugar and other chemicals. This means you’re also getting a lot more calories from a serving of juice than you would if you had just eaten a piece of fresh fruit.
Whole Fruit Makes You Feel More Full
If you have ever tried to lose weight before, you’ve probably heard that an easy way to reduce your calorie intake is to reduce the number of calories you get from drinks. Additionally, eating a whole apple is going to provide much more satiety on a reduced-calorie diet than an eight-ounce glass of apple juice.
Why is the apple so much more satisfying? Part of the feeling of fullness it creates is the fiber content that comes from the skin of the apple. The skin on fruits like grapes, apples, cranberries, and pears get left out of the mix when these fruits are used to make juice.
If you are looking to ensure that you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and health benefits supplied by fruits, 100 percent fruit juice can be a healthy option. But I wouldn’t rely on fruit juice to replace whole fruit all the time.
Ask a Registered Dietician
Does your corporate wellness program provide your employees access to a registered dietician? There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information out there regarding health and nutrition. Ensure you’re getting the best advice about your diet by seeking the help of a degreed and licensed dietician.