I have always heard that eating a whole fruit with breakfast or as a mid-morning snack not only makes you feel full but also provides you with all the essential vitamins and minerals. So I often make sure to carry a whole fruit in my lunch bag instead of processed foods to gorge on during snack time.
My brother, on the other hand, prefers drinking a glass of freshly prepared fruit juice after his morning workout. This is because he believes it replenishes the lost electrolytes as well as fluids and provides energy quickly helping him to kick-start his day on a healthy note. So starting his day with fruit juice has become his daily routine.
Although both of us include fruits in our diet, what is surprising is that I prefer eating whole fruit but for him, drinking fruit juice is the key. Moreover, numerous studies claim that eating whole fruit is healthy as compared to drinking its juice. There is no doubt that a bite from your favorite fruit in the morning is sure to keep you rejuvenated, but today more and more people are switching to fruit juice instead of eating the whole fruit. Is it the right habit to replace whole fruits with fruit juices? Or should one opt for the whole fruit instead of fruit juice? Well, here we are to answer the most common question that — is drinking fresh fruit juice the same as eating fruit? Read on to find out the answer.
Differences Between Fruit Juice and Whole Fruits
Fruits are natural laxatives, diuretics, and fat burners. They are a powerhouse of fiber, energy, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fruits also contain enzymes like digestive enzymes. that help to break down protein, carbohydrates, and fats into smaller components. So to help you understand the difference between eating whole fruits and drinking fruit juice, we have explained in detail about the pros and cons of each — fruits and fruit juices. Here you go.
Fruit Juice Is:
Convenient: In this fast moving world, juices are a convenient way of consuming more amounts of fruits. The main benefit of juicing is that they are easy to consume, hassle-free and can be had anytime, anywhere.
Easy To Absorb: Juices are comparatively easy to absorb. If you have a glass of fruit juice your body will be able to absorb all the amazing nutrients of the juice quicker. Juices are a must have during days of scorching heat when you need instant energy.
High In Sugar Content: Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit as it has got as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks. So fruit juices not only have high concentrated sugars but are also high in calories. Moreover, as juices are readily absorbed by the body, they do not fill your stomach and thus, make you crave for more.
Low In Fiber: Juices contain very less fiber and more sugar which do more harm than good. Most of the fiber comes from skins and peels of the fruit which is very good for health. It is devoid of the essential nutrients and fiber that is stored in these peels.
Loaded With Preservatives: Canned fruit juices are loaded with preservatives to increase their shelf life which is not very healthy for your overall well being.
Whole Fruits Are:
Rich In Nutrients: Nothing compares to having whole fruits. It keeps all the nutrients intact, prevents any damage caused by processing and gives you all the benefits that the fruit has to offer. Many of the nutrients and vitamins are sensitive to heat and processing and are lost when you have fruit juices instead of the fruit. If you are not a fan of fruits but still want to enjoy the health benefits of dietary fiber, then you can blend the fruit into a smoothie and enjoy it.
Packed With Fiber: Preferring whole fruit makes you get all the dietary fiber- both soluble and insoluble types. The combined health benefits of dietary fiber are reduced cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, appetite control, less digestive problems and lesser obesity issues. Due to high fiber in whole fruits, they not only make your stomach feel full but also prevents you from feeling hungry and craving unhealthy food.
Less in Calories: Fruits contains natural sugars which are good for the health. They are devoid of additional sugars and preservatives which make them less in caloric content. Eating fruits do not cause an instant spike in the glucose level and are digested slowly, which makes it a better option as compared to juices.
Not Convenient: Having the fruit rather than the juice involves a lot of time and effort which is not always possible. But with the countless benefits that fruits have to offer, it is worth the hassle. Juices become an option when you would like to have the fruit benefits but still have to rush for your next agenda. You can carry a whole fruit instead of cut fruits and enjoy it as a healthy snack during evening time.
Not Very Travel-Friendly: It is next to impossible to carry large amounts of fruits during travel but you can readily pack your fresh fruit juices into air-tight bottles. When going to work, you can take the whole fruit and have it instead of slicing it up and having it later. That takes away some of the nutrients from it. But that doesn’t make fruit juices healthier than fruits.
As per various studies and nutritional experts, whole fruit is a much healthier option than juice. So it’s better to eat the fruit than drink the juice. But make sure to include fruits in your diet as it is recommended that including 3-4 servings of fresh fruits in diet can lower your risk of having chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancers, hypertension and heart problems. So grab your fruit salad and relish it as you are bound to get the extra vigor you need for your day!
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)