Fruit vs Juice for Weight Loss
When it comes to lasting weight loss, there is no quick fix to attaining healthy and lasting results. Fitness enthusiasts everywhere have likely heard about the juicing craze that has been sweeping the nation.
People have been lining up in droves to purchase kitchen appliances that will effortlessly puree their favorite green smoothies in the promise of more lean days to come.
Trendy juice bars and cleanses have been popping up left and right in recent years. Juice may seem like a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth. But have you ever stopped to wonder how healthy that juice actually is?
Nutrients in Fruits vs Juices
Are juice calories equal to fruit calories? And can drinking juice help you lose weight?
Juicing and fasting can be healthy in moderation. The problem is that when you drink the juice you miss out on a lot of the nutritional benefits that fruits and vegetables have to give. Reducing them to liquid form gets you closer to a soda than a farm-fresh healthy snack.
While the nutritive value of juice is entirely valid, there is a hot debate in fitness circles that remains. Which is better for weight loss, whole fruit or juice?
This article will take a look at some of the factors. Factors that must be considered when deciding what to consume for premium nutrition. And whether or not drinking juice for weight loss is the way to go.
Fruit vs Juice: Lemon Cleanse Diet
A great example of a bad technique is a popular trend in the juice craze called the Lemon Cleanse Diet.
Like many juice cleanses, the Lemon Cleanse Diet is essentially a fast where you only drink a lemon-based drink and herbal tea for several days. The master cleanse has been around for years, but celebrities such as Beyonce and Anne Hathaway have made it hip once more.
Critics of the lemon cleanse have steadfastly claimed that while it is effective at facilitating fast weight loss, it is not necessarily the most healthy way to do so.
The cleanse involves drinking a combination of hot water, lemon, organic maple syrup, and cayenne pepper several times a day while completely giving up solid food. Participants on the lemon cleanse do actually lose weight, but they also lose muscle.
Unsurprisingly, not eating for several days results in some weight loss.
What many people do not realize is that by consuming next to nothing for days on end the body starts to break down muscle for fuel.
This can actually slow down your metabolism and make it more difficult for you to manage your weight once you start eating again. So, juice as your main form of food is not ideal.
Processed Fruit Vs. Fresh Squeezed Fruit
Not all juices are created equal either. Shelf-stable juices often have additives and preservatives – even added sugar!
On top of that, fruits and veggies start to lose their nutritional value from the moment they are picked. The longer that juice sits in a bottle the less nutritional power it has.
Freshly squeezed juice – or as close as you can get – is a better option if you must drink the juice. But beware the nutritional pitfalls of liquifying your fruit.
Just take a look at the nutritional value of fresh extracted of freshly squeezed juices. It will be difficult to justify consuming processed ones.
Juices that have been freshly extracted or squeezed retain the bulk of their nutritional value. This means that live enzymes, vitamins, and minerals are still present. And they can almost immediately enter the cells of your body to be used for optimal nutrition.
Processed juices, on the other hand, have most likely gone through a pasteurization process. This process depletes the fruit of most of its nutritional value.
Processed juices have all of the flavors–and all of the sugar—that is still present, with very little nutritional value left. If the nutritional value is the most important, do you believe that juices are giving you the most band for your buck?
Juicing for Weight Loss: More Sugar Than Soda
Studies have found that some juice actually has more sugar than soda.
The natural sugar in fruit is called fructose. It’s what gives the fruit its sweet taste.
But consider this: 1 cup of apple juice is the equivalent of the fructose-containing fluid from 3-4 apples being squeezed into your glass. Juice calories are (usually) not coming from white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. But fructose makes the juice a sugary drink nonetheless.
The sugar present in juices may seem more natural than that present in soda. However, this fructose concentration still harms your weight loss efforts.
Some juices, such as Minute Maid Apple, have nearly 66 grams of fructose per liter. This fructose content is higher than that found in both Dr.Pepper and Coca Cola!
Are you really getting the best nutritional value from its consumption?
Fruit vs Juice: Liquid Calories
You have probably heard the term “liquid calories” before. It is often used when talking about soda or lattes or alcohol or juice. In short, the drinks that sneakily rack up our daily calorie count are what we mean, here.
Just 1 cup of apple juice has about 100 calories. That equals 5% of the average 2,000 calories per day diet in one sip! Liquid calories like juice add up quickly and can make it hard to lose weight.
People struggling to maintain their weight or lose a little weight often overlook the issue of liquid calories–the number of calories that are consumed in liquid form.
Sugar sodas, juices, coffees, and all of those extra calories really add up over time; if you are finding yourself at an impasse and the scale just won’t budge, consider cutting a few beverages out of your daily intake plan, and perhaps the scale will once again start moving in a downward direction.
Fruit vs Juice: Fructose
Although it’s tempting to think that we are doing okay as long as our diet adds up to equal calories at or below a daily limit. We know it is tempting to think that all foods are equal calories. But the fact of the matter is, that they simply are not.
Your body gets more benefit from 1 calorie of fiber-dense or protein-packed, nutritious carbohydrates than 1 calorie of sugar. And it gets worse.
A report by the Mayo Clinic found that added sugars are more damaging to metabolism than carbohydrates.
Ready for the kicker?
They found that fructose is the worst of the added sugars.
Juicing strips away all the other beneficial parts of fruit like fiber and protein and effectively leaves you with a glass of fructose.
What can you do to satisfy your sweet tooth instead? Eat a piece of fruit!
It has come to light recently that the human body is not designed to process fructose at such high levels.
While glucose is easily assimilated into the body’s tissues, fructose is processed almost entirely by the liver, where it is converted into fat. Increased fat on the body increases the risk of diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Who knew that consumption of something once thought healthy could have such dire consequences?
Fruit vs Juice: Fruit Is More Filling
Remember how it takes 3-4 apples to make just 1 cup of juice?
Nutrition aside, imagine how you would feel if you drank 1 cup of apple juice. Now imagine how you would feel if you ate 4 apples.
Very different, right?
That is because when you eat a piece of fruit you are eating the flesh and the skin of the fruit which contains fiber that gives you a full feeling and offsets the fructose (which is just empty carbs).
Juice, on the other hand, gets rid of all that good fiber and leaves you with only the fructose. The consumption of whole fruit, while still providing the body with fructose, combines the natural sugar with fiber, which slows down and reduces the absorption of fructose by the body.
The fiber present in whole fruit gives you a feeling of fullness, providing you with valued nutrition and the best of the fruit’s properties to aid in weight loss.
Whole fruit also provides vitamins and minerals which can only be released when you chew and swallow; these very acts add to the feeling of satiety when eating.
A small glass of “liquid fruit” might be counted in your daily servings of fruit, but it is easy to overdo consumption and caloric intake, as there is no feeling of fullness after drinking.
Buying store-bought and processed juice is risky business too, as it is unknown as to whether there have been other fillers and sugars added to make it more appealing and attractive to consumers. It would seem that it would be a wise choice to incorporate eating fruit for weight loss.
Fruit vs Juice: Not all Calories are Created Equal
The takeaway is that not all calories equal good calories.
Instead of juice dig into fresh, whole fruit. Swap out your liquid calories for water to stay hydrated. If you want something more flavorful try unsweetened herbal tea.
The switch from juice to fruit and calorie-free drinks alone can slash your daily caloric intake and help you trim down in a healthy, lasting way.
While some fitness enthusiasts have maintained their supportive stance on juice for weight loss, the reality is that consuming fruit for weight loss is a more sensible and sustainable option for most.
What are you waiting for?
Fill out that shopping list, immerse yourself in your nearest beautiful produce section, and start planning your next gorgeous fruit salad!
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