5 reasons to choose whole foods over juice

October 9, 2015

Juices are one way to add fruits and vegetables to your diet as well as keep your body hydrated, but they shouldn't replace eating whole foods. Here's four reasons why.

5 reasons to choose whole foods over juice

1. Fruit juices are high in calories and sugar

  • If you're watching your calories, juice may not be your best choice. Despite the nutrition in every glass, the calories from natural fruit sugar can add up quickly.
  • When you buy juices, choose the unsweetened varieties that don't have added sugars.
  • Watch for wordslike  "fruit drink" or "fruit punch." These drinks tend to be higher in sugar and other additives with less actual fruit juice.

2. Vegetable juices can be high in salt

  • Vegetable juices tend to have less sugar than fruit juices. The only caution with canned or bottled vegetable juice is a higher salt content.
  • Check labels carefully, and select a salt-reduced juice.

3. Whole foods have more fibre

  • Whole fruits and vegetables are more filling and satisfying than juice because of the fibre.
  • For example, one fresh orange has about 60 calories and three grams of fibre. A serving of one cup of fresh orange juice has about 110 calories, and less than one gram of fibre.

4. Fruit juice is bad for infants

  • Fruit juice should not be given to infants under six months old, according to a report from the American ­Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Juice, while rich in some nutrients, doesn't have the important nutrients that breast milk or infant formula have.
  • If a baby drinks juice instead of milk, it would be difficult to get the nutrients ­necessary for growth and development. And drinking a bottle of juice is filling, so the baby won't want to drink milk.
  • Drinking lots of juice can lead to diarrhea, poor weight gain and tooth decay. As ­children grow, the same can be true.
  • While the sweet taste of juice is appealing to kids, it shouldn't replace more nutritious foods in their diet.
  • Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits instead.

Juices can provide fluids and all the nutrients of the fruits and vegetables they were made from, but they also have some drawbacks. Be sure to balance juice with whole fruits when getting your daily servings.

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