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A team of scientists from Britain, Singapore, and the Harvard School of Public Health have found that while eating fruit lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, drinking fruit (in the form of juice) . Muraki I., Imamura, F. et al. British Medical Journal, 2013 Aug 28; 347:f5001..
, which surveyed nearly 190,000 Britons over 24 years, found that blueberries were the best option, with three servings per week cutting the risk of diabetes by 26 percent. Grapes and apples also substantially lowered the risk of diabetes, while bananas, plums, and peaches had a negligible effect. Three weekly servings of fruit juice, on the other hand, upped the risk by eight percent.
Despite its convenience, juice is a far less healthy option than a real piece of fruit. Not only does the juicing process destroy a number of fruits’ beneficial compounds and antioxidants, it nearly all of the natural fiber . Crowe, K.M. & Murray, E. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2013 Jun 26. pii: S2212-2672(13)00514-5.. All the sugar with none of the fiber? No, thanks — carries a myriad of digestive benefits and is crucial for of the fruit’s sugar and keeping its glycemic index low. This, the scientists , may be why juice increases the risk of diabetes, and why a high intake of fruit juice has been linked to childhood obesity . Wojcicki, J.M. & Heyman, M.B. American Journal of Public Health, 2012 Sep;102(9):1630-3. . Monsivais, P. & Rehm, C.D. School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2012 May;166(5):459-64..
It’s important to note that while it’s often marketed as healthy and natural, juice is . Just eight ounces of regular orange juice, for instance, contains , the equivalent of almost two oranges. However, you won’t feel as filled up, because the juice doesn’t contain any fiber. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the calories are worth the vitamins — a provides well over the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and without as high a spike in blood sugar.
Many juices on the market are also a lot less natural than they appear. Some “100 percent juice” products, such as those of Tropicana and Minute Maid, undergo a manufacturing process wherein the juices are squeezed and stored inside giant vats while the fruit’s in season. When oxygen is removed to help with preservation, with it, and companies that specialize in synthesizing fragrances are hired to add in “” before the juice gets sold — up to a year later.
It's probably better to just grab an apple. A bottle of juice can be a more portable source of vitamins than, say, a half-eaten banana. But whenever both are viable options, pick the fruit. The fiber will fill you up, the nutrients are intact, and it still tastes like nature’s candy. Nom.
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