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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are freshly juiced oranges and apples good for you?

    Are we better off to eat non juiced fruit or are juiced veggies good for you? Also are freshly juiced fruit and veg fattening?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2

    Thanks

    Courtney Bates

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Courtney is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Accredited Nutritionist (AN) and member of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). She runs her own practice on … View Profile

    Great questions! A glass of freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice is a quick and easy way to get vitamins and minerals in, as well as helping meet your recommended 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables when life is busy! In saying that though, I always recommend eating whole fruit and vegetables rather than juicing them, if possible.

    Why? Juicing removes the pulp and thus juices are often lacking in the fibre that the whole fruit or vegetables would provide. Fibre is important for increasing your feeling of fullness and therefore controlling your calorie intake. If you eat the whole fruit or vegetables as opposed to the juice, you will feel fuller for longer.

    Fruit juice, althought being ‘fat-free’, is still a concentrated source of fructose (fruit sugar) and kilojoules. Have you noticed that 2 or 3 whole oranges go into producing a single cup of fresh juice. So limit to a small 125ml glass. Vegetable juices, such as carrot, celery and beetroot, are a healthier alternative to fruit juice as they are lower in sugar and kilojoules.

    Courtney Dinnerville
    Accredited Practising Dietitian

  • 1

    Thanks

    Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Completely agree with Courtney!

    One more thing to add is be aware of the salt (sodium) content of some vegetable juices. As Courtney mentioned- vegetable juices can be a lower kilojoule option than fruit juices and can contain some fabulous nutrients, however some manufacturers add sodium to the vegetable juice. For example an original V8 vegetable juice can have approx 600-700mg of sodium. This is quite high if you think you are drinking a healthy juice of just vegetables. I recommend buying the reduced sodium variety (they are avaliable- not totally sodium free but better than original) or making your own!

  • 1

    Agree

    1

    Thanks

    Dr Kevin Lee

    Endocrinologist, Nuclear Medicine Physician

    Consultant Physician in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nuclear Medicine. I am on Twitter @dr_kevinlee. I am on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kevinleefracp/ I help patients with obesity, diabetes, thyroid, … View Profile

    I would like to add that there is very scant clinical evidence to suggest that fruit juice is equivalent to eating whole fruits in terms of all the health benefits.

    Most critically, by not consuming the fruit pulp means significantly less fibre being consumed. A lot of the benefits of fruits and vegetables is actually in the fibre.

    For those of us who are overweight/obese, juice is also less filling and therefore we tend to consume more calories as a result.

    Additionally, for the patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes, fruit juice has generally much higher glycemic index than equivalent whole fruit, meaning higher likelihood of blood sugar spikes after drinking juice as opposed to eating whole fruit.

    I am not a big fan of "health benefits" promoted by fresh juice companies. If they really want to promote healthy eating they should be advising people that whole fruits are still generally better. All the juice bars inside shopping centres are indirectly contributing to extra energy consumption that 2/3 of Australians do not need.

     

    Regards,

    Dr Kevin Lee

    Consultant Physician Endocrinologist.

    http://www.facebook.com/kevinleeFRACP/

    http://www.dr-kevinlee.com

  • 2

    Thanks

    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    A couple decades ago, juicing was something that only overzealously health-conscious people did.  You just knew someone was into healthy living if he or she owned a juicer or drank fresh juice regularly. Today, it's much more popular. People are juicing to lose weight, to cleanse and to consume more nutrients. Juicers are popular sold not only via infomercials but can easily be found in department stores. Juice bars have popped up everywhere. Juicing is the process of extracting the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables.  A small kitchen appliance known as a juicer is used to extract the juice. Drinking the juice of fruits and vegetables means consuming their water and much of their vitamin and mineral content; however, the pulp, or fibre, which also has many health benefits, is removed. (Note: Some high-powered juicers do retain most of the pulp in the juice, thus resulting in a thicker juice.)

    • Whole foods usually contain more vitamins and minerals. This is most often due to the fact that many of these nutrients are in (or very near) the skin of fruits and vegetables, which gets discarded as pulp when fruits and vegetables are juiced.  
       
    • Whole foods always provide more fibre. As expected, fibre content is always higher in the whole produce since it is primarily found in the pulp, which is removed with the traditional juicing process. Fibre is one of the key reasons that fruits and vegetable are so good for us.
       
    • Both juice and whole foods provide a lot of water. No matter which option you choose, juice, whole fruits and whole vegetables all provide needed hydration for the body.
       
    • Whole fruits are lower in carbs than their juices.  Both fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, but fruits contain more carbs than veggies typically do.  These carbs come primarily from the natural sugars contained in the produce, but are considered ''smart carbs'' because they are nutrient dense and rich in fibre, which helps slow  blood sugar response in the body. Yet, for people following a weight-loss program or a diet to control blood sugar levels, the carbs in fruits, vegetables, and their juices should all be monitored.  When making your selections, note that fruit juices are usually higher in carbohydrates.


      One other concern with juicing is the cost. It takes a lot of fruits and vegetables to make a small amount of juice, and these fresh produce items don't come cheap. Especially if you are discarding the pulp, you're spending a lot of money on making fresh juice when your wallet (and body) may benefit more from simply eating the fresh produce. Healthy eating does not have to cost a lot of money, but if budgetary constraints are a top concern of yours, juicing isn't the most frugal choice when it comes to getting the most nutrition for your buck. 

    So Why Do People Juice? What Are the Benefits?
    People who juice usually fall into one or more categories based on the reason they choose to juice.
     

    • The Juice Cleanser uses a juice concoction with the goal of detoxing the body and giving the gut a rest.
       
    • The Juice Faster is typically looking to jump-start their weight loss by using fruit and vegetable juices as their main source of nutrition for up to a few days, weeks, or even months.
       
    • The Juice Snacker enjoys freshly squeezed juice with a meal or snack, and occasionally replaces a meal with only juice. This juicer simply likes juice or feels that fresh juice is a healthy addition to their diet on occasion.


    Does juicing help people reach any of the goals above? I'll be the first to admit that while there is a great deal of research regarding the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, there is very little research-based evidence regarding the juice of such produce. Yet, we can still use science and common sense to answer the most common questions about juicing.

    Juicing is no healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables.  When comparing gram weights, juice is not more nutritious than the whole produce. In fact, it is often lower in many nutrients, and the beneficial fibre is near zero. Contrary to some claims, your body does not absorb the nutrients better in juice form.
     
    That said, juice does contain nutrients. Many people prefer drinking juice to eating whole fruits and vegetables. So if juicing helps you increase your consumption of produce, that is generally a good thing for most people. However, you will get more health benefits from finding ways to increase your daily consumption of whole fruits and vegetables than by only drinking their juice alone, so that should be your  main goal if health is your reason for juicing.

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