Are fruit juices healthy?

We all know that fruit is good for us and we should be eating two or three services of fruit per day. Reasons why we should be eating fruit include:

  • fruits are high in vitamins and minerals
  • fruit are high in valuable antioxidants
  • fruit is an excellent source of fibre

So if fruit is good for us, what about fruit juices? This is what Kathryn has to say about fruit:

Fruit is part of a healthy diet because of its vitamin, antioxidant and fibre content. Fruit also contributes small but useful amounts of potassium and nutritional guidelines recommend two or three pieces of fruit per day.

When you juice fruit you get most of the antioxidants, vitamins and potassium out. But you only get most, not all all of them. Moreover, juice doesn’t contain any of the fibre from the fruit, that goes down the waste tube.

Again, it’s common sense really. Fruit juice contains important vitamins and antioxidants but you’ll lose most if not all of the fibre. Fibre is extremely important and it is recommended that we eat around 30 grams of fibre per day. The main sources of fibre in our diets are:

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • legumes
  • cereals
  • bread

Although we can get our fibre intake from sources other than fruit, it is unlikely that we do. Most Australians only get around 20 grams of fibre per day so getting our fruit intake from juice rather than whole fruits is not recommended.

You might also wish to avoid fruit juice if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight. A glass of fruit juice may contain 3 or 4 times the number of calories of a piece of whole fruit and it will be much less filling.

Drinking fruit juice every now and then is fine and I’m sure having fruit juice is better than having no fruit at all but it’s best to try to eat 2 or 3 pieces of whole fresh fruit per day.