Is juice as good as whole fruit?

Question: I use a juicer at home. Is juice as good as whole fruit?

Answer: Usually, juicers extract the juice and some pulp from fruits and/or vegetables. If you've made juice, you know that it takes a lot of fruit to make a container of juice. We do get all of the vitamins, minerals, beneficial plant chemicals (phytochemicals), and carbohydrates in juice that's juiced out of a whole fruit. But we don't get much of the fiber — that's the part that aids our digestive process, fills us up, and may help protect us against certain cancers. Fiber in fruit is found in the membranes between sections, the white part around the outside (as in oranges and grapefruits), the seeds, the skin, and the peels. Even if juice contains pulp, it usually doesn't contain all of these fibrous parts.

Juice is not a low calorie drink. An eight ounce glass of orange juice contains 110 calories — the equivalent of two oranges (each contains about 60 calories). We don't feel as filled up from juice because it doesn't contain any fiber. For many people, drinking a caloric beverage, such as juice, isn't as satisfying as eating the same amount of calories in food. For those of us who need to increase caloric intake — such as athletes, children, or teens — juice is a GREAT choice.

Fresh juice is certainly tasty and an excellent source of many nutrients. Less stable vitamins, such as vitamin C, are not compromised in fresh juice as they may be in some processed varieties. If you are replacing fresh juice for beverages such as sodas and fruit drinks (which may be low in actual juice), and you can afford the calories…but moderation is always key! ½-1 cup total juice is a good serving size and don’t forget to add in some vegetables!