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Eat the whole fruit not just the juice


Fruitjuice has long been seen as part of a ‘healthy’ breakfast, but how much of a healthy option is it.  The main difference between the two in terms of nutritional content is fibre.  Fibre is the indigestible part of fruit and veg we eat and has a number of benefits.  

1. It provides food for the good bacteria in our intestines that help us digest other foods(1)

2. It has been shown to play a role in helping keep cholesterol levels under control; high LDL cholesterol can lead to heart disease and it has been found in studies that instances of bowel cancer, heart disease and diabetes are lower in countries where a high fibre diet is commonplace(2).  

3. It helps with overall gut health and keeping you regular; you are less likely to become constipated if you get enough fibre in your diet 

4. It can help with hunger levels as it provides bulk to your food without the associated calories

5. It slows down the absorption of sugar

The first 4 benefits are pretty self-evident, however, number 5 is the one that is the one that has the most immediate effect,especially if we think about the body’s response to sugar with insulin detailed in my blog here. Without the fibre to slow down the digestion of sugar, you are left with a drink that has almost as much sugar in it as a can of coke and, even though the source of the sugar is fruit, the body treats it the same way.  I doubt many people reading this would consider drinking a can of soda a healthy way to start the day, unfortunately,if you drink one of your 5 a day in the form of fruit juice, you are not fairing much better, so ditch the carton and eat the orange as nature intended by getting tiny bits of peel stuck under your nails,swearing at the tiny coloured demon and feeling triumphant in your quest when you find the chink in that dimpled armour and devour it’s segmented treasure inside!

1.K Courage 2015, Fiber-Famished Gut Microbes linked to poor health

2.L Brown et al 1999, Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: ameta analysis