You may drink your morning glass of orange juice thinking that you are getting your first fruit serving of the day. However, a recent study suggests that fruit juice may be just as unhealthy for you as sugary drinks like soda. Although there are fruit juices that are made just from fresh-squeezed whole fruits, this does not mean that they should count as one fruit serving. Fruit juices have lots of natural sugar, but it is sugar nonetheless that can impact blood glucose levels.
A study from Glasgow University in the Scotland found that overweight adults that drank one-half cup of grape juice a day for three months had bigger waistlines and insulin resistance. In turn, these raised their risk for diabetes.
So should I stop drinking fruit juice?
Fruit juice does have some important vitamins and minerals, but these nutrients can be found in fresh fruit, too. The researchers suggest that you limit your fruit juice intake to 4 ounces a day to help keep blood glucose levels under control. If you still crave the refreshing taste of fruit, eat the real thing.
Take home message
- Fresh whole fruit has fewer calories and more fiber than fruit juice.
- Fiber from fresh fruit can keep you fuller longer, help your digestion, and keep blood glucose levels stable.
- Past research has found that whole fruit intake has been linked with neutral or lowered risk of diabetes; fruit juice intake has been linked to a higher diabetes risk.