Whole Fruit vs. Fruit Juice

Apr.04, 2013

Whole fruit or fruit juice?  Which do you choose? Both are offered in the dining halls every day. Drinking a glass of fruit juice might sound like a good idea, but compared to whole fruit, juices have:

  • more calories per serving
  • less  nutrients–like fiber and water soluble vitamins
  • added sugars, unless labeled 100% fruit juice

Think skipping that soda and drinking juice instead is better? Many juices are sugar-sweetened, unless they are labeled otherwise.  And those extra calories can add up–one 8 ounce glass of fruit juice can have about 120 calories compared to 60 calories in one fresh orange. When drinking juice, you may not have that same feeling of fullness like when you eat a whole fruit. That’s because juices are missing the fiber found in fruits.


Other sources of fiber include vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Dietary fiber is important to include in your diet because fiber can help:

  • you feel fuller for longer
  • keep your digestive system in balance
  • reduce your risk of certain cancers
  • lower cholesterol
  • control blood glucose levels, which is especially beneficial for those with diabetes

Next time you’re in the dining hall, look for trays of fruit or grab an apple, orange or banana instead of pouring that glass of juice! If you still want something sweet to drink (other than soda):

  • Only fill your glass of juice up 1/3 or 1/2 of the way and then go back for a refill of water.
  • Try Howling Cow chocolate milk instead! You get the sweetness from the chocolate plus the benefits of drinking milk.


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Published by ; posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 at 6:44 pm. Read more posts in the Nutrition Blog »