Food & Fitness

Is fruit juice a healthy replacement for whole fruits?

We all know the importance of reading food labels – and this includes the labels on fruit juices. Many juices have sugar and other ingredients added; you can often identify these without looking at the ingredient list just by the frequent use of the term “fruit cocktail” over “fruit juice.” But even fruit juice can have strange ingredients added to it, so it’s worth it to look at the ingredient list regardless of what the front of the package says.

What if you find a carton of juice that is 100% fruit juice, and the only ingredient in the juice is the fruit itself? Can you use it as a substitute for whole fruit? Is it going to give you the same health benefits as a whole fruit will?

The short answer is no, and here’s why: first, when the juice is extracted, you lose all the good fibre from the fruit. We need anywhere from 25 to 40 grams of fibre daily, and one apple alone can provide four grams of fibre! Fruit is a great source of this, and in today’s calorie-rich, nutrient-void diet, the extra fibre from whole foods is important to take into consideration. Second, much of the nutrients are found in the pulp and the skin of fruit – not in the juice. The juice is primarily sugar, and although it’s naturally-occurring, it enters the blood stream quicker than if you’re consuming the pulp and skin at the same time.

juice vs. whole fruit

Should I avoid drinking fruit juice?

Ultimately your best choice is whole fruit over juice, or drinking water over drinking juice. If you’re choosing between soda or fruit juice, by all means choose the juice! When considering whether or not to drink juice, it helps to remember that you aren’t going to be getting nearly as many nutrients from the fruit when its in its juice form, and you’re going to be mostly just getting sugar. And if you really dislike eating your fruit, why not blend it to make a smoothie? This is a great way to break the fruit down so you can digest it easily without losing any of the nutrients.

What’s your favourite way of getting fruits into your diet? Share in the comments section below!

If you want to learn more about healthy eating and how to incorporate a nutritious diet into your busy lifestyle, please contact me to make a nutrition consulting appointment.


  1. Yum Yucky

    My fav way is put fruit in my shakes. I actually had orange juice yesterday because the hubs bought it, but after drinking I thought to myself, “what a waste of calories”. And it didn’t even quench my thirst. Water and green tea are my go-to’s for gulping.

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