By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Fruits are great for you, but sometimes hauling them around can be a bit annoying. Apples and bananas bruise easily in your backpack, grapes get squished in plastic bags, and oranges are such a hassle to peel! Sometimes, it’s just easier to take a swig of blended fruits from a bottle.
Not only do juices contain a lot of the healthy vitamins and minerals normally found in raw fruit, they taste delicious and are very portable. So, it’d be hard to fault someone for thinking that raw fruit and fruit juice are practically the same thing, right? According to research from the US, Britain, and Singapore, not at all!
The researchers analyzed data from 3 different health investigations and more than 187,000 people. They focused on sleeping patterns, physical activities, and of course, eating habits. Apparently, the subjects that ate at least 2 servings of raw fruit a week decreased their risk of diabetes by about 23 percent. “Our findings provide novel evidence suggesting certain fruits may be especially beneficial for lower diabetes risk,” said Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Alternatively, individuals who drank fruity beverages like orange juice and apple juice had a 21 percent increased risk for developing diabetes. What the heck, that doesn’t make sense! Whether it’s whole or in a bottle, fruit is fruit, right? According to the researchers, the difference between the two may be small, but it sure is significant. “Fluids pass through the stomach to the intestine more rapidly than solids even if nutritional content is similar,” says the research authors. “For example, fruit juices lead to more rapid and larger changes in serum [blood] levels of glucose and insulin than whole fruits.”
If you’re a fan of fruit juice, you’re much better off kicking the bottle and eating them raw. Be sure to munch on grapes, blueberries, bananas, peaches, and other fruits. They may be a bit tedious to carry around, but they’re much healthier for you. Think about it this way: blended fruit juice is simply a machine chewing up fruit and spitting it back out in a bottle!