You Are What You Eat, so Choose Your Foods Wisely.
Did you know that the various ways of eating your fruits don’t all end up the same in your digestive system? The nutritional value of each is different, varying from the sugar to calories and fiber content and nature. And that calls for a comparison as to which is better. Why? Knowing the right way to consume your fruits is vital for your goals and ensuring you get what’s best for you. Don’t worry; this piece won’t tell you to stop making those yummy thick smoothies. But instead, to understand the differences and proceed mindfully by making them healthier or choosing the better option often. So whether for weight loss or gain, muscle building, a healthy life, or managing lifestyle diseases, this article is for you.
Let’s dive into the differences and mechanisms behind blended, juiced, and whole fruits. Shall we?
First, the Differences Between Juiced, Blended, and Whole Fruits
Juiced fruit means you squeeze the liquid out of the fruit, drink it and throw away the flesh and peelings. You could add water, other beverages, and a sweetener or spices.
And what does blended fruit mean? You blend it into a thick yummy smoothie. In this case, you’ll have all the content of the fruit: the juice, flesh, and peelings (in some), only that you’ll break the fruit into a drinkable fruit compared to juicing, where you get only the liquid. You can make a cocktail of many fruits and add other ingredients you like.
What about whole fruits? Well, wash and eat the damn fruit whole! Of course, with or without the peelings, based on the type or your preferences.
The Differences at a Glance
So What About the Infamous “Smoothies Are Not a Healthy Fruit Option?”
To answer that query, let’s dive beyond blending and juicing and see what each method does.
1. It Destroys the Sugar and Also Leads to Excess Consumption
a) Blending and Juicing Break Down the Sugar into a Refined Form: This Bad Sugar
What Is Refined Sugar and Why Is It Bad?
Refined sugar is a form extracted from natural sugar and then heavily processed, removing all the naturally occurring healthy and additional ingredients, leaving only the crystals and no nutritional value whatsoever.
It’s the same as taking the naturally occurring sugar in, say, sugarcane or mangoes and stripping it of all its value.
Here’s Why Refined Sugar is Bad:
1. No nutritional value
2. It’s stripped of fiber and water, nutritionally beneficial components.
3. High in calories. Despite being void of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fats & fiber, refined sugar is just sugar! And what’s that? Empty calories!
4. Refined sugar is linked to illnesses like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, particular cancers, and cellular aging.
The Relationship Between Blending/Juicing and Refined Sugars.
First, blending or juicing your fruits crushes the sugar breaking it down from what it is in its natural state within the fruit. The result? A refined sugar.
1. Are less healthier as they contain empty calories
2. Take longer time to digest.
3. Contain more calories
Therefore, a blended mango has more calories and sugar and fewer healthy ingredients than one eaten whole.
Secondly, the chances of adding more fruit are high when you blend or juice, hence even more sugar. Why? You’re more inclined to combine two mangoes and two bananas than if you were eating it whole. In the latter case, you’ll probably eat just one, feel full and get it over with, but you’ll more likely throw a couple more fruits in the blender in the former; therefore, blending feeds you with more refined sugars, hence more calories.
And juicing is even worse as you’ll need to squeeze more fruit to extract enough liquid to fill you. Meaning you’ll consume much more refined sugars in juices than in smoothies.
What about whole fruits?
When you eat whole fruits, you eat the sugar in its simple form. So it’s broken down into healthier versions than juiced or blended fruits. So you’ll end up with fewer calories and more healthier sugar.
b) You’ll Add More Sugar When You Blend or Juice Your Fruits
When blending or juicing fruits, you’re bound to sweeten them to make the drink more appealing. So most people, even restaurants, will make healthy drinks but add sugar, honey, or other sweeteners. The result? You’ve not only broken down the sugars into an unhealthy calorie-loaded refined version but also added more!
On the contrary, when consuming your fruits whole, you’ll eat them as is. For instance, do you add honey or sugar to your bananas, mangoes, pawpaws, or pineapples when munching on that cut piece?! Now you get the idea, right?
2. Blending and Juicing Destroy the Fiber.
Juicing gets rid of all the fiber in your fruit. Fiber is part of what makes you full. That’s why you may need to juice much more than you’d typically whole eat to feel satiated.
Blending is a lesser evil, but you’ll refine the fiber and destroy some of its nutritional value, vitamins, proteins, and healthy carbs.
As for whole fruits, you’ll eat fiber too, which is healthy. If you’re like me, you’ll also eat the mango, pears, and apple peelings, consuming even more fiber.
Is Fiber That Important?
Yes. First, it helps with a healthy gut and digestive system. Secondly, it helps you feel fuller faster and for longer, alleviating the need to eat more or sooner, which may be detrimental if you’re working on losing or maintaining weight.
Summary at a Glance
So Should I Blend, Juice, or Eat My Fruits Whole?
It’s best to eat your fruits whole.
However, you don’t need to stop juicing or blending. We all know sometimes all you want is to slurp down your fruit other than eat it. And these two options also provide the convenience of carrying your meal in a bottle for a quick post-workout meal or breaky on the go.
So, try and eat whole fruits. If you must drink it, go for smoothies, and only juice if you must.
You can also stick to your blending and juicing by making them healthier using these options:
- Don’t vilify the peelings. Befriend and eat them; of course, only the edible ones like apple and mango peelings. Besides, they have many nutrients you’d be throwing away.
- Don’t add sugar. Instead, drink it as is, or if you’re a sweet tooth — which you’re allowed to be — use natural sweeteners. For example, you’re safer adding raisins and bananas to your smoothie to make it sweet than adding refined sugar (granules) or honey.
- Add other non-fruit components to your smoothies to make them filling. For example, add peanut butter, oats, nuts, seeds, yogurt (natural), etc.; that way, you’ll achieve the following benefits:
a) There’ll be less need to add more fruits to your smoothies, hence less refined sugars.
b) You’ll have a more filling smoothie with healthier ingredients as it is heavier.
c) You’ll clock in more fiber.
Indeed, blended or juiced fruits may be a lousy alternative to whole fruits. And this feature is because you destroy the fiber, break down the sugar to a refined unhealthier version, are bound to add more fruits—hence more refined sugars and calories, and will add honey or sugar as a sweetener. So it’s best to go for while fruits. However, you can still enjoy smoothies and fruit juices. All you need to do is be mindful and add other ingredients that make them healthier, heavier, and more fibery instead of loading them with more fruit or sugar and honey.