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Fresh Juice To Fresh Fruit

Make this 1 small permanent change to your diet and reap HUGE benefits:

Switch from fruit juice to fresh fruit.

There really is no reason to drink fruit juice if you can just eat the real thing.  Eating the whole fruit provides for significantly less calories and more nutrition.  Take a look at the chart below.


                                                   Calories               Sugar                Fiber                 Vitamin C
1 cup orange sections                81                       14 gm                4 gm                   163%

1 cup orange juice                     112                      21 gm                 0-1 gm               207%

1 cup grape juice                        152                     36 gm                0-1 gm                105%

At first glance you might notice that orange juice has more vitamin C than the fresh orange.  However, the juice is missing the skin and the pulp of the fruit.  Even if you drink OJ with pulp there is still far less than what’s in the whole fruit.  Edible fruit skins such as apples, plums, grapes, and strawberries, to name a few, are where much of the pigment of the fruit is.  These pigments, including carotenoids and flavonoids, are powerful antioxidants.  The pulp is also a rich source of fiber and phytonutrients (plant nutrients).

Now lets take a look at the calories.  81 calories vs 112 calories, seems insignificant right?  Think again, if you swapped the OJ for a fresh orange everyday for a year you would cut over 11,000 calories which would be a difference of more than 3 pounds of body weight per year.  Swap the grape juice at 152 calories for fresh fruit and see more than double the calorie deficit and weight loss.  Easy change, big result!

If you MUST have something sweet to drink try some of the following suggestions:

Keep in mind this should still be done in moderation

1) Dilute your 100% juice with water using a 1:1 ratio or try 1 part juice: 2 parts coconut water…yum.

2) Cut the calories even more while ramping up your antioxicants and try my favorite SUPER drink!
3 parts iced green tea: 1 part 100% juice.  At ONLY about 30 calories per 8 oz serving it’s sure to pack in nutrition without packing onto your waste line.  Use dark colored juices that are packed with anti-oxidants such as blueberry, concord grape, blackberry, acai, or cranberry for the most benefit.  Though I’m not a huge fan of non-nutritive sweeteners (natural or artificial), if you need this concoction a little sweeter try adding a small amount of stevia (Truvia®) or sucralose (Splenda®).
Crushed Mint Leaves
3) If you need something sweet and bubbly pour sodium free seltzer water or club soda over crushed ice, add just a splash of juice and/or a fresh squeezed lime wedge, feeling fancy add a crushed mint leaf….Super REFRESHING!

As always, check back for more SMALL and EASY changes that will have a BIG impact on your health!

1st image courtesy of by: adamr

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Dina Garcia, RD, LDN
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