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Are fresh juice drinks as healthy as they seem?

July 29, 2016
  • By Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

About the Author

photo of Beverly Merz

Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Beverly Merz is Executive Editor of Harvard Women’s Health Watch, a publication she helped start in 1993. Before coming to Harvard she was an Associate Editor of JAMA, Managing Editor with the Union of Concerned Scientists, … See Full Bio
View all posts by Beverly Merz


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Global Tele Shopping
August 10, 2016

nice thought, thanks for your post.its really helpfull.

August 3, 2016

Is there any evidence that these recent juice diets or juice plans support the claim made for weight loss, detox or cleansing?

Bruce Tizes, MD, Medical Editor,
August 2, 2016

When man was in the original evolutionary environment, finding something sweet was a rare experience. My guess is that early man would gorge on fruits only from time to time. Preindustrial age fruits were quite different from current commercial versions. The impact of ingesting sweet fruit beverages unaccompanied by complete meals, is largely unknown. It is easier to recommend juicing vegetables daily for health benefits. Nevertheless, if the question is whether or not to shift from carbonated fast food sugar drinks to freshly made fruit juices or smoothies, the choice is easy — go for the fresh juices with pleasure.

Diane Welland
August 1, 2016

As a registered dietitian working with the Juice Products Association, I believe it is important to point out that 100% fruit juice contains the same beneficial nutrients as whole fruit, including vitamin C, folate, potassium and other beneficial plant compounds with no added sugar. This is why the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans continue to recognize juice as a nutrient equivalent of fruit. Therefore, if you are looking to make healthy choices, there is no reason to eliminate fruit juice from your diet. Studies demonstrate that people who drink 100% juice have higher quality diets, eat more whole fruit, and have either comparable or higher total dietary fiber in their diets as well as lower intakes of saturated fat, total fat, sodium and added sugar than non-juice drinkers. This research suggests that 100% juice complements rather than competes with whole fruit.

July 31, 2016

The article should certainly have addressed the fact the sugar in juices and pulverized fruit is absorbed very rapidly in the blood.

Lynn Hale
July 30, 2016

I have never been a fan of smoothies because I believe their fiber content is less than the fruit used to make them. I would like to have information on the fiber content of fruit, smoothies, and juice. For example an apple has x grams of fiber. To get an equivalent amount of fiber from apples in a smoothie you need to use x number of apples.

July 30, 2016

Smothies of whole fruits do not loose their content of fiber. Besides, phytochemicales are released more effectively.

July 29, 2016

I have certain food intolerances and I therefore digest juices much better than many fresh fruits, and vegetables. The former also give me a glowing complexion.

As for smoothies, I use almond milk (40 cals a cup), and find those more digestible as well, as too much fibre ia a stomach irritant.

Kate Griffin
July 29, 2016

And, since the digestive process starts in the mouth where we are encouraged to chew each mouthful a minimum of 20 times, what does just plopping all this un-chewed food into the stomach do to the food and the digestive organs?

Csaba K. Zoltani
July 29, 2016

The article would have been more notable had it actually given data on the amount of sugar and other undesirable ingredients that say an 8 oz cup of orange or tomato juice contains and how that compares with the recommended daily allowance.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

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