Thursday, June 26, 2008

Whole Foods vs Juices

Choosing whole apples over apple juice may provide extra health benefits.

Why? Few people consistently meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. But, substituting fruit juice instead of the whole fruit is not a good plan! Juices have no fiber, which helps to cleanse your colon. They are also very high in simple sugars and calories, this does NOT help you with weight control.

Research suggests apples with the peels help inhibit LDL oxidation more consistently than juice does. Minimizing LDL oxidation may help deter the development of arterial plaques.

However, much of the fiber and phytochemicals resides in the peels so juices aren't the best source. In fact, studies suggest apple peels contain two to six times more phenolic compounds than apple flesh and its juices.

And in a recent study, whole apples inhibited LDL oxidation by 34 percent, but the degree to which apple juice inhibited LDL oxidation varied from 9 percent to 34 percent, depending on the brand.

Whole apples, as opposed to juices, are high in phytochemicals that may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CAD). As mentioned, they also are a good source of fiber.

So, get most of your fruit servings from whole fruits rather than fruit juices.

References: Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Boyer, J., Liu, R. H., Nutrition Journal 2004 May 12;3(1):5.

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