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Many people can’t imagine that such a simple decision can so negatively affect their health and that of their loved ones. Studies have shown that the consumption of natural fruit juices has been associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes in the future. While many people know the importance of a healthy diet in order to prevent Diabetes Mellitus (DM), a good number of people don’t know the true reasons on which this recommendation is based. Among many of these, we find that fruits should be eaten whole, and not in the form of juice if we want to reduce sugar consumption.
Liquid calories (from sugary drinks like soda, pasteurized juices, iced tea, and energy drinks) are the most dangerous. They don’t fill us up like a solid piece of food does, so we end up consuming more than we should. Additionally, when we drink significant amounts of these kinds of drinks they trigger a rapid influx of sugar into our bloodstream.
This causes us to feel a rush of energy but it’s a sensation that doesn’t last long. Furthermore, we force our pancreas to produce exaggerated amounts of insulin to regulate the rise in our blood glucose levels. In the long run, abusing these types of drinks exhausts the organ, to the point of it not being able to produce more insulin, leaving the person in need of insulin injections. Of course, excessive consumption of these drinks also increases the likelihood of being overweight and obese.
The reason for this is because fruit juice in its liquid form contains a high amount of free-flowing sugar that triggers the same response in the body as other more well-known sugary drinks. Meaning, the fruit itself is not the problem but rather how we process them. Since washing them breaks down the fiber and releases sugar from the food. Not to mention that when strained, the rest of the dietary fiber, which is in charge of preventing fructose from entering the blood quickly is removed.
Lots of people still believe that drinking natural fruit juice is better than drinking any other kind of sugary drink. However, studies have shown that the caloric and sugar content of juice is similar to that of many other processed beverages. The consequences of altering glycemia are similar for both types of drinks; doesn’t matter if it comes from natural fruit or a processed product. At least natural juices provide vitamins and minerals but, those added micronutrients aren’t enough to justify consuming this type of drink.
The Solution: Smoothies
When we make fruit juices, the process of straining and liquefying the fruit releases all the sugars that it contains. So, we convert a healthy product into a high-sugar drink (like a soft drink) that has no nutritional health benefits. What’s worse is that it loses one of its most valuable components– fiber. Remember that fiber acts like a police officer for our intestines, by regulating the absorption of glucose and helps to prevent it from suddenly entering our bloodstream.
So if you want to drink your fruit the best solution is a smoothie. Smoothies take advantage of all the benefits of using the whole fruit in addition to mixing it with plant-based milk or yogurts. Secondly, a smoothie gives you more variety as one of the fruits is frozen (usually a banana) giving it a nice texture and a natural sweet taste without the use of white sugars. You can start by trying the delicious smoothie you see in the photo or if you prefer a “normal” smoothie you can simply not use frozen fruit:
- 1 frozen banana
- 10 raspberries
- A handful of natural hazelnuts
- 100 g of watermelon
- 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds (to throw on top of your smoothie)
Topping: Chia seeds, or a small tablespoon of blackberry granola
If we’ve made you want to discover new ways on how you can eat fruit as a snack in a more appetizing way, don’t miss out on our list of our Top 5 Smoothies: