Benefits of Fruit vs. Fruit Juice for Seniors

Did you know a strawberry isn’t an actual berry, but a banana is! The world of fruits is full of whimsy and hidden facts, and we won’t blame anyone overwhelmed by questions. A very common one would be about the battle between fruits and fruit juice; the question is, which one is more beneficial?

Many studies show that fruit has several effects on the body’s metabolism. Fruits are also useful for seniors looking for ways to reduce their weight and lower the risk of various diseases. But is it possible to achieve the same results by drinking fruit juice instead of eating whole fruits?

This article will discuss what would be a better choice and why!

Is Fruit Juice Healthier than Whole Fruit?

The answer to this question is, “NO!” Studies show that fruit juice is rich in simple sugars such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose, leading to weight gain, hypertension, dyslipidemia (increase in blood lipids), various cancers, and heart diseases. These conditions are dangerous for seniors who might have some previous conditions worsened by excessive drinking of fruit juice.

But let’s return to our main topic of comparing fruit and fruit juice. Fruits come with many benefits that are not seen in fruit juice. Below are some of the mechanisms that make fruits a better choice than juice.

Satiety

A glass of orange juice beside an orange cut in half

Fruit juice cannot cause satiety for seniors due to a lack of fibre. Furthermore, their high sugar content makes the body unable to absorb them, leading to high blood sugar, which can be extremely dangerous for seniors. On the other hand, fruits lead to satiety, slowly releasing sugar into the bloodstream. Satiety is a biochemical process, and several mechanisms such as the secretion and binding of various peptides are involved in it. Furthermore, several messages released from the gut and other organs in response to food intake are responsible for regulating hunger and appetite. Fruits are the best for satiety due to their slower release of sugars.

Read more: Normal blood Sugar Levels and Diabetes in Seniors

Fiber Content

Whole fruit has a higher fibre content compared to fruit juice for seniors, which lacks any fibre. Fibre is another satiety factor, and it reduces hunger cravings. The fruit’s fibre content reacts with water inside the small intestine and forms a jelly-like structure. It prevents fast emptying of the intestine and secretion of digestive enzymes. It means that the digestion rate becomes slower, and the receptor inside the stomach will contact the food content; hence, it will delay seniors’ hunger. It is also important for seniors who want to reduce their BMI.

Antioxidant Effects of Fruits

Studies show that whole fruit increases the phytochemicals in the body, which have antioxidant qualities. Phytochemicals can decrease the susceptibility of having various cancers. Furthermore, they can inhibit fat production, so eating fruits instead of fruit juice is most for seniors.

Weight and BMI Management

Fruits have anti-obesity features, and there have been extensive studies on their role in weight management. We should note that pure fruit juice (homemade juice without additives) is also useful in weight loss. A study conducted on a group of seniors over the age of 65 showed that fruit intake positively affects Body Mass Index (BMI). The effect of fruits was highly noticeable in the circumference of the body.

An overweight elderly who is measuring his waist

However, this is not to say that seniors who want to lose weight can replace fruits with a normal diet. Studies conducted on a group of seniors who only consumed fruits for three weeks showed a correlation between obesity risk and increased fruit intake. Sugars available in fruits are the main reason for obesity on excessive intake.

Fruit Juice vs. Whole Fruit for Seniors

Fruit juice is not recommended for seniors due to the following reasons:

Lack of Fiber

Fruit juice lacks dietary fibre; however, it has other beneficial phytochemicals present in more or less the same proportions as whole fruit. Fruit juice, which is commercially produced, lacks fibres, and hence they are not suitable for satiety and lead to hunger, which is not so good for seniors.

Preservatives and Added Sugar

Most commercially produced fruit juice has added sugar and preservatives, posing several dangers for seniors. They also have additives for taste enhancement, which are quite risky for the elderly.

Rapid Absorption of Fruit Juice

Fruit juice can pass the intestine quickly compared to whole fruits. The rapid absorption of sugars in fruit juice increases insulin and blood glucose. That is why fruit juice increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity with associated disease risk, in contrast to the lowered risk with whole fruit.

Final Words

If you are looking for a healthy lifestyle, you can add fruits to your daily diet. However, they shouldn’t replace your diet. In answering the question posed at the beginning of this article about whether fruit or fruit juice is good for seniors, we have to say the winner is the whole fruit due to its various gastrointestinal effects. However, it would be best if you didn’t quit drinking juice altogether. It is a good idea to drink homemade juice without added sugar.

 

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Source wtamu.edu
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Tatiana
Tatiana
1 year ago

My husband has diabetes, he eats anything, but he always says I can’t risk raising my blood sugar when it comes to fruits. Fortunately, he doesn’t drink fruit juice either. I don’t think eating some grapes with breakfast would raise blood sugar that high compared to pancakes. I know bananas have high sugar. But what about apples? or kiwi?

Mitchell
Mitchell
Reply to  Tatiana
1 year ago

Generally, fruit juice has a high sugar level, so people with diabetes should avoid drinking fruit juice altogether. So your husband is right. But eating fruit is better than drinking its fruit juice since it doesn’t have as much sugar. Diabetics should avoid eating fruits like watermelons, bananas, or pineapples. But other fruits like apples, kiwis, berries, grapes, grapefruit, and avocados are healthy for them if they don’t overconsume them.

Sezar
Sezar
1 year ago

I have a problem with my digestion, so I prefer to drink natural juice instead of eating fruits. but sometimes I select smooth fruits like peach or apricot. I believe seniors shouldn’t make their like hard with their choices. we can eat whatever we want, but we should be careful of our weight and health.

jack
jack
1 year ago

Except for the acute digestion problem causes, the pros of eating a whole fruit are more than drinking juices. Whole fresh fruit has a high fibre and lower sugar content rather than the juice at the same weight. Additionally, fruit fibre can reduce the appetite in favour of losing weight. 

Bravo
Bravo
9 months ago

My grandma prefers fruit juice with pulps. This way, she feels the texture of her favourite fruit while drinking its nectar. This way, I make sure that my grandma receives all the antioxidants and other substances she needs while enjoying the texture.

john
john
Reply to  Bravo
8 months ago

 Although fruit juice feels excellent and tasty, I asked my doctor about this issue, and he told me that even if the liquid is freshly squeezed on the spot, drinking the juice is less healthy than eating the fruit whole. Fruit juice contains less vitamin c, but we shouldn’t deny that fruit juice has some benefits, too; eating whole fruit may be difficult for older adults, and fresh fruit juice may help them receive some essential vitamins. But it’s so important to drink fresh fruit juice which contains less sugar than ready products.

Adam
Adam
9 months ago

I prefer freshly squeezed juice. It contains natural sugar and no Preservatives. Does anybody know a good cafe or restaurant that serves natural and fresh juice in Montreal?

Emma
Emma
8 months ago

I’m not a juice fan, to be honest…It is basically sugar water.
Juice strips away the fibre found in the fruits and condenses the sugar into a small package, making it dangerously easy to consume too much sugar at one time.
For example, A 12oz serving of grape juice contains 12 teaspoons of sugar and 200 calories, more than the same sized cola, which has just over ten teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories.
I rarely give my kids juice for this exact reason.
Choose those that still have pulp or make them at home for the healthiest juice option.

Natalie
Natalie
7 months ago

The thing I do for my grandmother, who doesn’t have the good teeth to chew the fruit, is that when I make fruit juice for her, I also add the fruit’s flesh to the juice. For instance, after making the orange juice, you can remove the seeds and add the mashed flesh to the juice. In this way, she also consumes the flesh for fiber. For fruits with more rigid flesh, such as apples, you can grate a little bit of it and add it to the juice.