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Forget the juice and eat the whole fruit instead

Forget the juice and eat the whole fruit instead

Q. Is drinking 100 percent fruit juice as healthful as eating the whole fruit?

A. No. Juice derived from fruit with no added ingredients, or 100 percent fruit juice, is certainly healthier than juice from concentrate or with added sugar. And it contains many of the vitamins found in the equivalent whole fruit. But it still lacks the dietary fiber found in whole fruit, which may help reduce heart disease risk, control weight, and aid digestion. Juice also has more calories per serving than whole fruit—112 calories in an 8-ounce serving of 100 percent orange juice, for example, compared with 65 calories in a medium-sized orange.

Read our report on arsenic in apple and grape juice and learn how to protect your family. If you want to make juice yourself, find out which blenders and juicers did well in our tests.

If you prefer to drink your fruits and vegetables, using a juicer is an easy way to reap most of the vitamins, minerals, and certain other disease-fighting substances. But juicing strains out most of the fiber and possibly other, unknown beneficial substances. In contrast, using a blender retains everything in the produce.  

The best foods to juice in a blender are cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, pears, apples, and watermelon, and easier-to-mince softer greens like spinach and chard. Skip hard vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and asparagus, which make for a gritty, mushy concoction. Also forgo low-liquid avocados and bananas. Papaya and mango will juice, but they can clump up.

A version of this article also appeared in the August 2014 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

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