“Don’t drink your calories” is good advice if you’re trying to watch your weight, even if it’s fruit juice you’re drinking.
Researchers gave 34 young men and women—half were overweight or obese and half were lean—roughly 400 to 550 calories a day of either solid food (fruits and vegetables) or fruit juices.
(Each participant got enough food or juice to comprise 20 percent of his or her usual calorie intake.)
The solid food, which came to six to eight servings a day, was 10 percent vegetables (raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower), 35 percent fresh fruit, and 55 percent dried fruit.
After eight weeks on the fruits and vegetables, the people in the lean group compensated for the extra food by cutting back on their usual diets. They gained no weight. However, they gained about 3½ pounds after eight weeks on the juice.
The overweight and obese participants fared worse. They gained four pounds after eight weeks on the fruits and vegetables and five pounds after eight weeks on the juice.
What to do: Eat fruits and vegetables instead of drinking juice.
And don’t assume that you can’t gain weight by loading up on veggies and fruit (especially dried fruit, which is calorie dense).
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of—not in addition to—higher-calorie foods.
Source: Obesity doi:10.1038/oby.2011.192.
Other relevant fruit and juice links:
- Eating whole fruit may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, while drinking fruit juice may raise the risk.
- To lower risk of weight gain Scientists recommend “not more than one small glass of juice a day”
- Can you really get the nutrients of vegetables from processed snack foods? See: How to Diet: Decode These Fruit and Veggie Claims on Processed Foods
- The magnesium in leafy greens may reduce your risk. See: Diabetes and Diet: Greens May Prevent Diabetes