Step away from your juicer and don’t even think about reaching for your smoothie maker.
While many of us consider a smoothie to be a healthy alternative to soft drinks and count a freshly juiced concoction as one of our five portions of fruit and veg a day, nutritionists are declaring war on pulped fruit.
Juicing, they say, actually removes the healthy fibre from fruit, and some of the nutrients that are in fruits, along with the natural fruit sugars, can add hundreds of extra calories to your daily intake.
Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, said that the image of fruit juice as a healthy alternative to soft drinks is a global misconception. “In every country they’ve been replacing soft drinks with fruit juice and smoothies as the new healthy beverage,” he said.
It’s far healthier to eat fruit or drink vegetable juice, he explained. Most people feel full after eating two oranges, but while smoothies contain the sugar of up to six oranges, because they lack the pulp and fibre, they are less filling than the fruit itself, making you more likely to want to eat afterwards.
“Pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us, but give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large Coke. It is deceiving,” he added.
For a healthier diet, swap fruit juice for fruit three times a week.