September 2018

Fruit Juice Is a Sneaky Culprit Behind Weight Gain

Fruit juice tastes sweet, but the results of regularly consuming the drink are pretty sour. According to new research, drinking just 1 glass of 100% fruit juice every day leads to gaining close to half a pound over 3 years, reports the journal Preventive Medicine.

Orange juice splashing into a glass on a table

Full of sugar, calories, and very little fiber

In the study of nearly 50,000 postmenopausal women, researchers found that weight gain among fruit juice drinkers was on par with those who regularly consumed sugary drinks such as soda. While 100% fruit juice may seem like a healthy option, each 6-ounce serving contains about 15 to 30 grams of sugar, 60 to 120 calories, and very little fiber. Even 100% orange juice with lots of pulp is low in fiber. As a result, fruit juice may spike your blood sugar levels and rev up your appetite, which over time can contribute to weight gain.

Boost your whole fruit intake

For a healthier option, sink your teeth into fresh fruit. Researchers found that increasing whole fruit intake by 1 serving per day resulted in about 1 pound of weight loss over 3 years. Summer may be fading, but fall is full of tasty fruit options. Shop for these seasonal picks at the grocery store or farmers market to help up your daily quota:

  • Pears

  • Apples

  • Pomegranates

  • Pineapples

  • Cranberries

  • Guavas

  • Passion fruits

Besides enjoying fruit whole or sliced, here are some additional ways to increase your fruit intake:

  • Add sliced fruit to your cereal or oatmeal.

  • Sprinkle fruit, such as berries, into your pancake or waffle batter.

  • Mix them into your salads.

  • Snack on dried fruit such as raisins, dates, or apricots.

  • Add sliced apple or banana to your peanut butter sandwiches.

  • Blend your favorite fruits into smoothies with some low-fat yogurt.

The next time you’re at the store, leave the fruit juice on the shelf and stock up on the fresh stuff instead. Your waistline will thank you. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Mercer, Nelda, MS, RD, FADA
Date Last Reviewed: 4/19/2018
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